Magazine article Variety

My First Time in Variety

Magazine article Variety

My First Time in Variety

Article excerpt

Aug. 26,1981

'Breakdown' (The Loveless') Review

Willem Dafoe has played tough guys in films like "To Live and Die in L.A.starred in boundary-pushing pics like "The Last Temptation of Christ," and been Oscar-nommed for his roles in "Platoon" and "Shadow of the Vampire." He got sentimental as he reflected on coming of age in the 1970s New York theater scene and starring in his first film, 1981's "Breakdown" (later retitled "The Loveless"). That film, which earned him his first mention in Variety, also marked the debut of director Kathryn Bigelow, whitney friedlander

How did you get the "Loveless" role?

Kathryn saw an early performance of the Wooster Group's "Point Judith" at the Performing Garage in New York City, where I was playing a roustabout on an oil rig. She called me the next day, and offered me the part.

What was it like seeing your name in Variety?

I'd been a glorified extra in "Heaven's Gate," and I'd had some downtown art films. "The Loveless" felt like I was a real movie actor.

What do you remember about that point in your career?

I was at a theater company working very hard. I felt more a part of that than of Hollywood. (After "Loveless" came out), a manager called me up and said, "I saw this movie. …

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