Magazine article Variety

Willem Dafoe

Magazine article Variety

Willem Dafoe

Article excerpt

'You've got to love where you are.'

WILLEM DAFOE can be seen on screens playing a beleaguered hotel manager in "The Florida Project." But he's calling from Paris, where he's playing Vincent Van Gogh for Julian Schnabel's film "At Eternity's Gate."

What attracted you to "The Florida Project"?

Any day there's a good script and an interesting filmmaker, a proposal for a cinematic adventure, telling a story that has real content, I'll be there. This was right up my alley.

You shot in an actual working hotel, where you also did your research. Did anything you experienced make its way into the film?

Everything. When I was working at that hotel, I got to know where things were and how they worked. I was with those people, I shadowed them, I saw what was going on. It was a beautiful way to work for me. Apart from when I'd go home at night to a nicer motel, we were there all day. I was doing the things the manager does - it's easier to enter a story when you get the actual actions in your bones. …

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