Willem Dafoe is not just like any other actor. He has been in the industry for over four decades and has, over the years, established himself as one of the most talented actors in the industry. Dafoe has starred in superhero blockbusters, independent films, and everything in between, and has done justice to every production he was part of, which has made him a go-to actor on a global scale.

Willem Dafoe
Willem Dafoe at the opening of the 64th Berlin International Film Festival | Credits: Wikimedia Commons/Siebbi

After their successful collaboration on Poor Things, Dafoe has again collaborated with Yorgos Lanthimos in his upcoming movie Kinds of Kindness, written and directed by him. This surreal story about a philosophical take on present-day events may turn out to be another landmark of Lanthimos’ filmography.

Jesse Plemons Speaks on Willem Dafoe’s Career

Willem Dafoe, Jesse Plemons, and Margaret Qualley in Kinds of Kindness
Margaret Qualley, Jesse Plemons, and Willem Dafoe in Kinds of Kindness | via Searchlight Pictures

Jesse Plemons, who has worked with some of the greatest actors in Hollywood, was also in awe of Dafoe and his persona when they shot scenes together. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, he talked about the cast of Kinds of Kindness and how it was easy to gel with everyone. Talking about Dafoe, he said,

Willem Dafoe was one of the more interesting creatures I’ve ever met. He just completely marches to the beat of his own drum, and has the excitement and enthusiasm of a 12-year-old theater kid who’s just so happy to be there. 

This passion and drive are some of the core reasons why the career of this actor has spanned more than four decades. Moreover, in another interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Dafoe talked about his relationship with his work and what makes his career so impactful after so many years at this age. Dafoe said,

It’s quite simple. Work is where I find pleasure and where I get to exercise my curiosities. I’m a guy that had worked with the same group of people in a theatre company for 27 years.  I just like getting a group of people together and making things.

Talking about the importance of growth and flexibility in an actor’s journey, he said,

I find that every time you do a project, you’re not so much taking inventory as you’re reorienting yourself and entertaining a different set of thoughts, impulses and conditions, as dictated by the people you’re working with.

The collaborative nature of filmmaking and the ability to adapt to the changing landscape of cinema over the years have helped Willem Dafoe keep himself relevant even after a four-decade-long career.

Cast, Plot, and Early Reviews of Kinds of Kindness

Willem Dafoe and Margaret Qualley in Kinds of Kindness
Willem Dafoe and Margaret Qualley in Kinds of Kindness | via Searchlight Pictures

Kinds of Kindness is directed by Yorgos Lanthimos. The film stars Poor Things alums Emma Stone, Willem Dafoe, and Margaret Qualley, along with Jesse Plemons, Hong Chau, Joe Alwyn, Mamoudou Athie, and Hunter Schafer.

The movie is an anthology story, written by Lanthimos and Efthimis Filippou, and follows three interconnected tales: a man attempting to gain authority over his life, a cop whose wife returns changed after being missing at sea, and a woman looking for a man who has the potential to become a spiritual figure.

Kinds of Kindness premiered at the 77th annual Cannes Film Festival, and according to Deadline, it got a six-minute standing ovation from the spectators. According to Rotten Tomatoes, many reviewers have described the movie as a weird mixture of fun, dark, and unpredictable experiences, and the movie has a 92% score on the Tomatometer at present.

Kinds of Kindness will be released on June 21, 2024 in theaters.

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