Willem Dafoe discussed being recruited by screenwriter Jean-Claude Carriere for “At Eternity’s Gate” and seeing himself as Vincent van Gogh for the first time.
“He said, ‘Would you come over to the house?’ and they put a ridiculous red beard on me and took some pictures. And then a week later, he said, ‘I think we should do this thing together,'” Dafoe said during a recent Q&A at the Variety Screening Series.
To get inside the mind of the famously tortured artist, Dafoe says it helped to stand where he stood and see what he saw.
“A lot of those landscapes haven’t changed much from when he was painting. So when you’re in those places, it’s easy for you to imagine his presence … that becomes some sort of connection. That’s a relationship to him,” Dafoe said.
“When he’s in nature and when he’s painting, he says, ‘I’m not thinking.’ You get the sense that he’s in the zone, he’s disappeared into the greater. And then he doesn’t know how to reconcile that joy, that ecstasy with everyday life,” he added. “He’s frustrated that people can’t see what he sees.”
Valerie Pachner, one of the stars of Terrence Malick’s “A Hidden Life,” talked about why the World War II drama set in Austria is still important today during the Variety Screening Series presented by Vudu. Pachner plays Franziska Jägerstätter, the wife of Franz Jägerstätter (August Diehl), a real-life conscientious objector to the German army who [...]
Lulu Wang, director and writer of “The Farewell,” talked about the challenges she faced before she was finally able to bring her movie to theaters during the Variety Screening Series presented by Vudu. The story, based on Wang’s own experiences, follows a Chinese American family dealing with the terminal cancer diagnosis of their grandmother. “When [...]
Elisabeth Moss plays a self-destructive rock star in Alex Ross Perry’s film “Her Smell” and talked about the preparation and lessons she took for the role during the Variety Screening Series presented by Vudu. “I tried to learn as much as I could. I tried to learn chords, I tried to get callouses on my [...]
Mindy Kaling and Constance Wu both starred in woman-directed films this year; Kaling in Nisha Ganatra’s “Late Night” and Wu in Lorene Scafaria’s “Hustlers.” In their “Variety Studio: Actors on Actors” conversation, the two shared stories about working with female directors and how playing women who are ambitious used to be portrayed as a negative […]
The real reason behind Forky’s odd name choice.
Alfre Woodard and Cynthia Erivo both star in movies helmed by black female directors this year; Woodard in Chinonye Chukwu’s “Clemency” and Erivo in Kasi Lemmons’ “Harriet.” In their “Variety Studio: Actors on Actors” conversation, the two talked about their new films and the social messages in them. They also touched on when they knew […]