Willem Dafoe

[Interview by Brian Hendricks / Photography by Terry Richardson / Styling by Heathermary Jackson]

Hobo #14 – New York, March 2012. One thing I know about Willem Dafoe is that he likes to pretend. He is as convincing playing a vampire as he is a messiah, equally an asset to the tragedy of Lars Von Trier, as he is to the whimsy of Wes Anderson. Impossible for us to ascertain who he will show up as next, we just know that we will believe him.

We all coexist in a pretend world full of pretenders but no one has presented more personas with more frequency and as successfully as Willem Dafoe. I’ve caught glimpses of him in fifty or more films made by as many directors, and he’s always the character and identity he’s pretending to be. I was jazzed to have an opportunity to talk about his passion to transform, and his current impersonations and adventures.

Brian Hendricks. — Hello Willem. How was the photo shoot today?
Willem Dafoe. — Fine. I’ve shot with Terry (Richardson) before.

— Yeah, I think just a few weeks ago you did some swimming pool shots.
— [laughs] That was kind of an impromptu thing. He just found me in a swimming pool.

— Nice.
— That’s Terry. You know.

— Yes. So, I wanted to thank you in advance for gracing the cover of Hobo #14.
— My pleasure.

— And in my research I discovered an interview you did for Bomb Magazine, this is probably several lifetimes ago, an interview with one of my fellow countrymen, Michael Ondaatje.
— Oh yeah, that was an eternity ago, but I stay in touch with Michael. I love him. He’s a great guy.

— Sort of a national treasure for Canadians for sure. So yeah, it was a great dialogue. In this issue I did one other interview, a posthumous interview with Walt Whitman.
— Walt Whitman? [laughs] Oh yeah, he’s still around?

— He’s more alive than he’s ever been.
— Sounds good to me.

— Several years ago I did one with Ralph Waldo Emerson that seems to have gone over well. So it’s a fun thing to do.
— I should look that up. It’s in a back issue of Hobo?

— Yeah, it was the issue with Philip Seymour Hoffman, must be five or six years ago now.
— Okay. I can track that down. Good.

— When I was going through all my questions and answers with Walt, I was thinking that there was very little that you would disagree with in terms of his philosophy and poetry, his take on freedom and liberation, those sort of things. So I tweaked one of his answers, substituting “actor” for “poet” and came up with, “An actor can do nothing for men more necessary, satisfying, than just simply reveal to them the infinite possibility of their own souls. The mark of a true actor is their ability to mystify the familiar and familiarize the strange.”
— Beautiful. I love Walt Whitman.

— Nice. In terms of your own attitude as an artist, and as an actor, the idea of revealing to the audience, to the spectator, the possibilities of our multiple selves, our own souls?
— Yeah, that all sounds good. I think the only tricky part is that’s not what I’m thinking about. It all sounds good in retrospect. The funny thing, the irony is, I just look for certain situations that I think will be fertile to bring about that thing he’s talking about. But I’m never that conscious, the last thing I’m thinking about is the audience, or what is going to be conveyed, or what the thing is going to be. I’m really thinking kind of selfishly about my own personal journey or adventure in approaching a project.

— Yes. Right. I’m assuming that whether roles choose you or you choose roles, that certainly you’re looking to find things within yourself that you haven’t expressed before.
— I think so. That’s the engagement. The interest. On the most basic level, that’s the one consistent thing. There are all kinds of movies, and all kinds of plays, and all kinds of ways to perform. The thing that’s fairly consistent is: I love the shift of understanding, looking beyond what appears as the reality, finding a way into it. And that’s usually accomplished by taking someone else’s point of view or putting yourself in a situation where you are forced to abandon your own sense of self, and entertain someone else’s.

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— Right. And obviously finding directors that are like writers themselves, that they have their own defined perspective on the world, and their own voice, enable you to trust the fact that you’re safe within that envelope. You’ve been chosen or you’re in that role because you’re going to bring something to the story that can’t really be written or defined. You’re given the canvas to paint your own story within the larger story.
— It’s true. It’s true. That’s well put actually.

— And whether it’s experimental theatre or a Hollywood blockbuster or a foreign film or independent film, the duties and responsibilities for you as an actor is you’re still bringing the same tool kit to whatever field of action, genre, that you’re engaged in?
— I think I’m not bringing the same tool kit, I’m forgetting the tool kit every time and building a new one. I think that’s absolutely necessary.

— Thinking about your extremely varied career and mixing it up, finding the opportunities to express those things in yourself, there’s almost an irony in the idea of being fearful and heading in the direction of your biggest fear, and also being fearless within that as well. Wondering if you could elaborate on that, when you’re entering into certain roles, is their a symbiotic relationship between being quite fearful of where it might take you, and also being fearless in investigating the mystery of that?
— Yes. I think whenever words like “fearless” or “fearful”, when people kick around those words in terms of choices, I get a little nervous that it sounds self congratulatory, that you’re a risk taker or that sort of thing. I get it. I get it, it’s flattering, but it just has to do with the mechanism and a tendency that I have of seeking what engages me. I’m not an interpreter, I’m an adventurer, and I like taking adventures. Often when I start something I have an intuitive pull towards it. I don’t know what it is. And if I do know what it is, I don’t enjoy just applying a craft towards that. That’s what some people do and they do it very well and it’s satisfying. But I’m usually happiest when I work from a place of not knowing and a place of adventure and curiosity. I can only do that if I’m sold on the situation and the circumstance. That’s why I’m so drawn to strong directors. That’s even more important than the material sometimes. My biggest strength as an actor is my ability to trust and give myself to someone’s vision. And I feel like somewhere deeply that is my job, and somewhere deeply that’s where the best things happen. Because if you’re off balance and you’re not controlling things, then you can address impulses and instincts that you didn’t know you had.

— Yes. Right.
— It’s really a device where when I attach myself to someone with a vision and I become the facilitator, I become the collaborator, I become the thing itself. That is where I find my most satisfying situations. And when it goes bad, and it can go bad, it’s usually when I’m wrong about the person, or the situation, or sometimes [laughs] you just don’t find what you’re looking for [still chuckling] but it was a good try. I can live with that because films are so collaborative, you can’t get nuts about controlling them. At least I can’t. If I was more interested in that I would probably be a director. But my interest is in having the world drop away, having myself drop away and disappear into another set of circumstance or another consideration. And I always find that is what is most exhilarating about telling stories, about art. Always when I have a shift and I feel like I learn something, then I’m sort of elevated and the slog and the difficulties of life are made more interesting. I receive a good fresh energy and I can face the difficulties better.

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— Yes. Absolutely. The idea of self-knowledge, self-research and rebirth, thinking of these as aspects of the true actor’s process?
— Well yeah. When you say it, it sounds kind of heavy. There’s also a low part of me that just likes to be in motion and shake my ass and be irresponsible, you know?

— Yes. I get that.
— That’s important to liberate you as well. So it’s not always… you know, I like Grotowski’s idea of the holy actor1, but I’m hardly that. You know what I’m saying?

— I do. I do. I like what Antonin Artaud said, that the actor is an athlete of the heart.
— Yeah, that’s beautiful, beautiful. [Pause] In fact I often don’t think of myself as an actor. I think of myself more as a dancer or an athlete.

— Yes. Nice. The spontaneity involved in both those descriptions.
— I always think of the drama of an athlete running a one hundred metre race. What happens in those one hundred metres. To describe it, the action is very simple. But in their dedication to their action and their total application to that action, something happens, there’s a drama there.

— Yes. For sure. You know when I was teaching film for so many years and often thinking of the various levels of authorship. There’s the writer, the actor, director, the cinematographer, and in some ways the final author of the film is the editor and the film takes on a different life through each of those phases. When I think of your own career, I first saw you in To Live and Die in L.A., the William Friedkin film from back in the 80’s. Your performance in that was very memorable, I felt you delivered a very unique take on a character. So, thinking about going to see films that you’re in, your character’s stories within those films, the actor as auteur to some degree. Thinking that you’re there to serve the story and play your part but there’s another energy that liberates the spectator in some ways. We live vicariously through what you’re bringing. [laughs] I guess what I’m trying to say is there’s a lot going on there and I do respect that it’s not easy to talk about your own authorship, your deep inner processes. It’s more about doing than reflecting on it.
— Yeah, but I should be pretty practiced at it. I just got off a huge amount of press for three different movies. I’m getting some practice on it but what I find difficult is I get self-conscious when I’m talking a lot about myself. [laughs] Of course by this point I’m sick of myself, that’s number one. But number two, I’m trying to find the threads, the through-lines, so I can speak about it. In every statement I make there are so many contradictions that I feel a little silly sometimes. But I guess the thing to do is to orient yourself, try to find those tendencies, explore them, and then drop some disclaimers every once in awhile. [laughs]. While I don’t have a methodology and I really believe you have to make your process, your approach, specific to the project that you’re doing, often when I hear other actors talking, I don’t know what the hell they’re talking about. [much laughter]

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— It’s tricky business.
— It must have to do with my training. I grew up in the theatre that was not a conventional theatre. It was not a theatre of actors. It was not a theatre of playwrights. It was not a theatre of literary people. It was more a theatre of technicians, dancers, painters, poets… they weren’t theatre people. But we were making performance pieces, plays, and we were performing. Even that word, you won’t find actors using words like performing or pretending as much as my tendency is to use them. So, while I never feel lost, I always feel comfortable on a set, when people do talk about the process, or I do, I either feel like people think I’m pretentious or a little out of my mind. [laughs]

— It seems in life that you get to a point where the more you know, the less certain you are about what you actually know.
— I think that’s really true. I guess that’s what I’m trying to express you know, when you start to express tendencies, and through-lines, you start to articulate one, you begin to think of all the exceptions, it starts to discredit itself as a truth. [laughs] Maybe that says a lot about… you know, when it really comes down to it, I always feel like I enjoy that process, talking about what it is and what I do, but it’s really not important. And it’s so strange, it’s not important in the respect that actors are intuitive animals, I think? At their best. And a lot of that expression is not really important. What they do and how they work in the mix is what’s important. Particularly when you work in such a collaborative art form. Your job is really to do what you do with an integrity so no matter how they slice, dice, shoot, your thing, whatever your contribution is, whether you’re a collaborator, or an actor, whatever level of participation it is, that whatever you do is integrated, is whole enough, that something will remain.

— Right. Right. Yes.
— That your contribution will be… will be, tangible.

— I find myself thinking of the German silent director, F.W. Murnau, whose character you play across from in Shadow of a Vampire. His declaration about film where he said, “We are scientists engaged in the creation of memory.”
— Hmmm. Beautiful. Brian, you’re really good with the quotes. [much laughter]

— You know it’s a very slippery slope…
— I’ve got a guilty pleasure for quotes.

— Me too.
— The only problem is… a funny thing happens when you hear quotes because you can feel so deeply for what’s expressed and unless I really make a practice of memorizing them absolutely, when I paraphrase them, it’s like a loose thread on a sweater. It unravels very quickly. [laughs]

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— Quotes are kind of like the visible part of the iceberg. It’s the surface that immediately resonates but as you go deeper there’re so many different places they can take you…
— Right. The other thing that’s interesting with quotes is: you recognize them, they guide you, you feel a kind of contentment because there’s an understanding, you feel like someone else shares your thoughts. But I think in general, because there’s so much information out there and you can open up a webpage and read quote after quote after quote, every other one might be inspirational, or not, it’s so disconnected from experience, the way we get our information, that it doesn’t really wash in the end. Because it’s not the quote in the end, it’s the getting there.

— Very true.
— And I only mention that because I’m alluding to what happens in performing. I despise the notion of nailing something. There is no nailing something. There is no arriving. There’s only going towards something and what happens to you when you’re going towards something. I think that is the nature of making things. They are never finished. And that’s the beauty, even in movies, the best movies aren’t completed until the audience completes it, makes it. And that’s why I love when you read someone complaining about a movie. They say, “Oh, I lost two hours of my life.” I think, “Jesus Christ, poor baby.” You know? They wanted to be entertained. They wanted to be on the sofa and be passive. Whereas the best movies, the most rewarding movies are the ones that let you in and you’re game to participate. And because you can’t participate, don’t blame it on the movie.

— Right. Thinking about those of us who lived through the sixties and experienced the immediate influences of surrealism and romanticism, the whole renaissance that was felt, at times we can be living here in 2012 and be thinking that a lot of that world we cherish is not nearly as visible. It feels like it has been cast aside for a lot of product that isn’t nearly as deep or as interesting. But I like the idea that everything is still to happen? You know, like even in terms of international cinema and indie directors doing interesting art? There’s still this death and rebirth going on as far as art in general?
— I think that’s true. Though right now movies are in a very bad place and it’s not very comfortable but we’re not just cruising along, because something has to change. So something good will happen. Well, I don’t know about good, but something exciting and new will happen and it’s probably not what people think it will be. It’s not about new delivery systems, you know? It’s not about that. People are starting to figure out how to make money off of that. I’m more concerned about the health of the artists right now. The industry is sick right now but they are still figuring out ways to make money. They are just making it in different ways. The people that are making the content are the ones who are feeling a little lost because the support is coming from different places, or not coming.

— Yes. And I guess with regard to your own heart and soul, coming from The Wooster Group in the Seventies, and The Public Theatre, and the work you’ve done with Richard Foreman, your work in Idiot Savant and the current involvement in The Life and Death of Marina Abramovic, which I hear is brilliant. It must be comforting… it’s literally like the “Poor Theatre”, the fact that it’s really all about giving you the opportunity to do what you do best and it’s not so dependent on the more financially driven world that a lot of filmmaking is.
— Oh, but it is. [laughs] But it is. The biggest problem with being an actor and what makes actors pathetic is they generally need company to do what they like to do. They need other people. And I’m not even talking about audiences. [laughs] They need other people to be in the room with them and make something. You can make a one man show but even that stuff is limited.

— The idea derived from Whitman that in order to have great actors there must be great audiences. There needs to be environments… here in Vancouver one of the main theatres, The Playhouse, which has been around for fifty years has had to shut down.
— Right. It’s very hard…

— These last three films you’ve been involved in all sound very different. The Hunter, wandering through Tasmania and having the opportunity to just be and travel through the landscape and develop a character who is essentially a survivalist. I’m assuming that was quite fulfilling?
— It was very fulfilling in the respect that it had a very tightly focused narrative. At the same time the inner journey of the character is a very slow reveal and you can do that when you’re in almost every frame of the movie. I’m seldom afforded that. My biggest job was just to be present and put myself in the story and have the story work on me. That’s quite luxurious. You don’t want to be led by it and you have to be somewhat responsible and it’s really more the director’s responsibility, but you have to know what your affect or your function is in the overall collage of the movie. In this one, because I’m so central to it, I am the movie. So it allows me to take my time and have much more of an actively meditative approach to what happens. The narrative is very tightly focused. To describe what I do, there’s nothing really mysterious about it. They are very real, concrete actions. And there are real, concrete things to learn. And there are real experiences. And to learn those things, and to do those things, puts me in a different place. And since I’m inviting the story to work on me, and I’m giving over to this pretending, and imagining this scenario, it’s really a powerful thing because the story takes on a rhythm and effect that I have not created, but has been created by the physics of setting something into motion and having it accumulate.

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— Right. I like that. This is perhaps somewhat relevant: I was reading through Spalding Gray’s journals and there’s something he wrote back in 1972 that I made note of. He writes, “I am the story. The exercise is the articulation of the present me.” I know he’s talking about his own monologues and working in the experimental theatre but thinking that sentiment might apply to your process, your role in The Hunter.
— The big difference is that Spalding was performing ”himself”, that was his character. I’m leaving myself behind. I’m trying to disappear. There’s a big difference.

— And I guess part of the appeal of playing Tars Tarkas in John Carter was completely disappearing within that construct.
— I just liked dealing with the technology. I like Andrew Stanton so much, he’s so good with story. In the end, I’m not thinking that people aren’t going to be able to recognize me. In most of the world, not only aren’t they going to see me, but I’m going to be dubbed. [laughs] I’m not thinking about that. I’m just trying to play the scenes.

— I thought it was interesting that John Carter had the biggest opening night box office in Russian history. You know? With all the banter going on over here…
— I was in Russia, we actually promoted there and they were very excited about it and I think it continues to go strong. John Carter, it’s just a shame and we’ll see what happens, but clearly the big story has been all this reporting on the budget. It’s a complicated chain of events but I’m always shocked that’s it’s a kind of puritanical thing. Like, “How dare you spend so much money and not know you can get it back?” Rather than thinking how great that these people spent this money to advance the technology of this type of filmmaking. The reason it’s so costly is because of the technology that was used and the kind of dedication in developing the very beautiful integration between the live characters and the animated characters. The fact that rather than just animating on computers, we shot this stuff and we actually shot the whole movie and then animated to the performances. It’s very expensive. Part of the problem is people don’t know how movies are made. When The New York Times reviews this movie… I don’t usually read reviews, but I saw a picture and they have me voicing that character. I spent six months on stilts. You know? I did a hell of a lot of stuff, working very hard to make this thing, and I’m assuming when the reviewer saw this movie he thinks I went into a studio and lip synched to the green creature up there. [laughter] It’s not elegant to complain but there’s so little understanding about how things are made. Not even addressing the economics of it. But I hope John Carter survives because I think it’s good and I think there’s some interesting advances. And I think Andrew Stanton is good, and in some circles they’ve kind of pointed a finger at him as a spender when the truth is, I’ve been on a lot of sets and that shoot was totally responsible, it just had a very heavy technology. And that kind of technology really is costly.

— Absolutely. I fully appreciate that. Another film that received a mixed reaction, Antichrist, the work you did with Lars Von Trier. I taught Andrei Tarkovsky for twenty years, the fact that this film is dedicated to him and there are so many visual homages to Tarkovsky’s work within the film…
— Yes. In fact the one thing, besides studying cognitive behavior therapy and learning some things about how to become a therapist. One thing that Lars had me do to prepare was to watch Mirror.

— Right. I had read that. It’s so great. With Antichrist, there again, the audience’s reaction to that film. Seems to me that people should be grateful that someone like Lars Von Trier is willing to show us something that is right at the heart of what depression looks like… obviously there are parts of the film that are difficult to watch but it’s not gratuitous and the honesty of that expression is certainly what I’m the most interested in.
— It’s moving to see Lars Von Trier’s commitment to his work. How much he gives himself to it. And how rigorous he is in challenging himself and playing with film language. That’s why I like being around him. When we did the press conference at Cannes, the very first question was, “Lars, Lars, you must justify yourself! You must justify why you made this movie!” [laughs]

— I know, I know. It’s just so inappropriate. I remember back in the day seeing Element of Crime, some of Lars’s earliest work, and I immediately recognized a cinematic visionary. He’s such a great addition to the pantheon of film as art. Another director you’ve collaborated with, Abel Ferrara, I interviewed Abel a few years ago when he did his documentary on the Chelsea Hotel, and I ran into him and talked a bit at Ethan [Hawke]’s 40th birthday party in the East Village last year. It’s great to see him putting his manic energy into his craft. 4:44 Last Day on Earth is a very interesting and perhaps timely film considering the zeitgeist right now?
— Yes, I think that’s true. And not even so much this doomsday scenario. People are so quick to say, “Oh, this is a time of so many doomsday stories.” The end of the world in this story is totally a convention. I think it’s really just a convention so we can look at a couple who are deciding how they can live their life. And the interesting thing is you realize how much of what we do is predicated on there being a future? And so if you take away the future it’s amazing what’s left. [laughs] And if you entertain the past with no future, there are a few things you can do. You can make amends, you can say goodbyes, but you can’t relive the past so you’re really stuck with the present. And then you have the present, and what do you do with the present? And then that pushes you to, what quality of consciousness is the way to live? Because we know life is painful. We know life is difficult. [laughter] And it brings into play, do you want to be high, do you want to be straight, you want to be distracted, you want to be meditative, you want to make something? All that’s in the mix. And it also deals with how we treat each other. The beautiful thing in the story, you know, if you accept the premise and don’t worry about the science fiction elements that aren’t part of the movie but people can project on to it, you sit there and you can spend the whole movie watching these people and empathize with them and think, “What would I do, what would I do, what would I do?” And because, for me, it’s New York, a post 9/11 New York, and so much of their communication is expressed through technology, it really is timely. While the actual setup is quite flat and quite normal, the experience of addressing those questions in a very focused way, is rich to me. You know, thinking back on it, we deal with the technology so much, I was struck by the fact that in a couple of scenes we’re saying our goodbyes by kissing the screens, saying our goodbyes on Skype calls. [laughs] And that’s not like an idea… that is fleshing out a scenario and being in a scenario that was a normal impulse. Now, how freaky is that?

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— Honestly. And I think everyone can relate to the strange familiarity and peculiarity of that situation. I also get the line in the film where your character says, “We are all going to die. We’re already dead.”
— Yes. Yes. You know we made this very quickly, not that that is important, but it was made in a very fluid way with very little. We had a scenario, there were little islands of dialogue, but each day we really had to find the connecting pieces. It was kind of hair raising. Abel’s sets are always a kind of beautiful hell. I’m used to him and I have enough trust and complicity with him because this is our third film together and he really relies on me as a collaborator. It’s fun but it’s worth remarking, and I say it all the time because it gives an idea as to how these films are made sometimes, one of the biggest jobs for the Sound Editor is to take Abel’s voice off the soundtrack because he’s shouting the whole time. [laughs]

— [still laughing] That’s intense.
— Sometimes in anger and sometimes just making noises because he’s so in the scene that he’s moaning, and screaming…

— I take it as a healthy sign that New York actors are working with New York directors, that indie spirit being kept alive and films that will find their place and find their audiences. Films that are affordable to make and have more of an emphasis on the human condition than some of the more big budget generic scenarios.
— Right. We hope so. [laughs] Because if that doesn’t happen I don’t know where I’m going to find my most interesting opportunities.

— We’ve been talking about staying mostly in the present but with regards to the immediate future… are you planning on going back into the theatre again soon?
— Right now I go to Spain, Madrid, where we open The Life and Death of Marina Abramovic, and then we do a tour after. There’s also a tour next year, we’ll see how it goes schedule wise. Right now, definitely, Madrid, an opening at the Teatro Real, and I’m excited because I think it’s a beautiful piece and for me it’s a very challenging piece to perform. There’s a lot on my shoulders so I like that. I’m like a farm animal. I like to be tired at the end of the day. [laughs]

— So I know that you were in touch with Lars Von Trier which led to the role in Antichrist. If you get it in your head that there is a certain director you want to work with. Do you send out a call and let them know that you’re interested in any potential roles coming up? I know you like the work of Ang Lee and the South Korean director, have you seen… a film I taught for years, Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter… and Spring by Ki-duk Kim?
— Fantastic, Kim Ki-duk, yup. There are many people. Whenever I see a great film and feel there’s a real voice there, you know, there’s a world that I’m interested in, or a point of view that I would like to be a part of, I get sucked into that. Sometimes it’s clear that it’s never meant to be. For various reasons, I wouldn’t be a good actor for them. [laughs] You know? It’s all mix and match. But sometimes when I find out those things, I get in touch, or let them know of my interests, you know? Ang Lee knows I want to work with him but he’s never had anything I would be right for. And Ki-duk Kim, we’ve talked about it, through an interpreter because he doesn’t really speak English, but he’s having difficulty with financing right now.

— Right. That seems to be a universal obstacle these days. Especially filmmakers who have a very strong, kind of niche following, but aren’t known for big box office films…?
— Yeah, it really comes down to, I like being in the room with people that interest me. You know?

— Absolutely.
— That’s always what I’m attracted to. Because you can have your ambitions and you can have career considerations. You can worry about money. You can worry about position. You can worry about all kinds of things, which I try not to worry about, but everyone does to some degree. But the truth is, the most important thing is how you feel when you’re there and [laughs] that’s what’s it’s about… And if the people are really engaging and you’re turned on and you’re learning things, then the furthest thing from my mind is career, money, position, I don’t care. Of course I want to make something beautiful, but as I’m in the mix I’m not even thinking about how many people are going to see the film.

— Exactly. And life really is too short to be spending any time doing anything that you’re not fully committed to. I think it was Richard Foreman who talked about having the courage to follow the voices inside of your head, and then to allow them to lead you into places of uncertainty and adventure and danger. It seems as a society, that a lot of people spend their spare time, or their off time, deliberating trying to silence or avoid those voices. The fact that you’ve had a great journey in the last… I suppose technically you’re into your fifth decade as an actor, the fact that you’re wired to want to go in the direction of exploring those voices is interesting.
— There’s where I find the most pleasure. And that’s where I feel most useful. So, I don’t know if it gets harder or easier to find those situations but I’m a little clearer about what I need and where I feel most engaged.

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— Right. Okay, so listen, there are so many things we could discuss but I want to really thank you for your time and I’m looking forward to…
— Sure. Sure. I didn’t want to tell you before the interview, but I read some of the other interviews and I think you do a beautiful job with these.

— Well thank you so much, that means a lot. It’s so interesting being a Canadian living here on the west coast, and starting with Philip Seymour Hoffman, and then talking with Chris Walken, and Abel, and Ethan….
— I didn’t read Abel’s, but I read the other three. And Chris’, Chris’ was exceptional, I thought. I know him and he can be a good interview but he’s usually pretty guarded and you released him in a way.

— Thank you. I had so much gratitude that he was willing to talk about memory and time, and having him revisit that nostalgia.
— That’s true. All right, I’ll let you go, but a pleasure talking to you.

— Likewise, and thanks so much Willem. Continued success. Have a great Summer.
— Okay, great. Be well.

1 Jerzy Grotowski’s reference to ‘Holy Theatre’ generally applies to the dedication of the actor, in giving himself as a gift, an almost saintly holiness which carries over to a performance which is transcendent in a much more subtle, human sized way.