10 · 22 · 19

Willem Dafoe offered a press conference on The Lighthouse

By: Gustavo R. Gallardo

After three years, American actor Willem Dafoe returns to the Morelia International Film Festival (FICM) as a guest of honor to present the film The Lighthouse (2019), which he stars along with Robert Pattinson.

WIllem Dafoe, Daniela Michel

WIllem Dafoe, Daniela Michel

As part of his activities in the Michoacán capital, the actor, known for films such as The Last Temptation of Christ (1988), Platoon (1986), Spider Man (2002) and Body of Evidence (1993), had an encounter with the audience and the press at the José Rubén Romero theater where he offered a conference coordinated by the festival’s director, Daniela Michel.

The actor said that the most important element in the rehearsals for The Lighthouse were not the actors but the camera position: “We had to be really prepared, but for the camera because its language was ambitious. We had to understand the nature of the shot and we had to find how to act that scene within. It sounds horrible, but it wasn’t.”

Afterwards, he talked about the characters and the treatment he gives to them on the films, “because in the film I am a lot of additions. I don’t choose characters, we don’t know them until we act, in the same way we live sometimes without knowing who we are.”

Willem Dafoe

Willem Dafoe

On the poetic elements of the film, in this case the light of the lighthouse, the actor said that loneliness is part of life: “The function of the lighthouse is to mark the way of people who cannot see where they are and that is a powerful metaphor.”

Willem Dafoe said that the critic’s response to the film has been very good, “and young people find it exotic; they never saw anything like this.” He also said he loved working with Robert Pattinson: “He works very hard and is polite. He doesn’t like to rehearse; he has done more film than theater and I come more from theater, but he works really hard.”

When asked about his next projects, he revealed that he is working with Guillermo del Toro in his next film: “I can’t say more about it or I won’t be working with him anymore.”

Questioned about whether he has considered retiring, he denied this was possible and remarked: “Sometimes I get bored or fed up when I don’t have good opportunities, but I haven’t thought about leaving acting; perhaps I would go to my basement to make films.”

The actor’s participation culminated when he talked about how to get in character and his relationship with the objects that integrate it: “I learned to knit although you only saw me knitting for 10 seconds. I had a relationship with clothing, with food, with cold, and adapted my accent. That gives me moral authority to say: ‘I am this person’.”