Willem Dafoe Played The Best Prank On Mark Ruffalo

By April Ryder | Updated

willem dafoe

Willem Dafoe had a little fun playing a prank on Mark Ruffalo while they were on set filming their newest release, Poor Things. Released on December 8, 2023, Poor Things is a science fantasy black comedy. The movie is quirky, to say the least, and the roles of Willem Dafoe and Mark Ruffalo are quite eccentric. 

Mark Ruffalo Outside Of Comfort Zone

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Due to the eccentricity of his role, Mark Ruffalo had to step outside his comfort zone a bit to put some pizzazz in his performance.

Stepping into a role that required him to present much differently than any of the roles we have seen him in for quite some time caused Ruffalo to second-guess his work. 

Insecure On Set?

Given that Yorgos Lathimos’ (the movie’s director), Emma Stone (Bella Baxter), Willem Dafoe (Dr. Godwin), and Mark Ruffalo (Duncan Wedderburn) are all subjects of Oscar conversations right now, the proof is in the pudding.

No matter how insecure Ruffalo might have been on set, it doesn’t show in the excellent performance on screen. 

However, Ruffalo’s insecurity in his work kept coming to the surface during filming. Willem Dafoe talked of offering reassurance to Mark Ruffalo as much as possible, but also pinpointing an opening for a great prank. 

Bringing Oscar Isaac In For Help

After you tell a guy he’s doing fine enough times, it seems only right to turn it into an opportunity for a good joke. And that’s just how Willem Defoe saw the situation, especially when Mark Ruffalo noticed that Oscar Issac was around. 

When Dafoe found out that his former costar Oscar Issac was filming another project in the same studio, a plan began to form.

Willem Dafoe had been in a movie called The Card Counter together with Issac, so the two actors had established rapport.

Oscar Isaac Replacing Mark Ruffalo?

When Willem Dafoe and Mark Ruffalo first saw Oscar Issac around the studio, Ruffalo was fearful. He studdered while asking if Issac was there to replace him.

Being unsure of his work in Poor Things, Ruffalo thought for sure that the studio had brought in Issac to rework his role and give Ruffalo the axe.  

Willem Dafoe swiftly invited Oscar Issac over to the set to have lunch. After filling Issac in on the situation, it was time to execute. Issac walked up to Mark Ruffalo and began explaining to him why the studio no longer needed his services and that he was, in fact, there to replace him. 

Only A Matter Of Seconds

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By Willem Dafoe’s own words, the prank only lasted a matter of seconds, but the concern in Mark Ruffalo’s eyes was enough for the men to enjoy a good chuckle together. 

As far as audience and critic response has gone so far since Poor Things was released earlier this month, Mark Ruffalo’s performance in the film was superb. Even his costar Willem Dafoe talked of the brilliance in Mark Ruffalo’s acting. 

Award Winners?

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More than one review of the new movie speaks of Mark Ruffalo as “stealing the show.” He has already received nominations for Best Supporting Actor from several different film critic organizations, along with a 2024 Golden Globe nomination, which Willem Dafoe also received.

There will likely be even more award nominations doled out in the near future.