Willem Dafoe Got Slapped In The Face Tons Of Times By One Of The Biggest Actresses In Hollywood

Despite standing off-screen, Willem Dafoe was slapped over 20 times by Emma Stone to get the perfect shot for their film And.

By Britta DeVore | Published

willem dafoe

If you want to be a critically celebrated actor like Willem Dafoe, you have to work hard for that decades-spanning career in Hollywood. According to The New York Times, Dafoe revealed The Last Temptation of Christ star really put in the blood, sweat, and tears for his paycheck while on the set of Yorgos Lanthimos’ upcoming anthology flick And, when he allowed his co-star Emma Stone to give him somewhere around 20 real slaps offscreen. While Dafoe’s character was written to be off-camera at the time of the scene, he wanted to ensure the take was successful, leading him to allow Stone to channel her inner rage and go to town with some slaps.

Both the director and leading lady had only positive things to say about their time working with Willem Dafoe, with Emma Stone commenting that while many other actors she’s appeared opposite of over the years have a “‘look at me, look at me!’” complex, Dafoe was the exact opposite, instead boasting a “we” rather than “I” mentality. Likewise, Yorgos Lanthimos (The Favourite, The Lobster) said that the Aquaman actor’s attitude is exactly “what you want.” Further gaining the praise of his colleagues, Dafoe would show up on set even on days that he wasn’t scheduled, with Lanthimos commenting that he was thrilled for the performer to “want to be a part of it in any way.”

While the praise of his co-star and director was certainly music to his ears, the Spider-Man: No Way Home star admitted that his attitude wasn’t always this way and that as he’s worked in the business, he’s become more laid back. Remembering the early days of scraping by and accepting roles “as a means to survive,” Willem Dafoe says that eventually, his journey turned into “a spiritual thing.” He added that after struggling and working for so long, he finally found a “connection with all things,” which has poured over into his outlook on work. 

emma stone cruella
Emma Stone in Cruella

When you look back at his career, all the kind words that Stone and Lanthimos had to say about Willem Dafoe add up as the actor has appeared in countless titles from major directors over the years. He’s nabbed nominations for all the major accolades out there and has dazzled audiences in every genre, nailing whatever role comes his way. And, to further prove how much he loves working with the actor, Lanthimos has already cast Dafoe in another project following the end of filming for And.

Even better, the film, Poor Things will see Willem Dafoe and Emma Stone reunite, with Lanthimos also casting the Easy A actress in the Victorian-era set film. A kind of sci-fi drama, the feature is based on Alasdair Gray’s 1992 novel and will tell the story of Belle Baxter, a woman who has been resurrected from the afterlife thanks to a group of scientists. While we can presume that Stone will star as Belle, no casting details have been released at this time.

If you’re excited to hear more about And by way of plot details, which would uncover exactly why Willem Dafoe’s character gets slapped, you’ll need to table that eagerness as no further plot details or a release window have been revealed at this time. What we know is that it will be a star-studded event, with Dafoe and Stone being joined by major names, including Jesse Plemons, Joe Alwyn, Margaret Qualley, Hong Chau, Hunter Schafer, and Mamoudou Athie.