Why Willem Dafoe Insisted On Being Slapped By Emma Stone (For 20 Takes)


Willem Dafoe insisted on being slapped repeatedly by Emma Stone for their new movie, AND, from Yorgos Lanthimos, even though it was off camera.

Willem Dafoe insisted on being slapped repeatedly by Emma Stone for their new movie, AND. Both singular talents, Dafoe has been on a tear since returning to his career-defining role as Green Goblin in Spider-Man: No Way Home with over 10 upcoming roles on his schedule, while on the other hand, the Oscar-winning actress hasn’t done a feature film since 2021’s Cruella. Stone and Dafoe both star in two upcoming films from director Yorgos Lanthimos – Poor Things and AND.


In a new profile of Dafoe by The New York Times Style Magazine, it was revealed that he insisted on being slapped repeatedly by Stone during the making of AND. For one scene, Stone’s character slaps Dafoe’s who is off camera and customarily, the actor could perform the gesture without the other present. However, Dafoe insisted that, in order to make the slap look more authentic, Stone actually slap him, and he took the blow about 20 times. Lanthimos and Stone both praised Dafoe for his commitment to his craft:

Lanthimos: That’s what you want from actors. To want to be part of it in any way.

Stone: There’s this instinct to perform that many actors have — the “look at me, look at me” kind of performer. He’s the opposite of that. Maybe it’s changed through the years. A lot of actors I bond with have been doing this for a long time, and you know they’ve gone from ‘I’ to ‘We.’”

Related: Why Willem Dafoe’s Green Goblin Was Spider-Man’s First Movie Villain

Everything We Know About Poor Things & AND

Emma Stone in the gardens in The Favourite

Stone first collaborated with Lanthimos for The Favourite, an eccentric black comedy set in 18th-century England that saw Stone receive her third Academy Award nomination for her performance. Her first reunion with Lanthimos, Poor Things is described as a reimagining of Frankenstein in which Stone plays a Victorian-era woman whose brain is replaced with that of her unborn child. Other than Stone and Dafoe, the Poor Things cast also includes Mark Ruffalo, Ramy Youssef, Jerrod Carmichael, Christopher Abbott, Margaret Qualley, and Kathryn Hunter.

After Poor Things is likely to release first, Stone, Dafoe, and Lanthimos will all reunite again for AND. The cast is similarly star-studded, also including Jesse Plemons, Hong Chau, Margaret Qualley, Joe Alwyn, Mamoudou Athie, and Euphoria‘s Hunter Schafer. Much less is known about AND other than it required Dafoe to be repeatedly slapped by Stone and on a recent podcast, the Oscar-nominated Hong Chau (The Whale) revealed that the film consists of three short stories in which the actors all play different characters.

More: Emma Stone vs. Glenn Close: Who Is The Better Cruella?

Source: The New York Times Style Magazine


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