Why Willem Dafoe is The Best Cinematic Villain of All Time

The true test of a good actor is to be able to completely be able to personify a character. To the extent that you forget who they are off-screen and instead completely immersed in their performance on-screen. Willem Dafoe’s success as an actor is closely linked with the intensity of his performances. Perhaps it is this searing intensity which has meant that he is often being cast as a villain or at least a troubled soul.

Dafoe has featured in hundreds of films with his career spanning four decades and has received four Oscar nominations. Among his most well-known appearances are “Platoon,” “The Last Temptation Of Christ,” “To Live And Die In L.A.,” “Grand Budapest Hotel,” and Green Goblin in 2002’s Spider-Man.

Willem Dafoe has a deep and ominous voice and can easily manifest characters who have that crazy glint in their eyes. In fact, we are so used to seeing Dafoe in his “villain-mode” that it is somewhat disconcerting watching footage of him on the red carpet and in real life. Whenever interviewed, or caught by paparazzi, he always comes across as a happy and upbeat guy. Off the screen he also maintains a humble and low-key persona, welcoming anonymity in his personal life. He’s a father and a happily married man, tries not to eat meat for environmental reasons and enjoys practicing yoga for exercise and relaxation.