For Willem Dafoe, the key to acting is the ability to 'disappear into the reality of the world'

Actor Willem Dafoe opens up about the art of acting, his past work in theatre and his latest project, director Sean Baker's The Florida Project.
Actor Willem Dafoe plays a motel manager in Sean Baker's new film, The Florida Project. (Getty Images)
Listen18:07

For Willem Dafoe, the trick to being an actor is, as he says, "being a person again." That is, to be able to not be aware of the set and to, instead, "disappear into the reality of the world" of the film. 

This is what he's been doing for years and what he does once again in his latest project, director Sean Baker's film The Florida Project. In the film, he plays a motel manager in the shadows of Disney World where many of the residents have a hard time making ends meet. 

Today, Dafoe joins Tom Power to discuss his latest role, which has already been getting some Oscar buzz, and how he approaches the art of acting.

— Produced by Jean Kim


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