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When Emma Stone signed on to appear in her latest film, she probably had no idea part of the shoot would involve slapping co-star Willem Dafoe in the face 20 times. Still, that’s what she did, because apparently, it helped Dafoe stay in character… or something.
I don’t know. Method actors must be exhausting to be around.
The movie in question is called And, a movie with a terrible title that will be frustrating to google and will lead to countless “Who’s On First?” style misunderstandings.
“I want to go see that new movie, And.”
“No, I want to see the movie, And.”
“That’s what I’m asking! And what?!”
Willem Dafoe Is A Team Player
Now, this isn’t Stone and Dafoe’s first rodeo when it comes to working together, and Stone sang his praises in an interview with The New York Times.
“There’s this instinct to perform that many actors have — the ‘Look at me, look at me!’ kind of performer,” she said. “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.’”
If by “‘I’ to ‘We'” she means that Dafoe said, “Hey, I think we should do every take of this scene with you slapping me in the face for real.” then yes.
Even more strange, the scene this did this for apparently didn’t even require Dafoe to be on camera. So why did he feel the need to take just under 2 dozen Emma Stone slaps?
Because acting is a craft.
I guess that’s just being a team player and trying to make the best movie you possibly can. The film’s director Director Yorgos Lanthimos — yes, the Yorgos Lanthimos — said “that’s what you want from actors…to want to be part of it in any way.”
I guess whatever gets the job done. And Willem Dafoe does just that.
He was great in that Snickers commercial.
Follow on Twitter: @Matt_Reigle