Willem Dafoe began his career as an artist in theater where he challenged himself to perform a variety of roles which shaped him to meet any challenge. He gained recognition in the mid-1980s for his performances as a supporting actor, earning him critical acclaim and Academy Award nominations. After filming in a series of independent films, he moved to big-budget cinema in 2002 with Spider Man, which brought him instant popularity. Over the years, Dafoe has portrayed the protagonist, antagonist, and comedic characters that have always entertained audiences around the world. Through his work, he has been recognized as one of Hollywood’s most dynamic actors.
Starring in drama films and mainstream action films, the actor has been part of some of the most critically and commercially profitable films. Entertaining audiences through his engaging and impressive performances, let’s take a look at his highest-grossing film.
ten The English Patient (1996)
Anthony Minghella, Juliette Binoche and Kristin Scott Thomas photographed by Brigitte Lacombe behind the scenes of THE ENGLISH PATIENT, released on this day in 1996. pic.twitter.com/ADEq4h9F9M
— Tribeca (@Tribeca) November 15, 2018
One of the most acclaimed films on the list, The English Patient, received nine Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Supporting Actress for Juliette Binoche, and grossed $231.7 million in theaters. According to Variety, the film is based on the 1992 Booker Prize-winning novel and tells the story of personal betrayal and unexpected passion. Dafoe starred as Canadian intelligence officer David Caravaggio.
9 Mr. Bean’s Vacation (2007)
A comedy adventure based on the popular television character Mr. Bean, Mr. Bean’s Vacation, is a delightful action-comedy starring Rowan Atkinson in the lead role. Dafoe stars in a supporting role as Carson Clay, an acclaimed actor who presents his film at the Cannes Film Festival. The film was made on a budget of $25 million and earned $232.2 million at the box office.
8 John Carter (2012)
Adapted from a 1912 novel titled A Princess of Mars, John Carter is a sci-fi action film by Andrew Stanton. Produced by Disney Pictures, the film saw Dafoe play another supporting character, Tars Tarkas, the father of one of the main characters. The film was a moderate success, produced on a budget of $300 million and managed to earn $284.1 million worldwide.
7 The Fault in Our Stars (2014)
Willem Dafoe’s performance in Blame it on our stars is one of the film’s highlights as he plays reclusive author Peter Van Houten, as noted Empire. The heartfelt film based on John Green’s novel went on to collect $307.2 million against a budget of $12 million. Authentic performances by young lead actors Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort made them famous.
6 The Great Wall (2016)
The great wall is an American and Chinese co-production by acclaimed director Zhang Yimou. The film earned $335 million at the worldwide box office with high production and marketing costs; Furthermore, Dafoe played the supporting role of Sir Ballad, a teacher in China of European descent. The film was highly praised for its action sequences and starred Matt Damon, Pedro Pascal, and Jing Tian.
5 Murder on the Orient Express (2017)
A film that needs no introduction, Murder on the Orient Express, famously based on Agatha Christie’s best-selling novel of all time with the same title. The Guardian mentions that the film is directed by and stars Kenneth Branagh as famed detective Hercule Poirot. Dafoe plays Hardman, a mysterious Austrian professor. The film made $352.8 million with the cast including Johnny Depp, Dame Judi Dench, Josh Gad, Penelope Cruz and Leslie Odom Jr.
4 Spiderman (2002)
Willem Dafoe jumped into comic book movie adaptations early on when he landed the role of antagonist Green Goblin in Sam Raimi’s Spider Man starring Tobey Maguire as Peter Parker. Dafoe showed off his excellent acting range by playing a heartfelt and terrifying on-screen character, which is still considered one of his best performances. The film was a box office triumph and grossed $821.7 million worldwide.
3 Finding Nemo (2003)
On this day in 2003, Finding Nemo was released in theaters! To celebrate, we thought it would be fitting to have you… FIND NEMO!
Bonus points if you can also find:
⭐️ a red whistle
⭐️ a pair of red glasses
⭐️ a glass bottle
⭐️ a mirror pic.twitter.com/Yg1949b8RH
—Pixar (@Pixar) May 30, 2021
The world of Nemo became the second highest-grossing film in 2003 when it grossed $940.3 million theatrically. Pixar’s computer-animated film saw Dafoe lend his voice to the character Gill, the leader of the Tank Gang, and teaches Nemo self-reliance and courage.
2 Finding Dory (2016)
A highly anticipated spin-off, Finding Dory focused on the blue flavor forgetful fish voiced by Ellen DeGeneres. While the main voices from the first film took a back seat with the spin-off, all of the actors reprized their roles for it. Dafoe returned to the series to voice Gill, and the film collected $1.029 billion worldwide.
1 Spider-Man: No Coming Home (2021)
The movie that proved Willem Dafoe as one of the best comic book villains of all time, Spider-Man: No Coming Home, saw him reprise the role of Green Goblin when he enters the multiverse and teams up with former supervillains to battle against Spider-Man. Despite the pandemic, the film became the sixth highest-grossing film of all time, grossing $1.8 billion at the box office, as reported. Deadline.
His other notable films include The Grand Budapest Hotel, Sectionand John Wick. Willem Dafoe, an actor who approaches his work one project at a time, continues to cast various roles and star in arthouse films. He will next be seen in Robert Eggers’ revenge thriller in 2022 The man from the north.
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