For Willem Dafoe, The Last Thing He Wanted was a no-brainer. Not only did it allow him the chance to work with director Dee Rees and star opposite Anne Hathaway, but he could really sink his teeth into the subject matter too.

“It’s more the whole project, [the chance] to work with Dee,” Willem, 64, exclusively told Closer Weekly at 2020 Sundance Film Festival premiere of The Last Thing He Wanted on Monday, January 27, when asked about his new role.

Dee, of course, has previously written and directed the films Pariah (2011), Bessie (2015) and Mudbound (2017). In addition, the 42-year-old has worked on TV shows like Empire, When We Rise and Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams.

“I like [that] it’s a very special film and has kind of political content to it,” the four-time Oscar nominee added. “I like the source material, the Joan Didion novel [from 1996] is very interesting, very dynamic, very fluid. All those things.”

Willem Dafoe
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The movie’s official description on Netflix reads: “A hard-hitting reporter [Anne] becomes entangled in the story she’s trying to break when she helps her ailing father [Willem] broker an arms deal in Central America.” The political thriller, which hits the streaming site for your viewing pleasure on Friday, February 21, also stars Ben Affleck and Rosie Perez. For Willem, though, the opportunity to act opposite Anne was a real bonus to taking on this project.

“She’s got incredible skill and this is a great role for her and she’s all in, she’s very committed,” he said of his talented costar, who recently gave birth to baby No. 2. “She transformed herself and I enjoyed playing scenes with her.”

The last person Willem was thrilled to share the screen with was Robert Pattinson in their 2019 indie horror The Lighthouse from director Robert EggersCloser Weekly caught up with the legendary actor at the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival and asked him how this character compared to the ones he has portrayed in his career.

I mean the fact that he’s called ‘old,’ I don’t feel like I’m old,” he told Closer and other reporters at the November 2019 premiere. “So I was kind of leaning into something that I don’t normally lean into because I feel like I’m … sometimes I feel like I’m a 22-year-old kid. [Laughs.] So it was different in that respect but yeah, you know, every role is different.”

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