Our Intimate Conversation with the Versatile and Accomplished Actor
Monday, September 16th, 2019 is a day I’ll always remember. It’s the day I got up early enough that Starbucks had no line (5 am), the time I met Willem Dafoe, and the morning I got a phone call on the way to our shoot that my grandfather had died. This is sad for many reasons, but mostly because he’s the only person I’m related to who reads my stuff. But, don’t get sappy, because this isn’t a sad story. This is a piece about hope, courage, honor, and Willem Dafoe (stick with me, I promise it all ties together in the end).
A gentleman always…”Thinks of others,” says Dafoe—a sentiment I wholeheartedly agree with and how I try and lead by example. We’re on set at The McKittrick Hotel, home of the immersive theater spectacle Sleep No More, the year-round rooftop bar Gallow Green, a jazz-age-inspired speakeasy called Manderley Bar, and a restaurant and performance space they call The Club Car. Renowned for its one-of-a-kind experiences, The McKittrick is one of New York City’s premier entertainment and dining venues, home to live concerts, intimate music festivals, and spectacular soirées. Today, it serves as the backdrop to our fall cover shoot with the legendary Willem Dafoe. Having made over one hundred films in his career, Dafoe’s natural adventurousness is internationally respected for bringing versatility, boldness, and dare to some of the most iconic films of our time. Whether he’s playing an elite assassin who’s a mentor to Keanu Reeves in the neo-noir John Wick or the obsessed FBI agent in the cult classic The Boondock Saints, Dafoe’s artistic curiosity in exploring the human condition leads him to projects large and small all over the world.
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Photography by Daniel D’Ottavio
Video by Nick Urteaga / Coastal Flicks
Words by Kara Studzinski
Styling by Chloe Hartstein
Grooming by Benjamin Thigpen at Statement Artists using Oribe and ReVive Skincare
Assistant Stylist Michael Tong
Shot on location The McKittrick Hotel,
Gallow Green and on the set of Sleep No More