Willem Dafoe

Willem Dafoe

Willem Dafoe portrayed Norman Osborn/Green Goblin in Spider-Man, Spider-Man 2 and Spider-Man 3.

Significant roles

  • Eric "Rick" Masters in To Live and Die in L.A. (1985)
  • Sgt. Elias in Platoon (1986)
  • Jesus in The Last Temptation of Christ (1988)
  • Salamo Arouch in Mississipi Burning (1989)
  • Frank Dulaney in Body of Evidence (1993)
  • Tom Eliot in Tom & Viv (1994)
  • David Caravaggio in The English Patient (1995)
  • John Geiger in Speed 2: Cruise Control (1997)
  • X in New Rose Hotel (1998)
  • Gas in eXistenZ (1999)
  • Det. Donald Kimball in American Psycho (2000)
  • Max Schreck in Shadow of a Vampire (2000)
  • Gill in Finding Nemo (2003)
  • Barillo in Once Upon a Time in Mexico (2003)
  • Roland Sweet in The Aviator (2004)
  • Capt. John Darius in Inside Man (2006)
  • Carson Clay in Mr. Bean's Holiday (2007)
  • Ray Ruby in Go Go Tales (2007)
  • He in Antichrist (2009)
  • Rat in Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009)
  • Gavner Purl in Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant (2009)
  • Eddie in Miral (2010)
  • Cisco in 4:44 Last Day on Earth (2011)
  • Tars Tarkas in John Carter (2012)
  • The Buddha in Tomorrow You're Gone (2012)


  • "Basically, the Goblin is not a reflective character; he's all action and he pushes the action along. And any time he sits out of it too much and comments on it too much, he becomes a little flabby and a little jokey. Sometimes when we were filming, Sam would cut me loose and I'd fool around. But that kind of stuff never made it to the film."
  • "Initially the green plating could become transparent -- there was all this circuitry under it and all these lights and things. But once we started playing around with it, it just looked too busy. Also, there was a jetpack sort of thing on my back -- this big sort of hard backpack so I could be under my own power. But it just seemed too bulky and we really lost the line of the design of the character. So that went bye-bye as well. The mask is very much designed for my face. If you really look at it, it's an extreme cartoon version of my face. The nose and the cheekbones and the shape of it are like very extreme versions of my face."
  • "It's fun to do that Dr. Jekyll-and-Mr. Hyde kind of playing because we all recognize it. We recognize it from, you know, the battle of the little angel and the little devil on our shoulders in the cartoons. It's pretty much that."
  • "It's funny, I really enjoyed working on Spider-Man, but when I was finished with it, it really kind of completed something for me. Maybe. I don't really have an opinion one way or another to tell you the truth."
  • "I think Spider-Man is probably the most widely seen movie I've ever done. But then there's other movies - It really depends on their age. It's interesting, you can tell from someone's background usually. What is the period they go to see movies and what kind of movies they see. How they see you is clearly a reflection of the kind of movies they see!"
  • "I have lots of thoughts. Where do I start? I haven't seen it. I don't know what to say. I will say that I did see the preview and I was kind of shocked at how it's another version of exactly the same story. Surprising. I wish them well, but I think it's hard to beat the charm, the naive charm, of the first one. There's never really any possibility of going back."
  • "I saw a trailer for the first Spider-Man reboot and I thought, ‘This is crazy! It’s not shot for shot, but it’s the same story. I thought, ‘This is sort of a cynical approach to making money!’ "
  • "It really was very pure. The way Sam Raimi approached it, it was pure in its intentions and I think he captured, particularly, Tobey at that particular moment."
  • "You know, in the theatre, people play the same role all the time. I don’t know anything about it, really."