Actor Willem Dafoe made his grand return to the screen as the Spider-Man villain the Green Goblin in the newest franchise installment, Spider-Man: No Way Home. Before agreeing to reprise the role though, the 66-year-old wanted to make sure that he would not simply stand on the sidelines— instead, he wished to perform action sequences and maintain an integral role in the film.
“I just was concerned about how contrived it was or whether it was just like a power cameo, a reference,” Dafoe says in an interview with Mulderville. “I really was worried that I wouldn’t have something to do.”
“To do this physical stuff was important to me,” Dafoe continues. “One of the first things I said to Jon [Watts] and Amy [Pascal], basically when they pitched it to me, before there was even a script, was, ‘Listen, I don’t want to just pop in there as a cameo or just fill in in close-ups. I want to do the action because that’s fun for me’.”
For him, it was a matter of not only expanding on the character he first played nearly 20 years ago, but also maintaining the integrity of the original villain. It would all be for naught if he could not jump on his air glider and zoom around in the full suit.
“It’s really impossible to add any integrity or any fun to the character if you don’t participate in these things because all that action stuff informs your relationship to the characters and the story, and also it makes you earn your right to play the character,” Dafoe says.
Dafoe was not the only actor to revive their role in the latest feature, joining Alfred Molina as Doc Ock. The two each challenge Peter Parker (Tom Holland), Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch), Sandman (Thomas Haden Church), The Lizard (Rhys Ifans), and Electro (Jamie Foxx).
Spider-Man: No Way Home is currently showing in theaters.