This week sees the eagerly-anticipated release in the UK on Sean Baker’s wonderful new film, The Florida Project. Met with almost universal acclaim when it debuted at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year, the film could be a big player through this year’s awards season and we had the pleasure of chatting the cast and filmmaker about the film recently to chat about the film.
Next up is the legendary Willem Dafoe who stars as Bobby, manager, and proprietor of a local motel that is in touching distance of DisneyWorld where a group of precocious young kids spends their days causing him mischief and mayhem. For Dafoe, the film presented some new challenges for all involved but said the script won him over almost immediately, saying:
“When I saw the script it was strong and I knew how Sean (Baker) was going to make it – he was going to mix real elements with fictional elements and we were going to shoot in an actual motel that really was the world we are talking about.”
Dafoe is perhaps the “known” name in the film given that the rest of the ensemble is made up of younger actors and, in Bria Vinante’s case, someone who has never acted before. But Dafoe says that working around people from different places and with different energies allowed the film to blossom, saying:
“It’s fun to work with people who come from a range of experiences… You’re always looking for that wonder and what drives any creative endeavour and performing is always this sense of wonder and discovery and learning something and I can only find that when you mix it up with people that are different than you. And when you mix it up like that it explodes those things.”
He’s a busy man too right now, with Kenneth Branagh’s Murder on the Orient Express now in cinemas but one big project many people are excited for is Aquaman, the first big-screen adaptation of the comic-book with Jason Momoa in the lead. He may well pop up in Justice League in a couple of weeks but for now, Dafoe says that his experience on the stand-alone film was fantastic, saying:
“Every movie is different and when you say ‘step back’ into the ‘comic-book world’ I’ve made some movies since that felt like comic-books! James Wan is a really strong filmmaker – it’s complicated as there’s a lot of underwater stuff but the fun thing is that it’s a different way of working – with effects, in harnesses, floating and flying around but it felt good and it should be an interesting movie.”
Check out the full interview below:
The Florida Project is in UK cinemas on November 10th.