Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 26 April 2015

Alien role is Willem's defence

Willem Dafoe had to walk on stilts for John Carter
Willem Dafoe had to walk on stilts for John Carter

Willem Dafoe has revealed that he enjoyed being "invisible" with his alien role in John Carter.

The Spider-Man star is barely visible in his portrayal of Tars, the leader of the Tharks, in Andrew Stanton's big-screen adaptation of Edgar Rice Burroughs' Barsoom books.

"It's strange because I don't see myself since it's in motion capture, but since we filmed all the scenes, I recognise the work we did. Somewhere secretly I want to disappear, so I was good with it," he said.

"It was just interesting to see myself in a role where you can't physically see me in a role. When you're involved in anything, you get that sense of yourself disappearing - you become the thing, the action. And that's a beautiful sensation because you are joining something bigger than yourself," the actor added.

Willem - who had to walk on three-foot stilts - admitted it was one of most challenging roles of his career.

"It is physically demanding because we were shooting out in the desert primarily and we were on stilts, with a lot of equipment on our bodies. That really affects how you move, and requires a certain amount of stamina," he continued.

"To get yourself up from those stilts was physically impossible by myself so I had to be on the wire. It took great practice and strength to do one little action. But I always like physical roles - those are my favourites."

:: John Carter opens in cinemas on March 9.

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