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Willem Dafoe Asked Emma Stone to Slap Him Nearly 20 Times for Their New Movie (and the Camera Wasn’t Even on Him)

Talk about getting into character. It turns out that while Willem Dafoe, 67, and Emma Stone, 34, were filming their upcoming movie, And, Dafoe asked Stone to slap him on the face around 20 times...and the camera wasn't even capturing it.

Dafoe recently sat down for a profile in The New York Times, and it was in this piece that the on-set tidbit was revealed. In the article, author Susan Dominus talks of Dafoe's commitment to his roles, and that's when she gets to the story from the filming of And: “In one scene, Stone’s character is seen slapping Dafoe’s, who’s meant to be off camera; ordinarily, Stone would make the gesture without an actor present, but Dafoe insisted that the move would look more genuine if he were actually being slapped, and then took the (staged) blow some 20 times.”

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Rodin Eckenroth/Cindy Ord/Getty Images

The director of And, Yorgos Lanthimos, admired Dafoe's dedication in this scene, and he told the NYT, “That’s what you want from actors...to want to be part of it in any way.”

Meanwhile, Stone herself commented on Dafoe's impressive nature, saying, “There’s this instinct to perform that many actors have—the ‘look at me, look at me!’ kind of performer. He’s the opposite of that.” She added, “Maybe it’s changed through the years...a lot of actors I bond with have been doing this for a long time, and you know they’ve gone from ‘I’ to ‘We.’”

Dafoe and Stone actually worked on two films together recently, both directed by Lanthimos. In addition to And (which does not yet have a release date), the pair also acted side-by-side in Poor Things, which is set to premiere this year.

Details of And have been kept very hush-hush, but the official synopsis for Poor Things reads: “Upon drowning herself to escape her abusive husband, a woman has her brain replaced with the brain of her unborn child with the help of her father.”

This will total to three times that Stone has worked with Lanthimos. She previously starred in the Greek filmmaker's hit movie, The Favourite, which earned her an Oscar nom for Best Supporting Actress.

Now we're very curious to see this movie.

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Associate Editor, News and Entertainment

Joel is the Associate Editor for News & Entertainment and has been reporting on all things pop culture for over 5 years. Before working at PureWow, he served as a Features...