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Willem Dafoe honored with star on Hollywood Walk of Fame

By Issy Ronald, CNN

(CNN) — Actor Willem Dafoe, who has appeared in almost 150 films throughout his long career, has been honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, the first such event this year.

“It’s real humbling to be here and to be part of this,” he said on Monday, gesturing at the Hollywood Boulevard.

“It’s wonderful to be part of this community of artists and entertainers, people that by sharing their experience and imagining others’ perspectives… make us feel closer to each other and connect us,” he added.

As one of Hollywood’s most versatile actors, Dafoe has played roles ranging from a loquacious lighthouse keeper in “The Lighthouse” to a gangster in David Lynch’s “Wild At Heart” and Vincent van Gogh in “At Eternity’s Gate.” Most recently, he’s portrayed a maverick scientist in Yorgos Lanthimos’ “Poor Things.”

He has received four Oscar nominations – one for best actor following his portrayal of Van Gogh and three for best supporting actor.

Speeches from fellow Hollywood stars Pedro Pascal and Patricia Arquette during the ceremony paid tribute to Dafoe’s generosity and talent, with Pascal calling him “the greatest American actor in our lifetime.”

Dafoe then unveiled the star on the boulevard, commemorating his prodigious body of work that has seen him inhabit so many different characters.

But, after more than 40 years of acting, Dafoe told CNN in 2020 that he is still seeking variety to keep himself honest.

“The thing about acting is it’s so easy for corruption to set in,” he said.

“For a kind of routine approach, or to go to your bag of tricks – just like life. That’s the lockstep for an actor. You’ve got to find ways to wake yourself up and break yourself out of the routine.”

“But I don’t think of myself as a risk taker, I’ve just got a healthy restlessness,” he added. “I feel compelled to try to mix it up.”

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