HOLLYWOOD ACTOR WILLEM [email protected] PEOPLE POWER REVOLUTION – Feb 25, 1986

FILE PHOTO: During the filming of Oliver Stone’s Platoon at a location near Manila, actors Willhem Dafoe, Charlie Sheen and Tom Berenger pose after a key scene in the movie which later became a classic about the Vietnam War. (Photo by Roland Neveu/LightRocket via Getty Images)
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WATCH VIDEO:

Willem Dafoe Breaks Down His Career, from ‘The Boondock Saints’ to ‘Spider-Man’ | Vanity Fair

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b5fNif_WGdc
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LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - DECEMBER 13: Willem Dafoe attends Sony Pictures'

FILE PHOTO: Willem Dafoe attends Sony Pictures’ “Spider-Man: No Way Home” Los Angeles Premiere on December 13, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)

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Willem Dafoe recalls joining EDSA Revolution during Platoon production

Filipinos convened on Friday (February 25) for the 36th commemoration of the People Power Revolution. Echoing what happened in 1986, leading to the ousting of dictator Ferdinand Marcos, protestors all across the Philippines united for truth and justice for the 2022 national elections and beyond. But one surprising participant in the original EDSA Revolution, however, was world-renowned Hollywood actor Willem Dafoe.

While discussing his career highlights with Vanity Fair in 2019, the Spider-Man and The Lighthouse star recalled the “incredible feeling” of joining the movement while working on the movie Platoon, directed by Oliver Stone.

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PHILIPPINES - 1986/01/01: During the filming of Oliver Stone's Platoon at a location near Manila, actors Willhem Dafoe, Charlie Sheen and Tom Berenger pose after a key scene in the movie which later became a classic about the Vietnam War.. (Photo by Roland Neveu/LightRocket via Getty Images)FILE PHOTO: During the filming of Oliver Stone’s Platoon at a location near Manila, actors Willhem Dafoe, Charlie Sheen and Tom Berenger pose after a key scene in the movie which later became a classic about the Vietnam War. (Photo by Roland Neveu/LightRocket via Getty Images)

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“For about three to four days, me and a couple of other people that were there ahead of time were out in the streets with the people, and it was an incredible feeling because it was a revolution that happened, for the most part, without violence,” the actor eagerly recalled.

At the time, production for the 1986 war movie was stalled due to the ongoing protests against Marcos’ regime: the result of several years of state-sponsored killings and tortures, forced disappearances, and later a rigged election that courted the ire of the Filipino people.

Dafoe initially thought that the movie was “canceled” and that he was advised to “sit tight” while waiting for a flight home. However, production resumed after Marcos and his family fled to Hawaii and shooting was completed after 54 days.

Stone, known for directing Wall Street and Born on the Fourth of July, later wrote in his memoir, Chasing the Light, that the political situation at the time nearly canned the film.

“We were in a bind. It would cost a fortune and probably kill the film to relocate. The best solution was to stall, not panic. Amid the political turmoil, we pushed the start date some three weeks later to 20 March, which would cost us significant money, though for once we had a real contingency fund of ten per cent to tide us over,” the filmmaker recalled.

In addition to intense training sessions and interference from the United States government, Stone said that some actors dropped-out due to the EDSA Revolution. However, new cast members quickly joined the production, while Dafoe (with co-leads Tom Berenger and Charlie Sheen) remained.

Released on March 18, 1987, Platoon would be warmly received by critics and would later bag four Oscar wins (including Best Picture and Best Director for Stone).

For his performance as Sgt. Elias, Dafoe was nominated for the first time for Best Supporting Actor (alongside Berenger, who played Sgt. Barnes). Dafoe would later be nominated again for the same category for Shadow of the Vampire (2000) and The Florida Project (2017). That is until he is nominated for Best Actor for his performance in 2018’s At Eternity’s Gate.

Meme of Willem Dafoe's Green Goblin at EDSA Revolution. (Source: 9gag.com)Meme of Willem Dafoe’s Green Goblin at EDSA Revolution. (Source: 9gag.com)

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Even more than two years after the interview, Dafoe’s anecdote would inspire memes as a nod to the actor’s brief participation in the protests. Among these include an image of Dafoe’s Green Goblin being edited in an EDSA Revolution picture.

·Contributor
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Reuben Pio Martinez is a news writer who covers stories on various communities and scientific matters. He regularly tunes-in to local happenings. The views expressed are his own.
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