Willem Dafoe Dishes on 'John Carter' Filming

Kim LaCapria

This weekend marks the release of Disney's new film John Carter, starring Taylor Kitsch as the title character and Willem Dafoe as the leader of an alien race.

The film is an adaptation of the book Princess of Mars, and in the screen version, Dafoe plays Tars Tarkas- a nine-foot-tall leader of the alien race the Tharks. Unlike his role in Finding Nemo (Dafoe voiced the tough fish Gill), the actor needed a bit more of a boost from costuming to bring his version of Tars Tarkas to the big screen.

Dafoe spoke to OTRC about his costuming adventures on the set of John Carter, explaining that first, he had to overcome a differential in height to portray the character:

"I got a little help [in the height department]... I wore stilts because I'm a motion-capture character but [Director] Andrew [Stanton] was very insistent on shooting the scene so that the animators could animate too. He wanted the scenes to be realized in the shooting, so that was an interesting process."
"I hope [audiences] enjoy it... It's dense enough and it's got a lot of interesting themes in it, so I think different people are going to enjoy it for different things. That's always suspicious when you hear that, but when I see the movie, I think 'Wow, this has roots, this is not superficial, this addresses certain issues and has some interesting themes."