Some people watch the Super Bowl simply for the commercials, and this year Willem Dafoe’s Snickers spot is hilariously delicious, as it sees the award-winning actor channeling Marilyn Monroe from The Seven Year Itch. In what’s considered one of the most iconic scenes (and dresses) in movie history, Monroe dons a white dress by costume designer William Travilla while standing above a subway grating blowing the dress up. Dafoe stars as Monroe in the midst of filming the famous sequence from the 1955 film, but he’s annoyed by the process — until he eats a Snickers bar. Then he’s perfectly content — and also no longer Willem Dafoe as Grumpy Marilyn, Entertainment Weekly notes.
“I have to admit playing a Hollywood bombshell is a new challenge for me,” Dafoe said in a statement. “But as a huge fan of Marilyn Monroe, I just couldn’t resist the opportunity to take a walk in her shoes and famous white dress.”
— Entertainment Weekly (@EW) February 3, 2016
Watch Dafoe in the ad below, which features a cameo by actor Eugene Levy at the end, and no doubt cost the brand an estimated $5 million to air the 30-second commercial in between the Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers game this Sunday on CBS.
“Super Bowl 50 is a celebration of this game’s amazing history, so we wanted to bring our A-game with a new ‘You’re Not You When You’re Hungry’ commercial that’s appropriately epic. It doesn’t get much bigger — or better — than combining one of the most legendary moments in movie history from the iconic Marilyn Monroe with some modern day icons of our own,” said Snickers brand director Allison Miazga-Bedrick.
Those who find the ads more exciting than the game can skip it altogether and watch most of the Super Bowl commercials online now. The spots feature celebrities such as Liam Neeson for LG, Drake for T-Mobile, Christopher Walken for Kia, and Amy Schumer and Seth Rogan for Bud Light. The Daily Beast also listed their top 15 Super Bowl 2016 ads, and Lionsgate has released the anticipated Gods of Egypt Super Bowl spot.
Willem Dafoe began his career in the early 80s and won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for Platoon in 1986 and Shadow of the Vampire in 2000. His other notable credits include To Live and Die in LA. (1985), The Last Temptation of Christ (1988), The English Patient (1996), The Life Aquatic (2004), the Spider-Man trilogy (2002–07) and The Fault in Our Stars (2014). He was recently cast in Frank Hudec’s The Sleeping Shepherd, starring Michael Pitt, Imogen Poots, and Isabelle Huppert. The film is inspired by the true life story of notorious art thief Stephane Breitwieser, who “admitted to stealing 239 works of art from 172 museums and exhibits across Europe beginning in 1995 until he was caught in 2001,” reports ComingSoon.
One curious omission to Dafoe’s credits is television, with the exception of lending his voice to two episodes of The Simpsons. He explained the reason for this in 2014.
“I don’t watch TV,” he told the U.K. Telegraph. “Now people say it’s the golden age of TV – everyone tells me that’s where it’s at – I don’t believe them. I think it’s still escapist entertainment and it’s a product that’s made for… you know, for a specific public. I believe we have to be led and challenged by crazy people that aren’t thinking about the public, they’re getting something off their chest. They make things and then they push us to something else.”
During an interview last year with director Wes Anderson, the two artists discussed the exciting process of discovering new ways to tell cinematic stories.
“For me the best thing about movies is the shift of seeing it’s not so much to reassure you what you already know but to remind you of what you’ve forgotten or kick-start your imagination in a way you didn’t think of before, whether it’s a fantasy or a gritty realistic style of movie,” Dafoe explained.
Willem Dafoe has perfected the art of playing eccentric, villainous characters, and then jetting off to do something avant-garde for the international stage. His recreation of Marilyn Monroe’s infamous skirt-blowing scene was produced by the BBDO agency in New York. His last Super Bowl appearance was in the lavish 2013 Mercedes-Benz spot.
[Images via D Dipasupil/Getty Images for Miu Miu/Twitter]