Willem Dafoe has heaped praise on controversial Danish filmmaker Lars Von Trier as the director battles a sexual harassment scandal surrounding his film studio.
The Platoon star collected his honorary Golden Bear for lifetime achievement at the Berlin Film Festival in Germany on Tuesday night (20Feb18) and singled out his Antichrist director as one moviemaker he’d like to work with again when reporters quizzed him about his top movies.
The Grand Budapest Hotel star insisted he doesn’t pick favorites, but admitted he really enjoyed the three films he has made with von Trier – Manderlay, Antichrist, and Nymphomaniac Vol II.
“Lars has got a beautiful command of what is cinematic,” Willem told Deadline. “He’s one of the greats. I hope to work with him again. The experiences I had with him, I really enjoyed him.
“He’s a good example of someone who is passionate and has a command and is fun to be around.”
Dafoe’s praise comes three months after Danish authorities launched an investigation into allegations of sexual harassment at Zentropa, the film studio von Trier co-founded.
Officials from the country’s Working Environment Authority confirmed they had launched a probe into the workplace culture at the company amid allegations of “sexual harassment, degradation and bullying”.
Nine women, including Louise Foldager Sorensen who produced Von Trier’s films Antichrist and Melancholia, made allegations against former chief executive Peter Aalbaek Jensen, 61, in Denmark’s Politiken newspaper. The female employees accused the film executive of presiding over a culture of inappropriate behavior, as well as arranging, “Several sexually degrading acts on stage at the company Christmas party.”
Jensen, who founded the company with Von Trier in 1992, stepped down as chief executive in 2016. He told Politiken that although he could not remember specific incidents they, “Probably happened”.
Von Trier has also been accused of inappropriate behavior on set by musician Bjork, who starred in his 2000 movie Dancer in the Dark. She alleged the director made unwanted sexual advances towards her – claims Von Trier has denied.