Art & Entertainment

Willem Dafoe Became Farmer During Hollywood Actors Strike

Willem Dafoe has revealed that he turned into a "gentleman farmer" during the Hollywood actors strike.

Willem Dafoe

Actors Willem Dafoe has revealed that he turned into a "gentleman farmer" during the Hollywood actors strike.

The star had no work for almost four months last year when the SAG-AFTRA actors union staged a walkout over pay and conditions and Dafoe has revealed he used his downtime to focus on farming - tending to the animals at his estate in Italy and growing vegetables.

"I love to work and it was longer than I like to go. I never know how much to talk about this. Basically, let's say, I was a gentleman farmer ... (I have) lots of animals (and a vegetable garden) ...I'm basically a vegetarian, so I do it just for the pleasure of their company and to try to give them a good life, which is a little naive," he told the 'The Guardian'.

As well as keeping chickens and turkey, Dafoe and his wife Giada Colagrande also have goats and sheep but he admits he has a very special relationship with his alpacas, reports

The actor added of his menagerie, "Each (alpaca) is very distinct. With sheep and goats, some you know well, some have names and they really stick, but some are just sheep and goats. But every alpaca, you have a whole particular relationship with, and you know their character."

He went on to say, "I wake up, I hit the ground running. My day is dedicated to doing things and taking care of things. Idle hands are the devil's workshop, what can I tell ya?"

Dafoe also explained why he doesn't like to talk about his farm too much, admitting he's worried others may think he's boring. He told the outlet, "I remember one of the first movies I was in (1980's 'Heaven's Gate'). I had never been in a studio or Hollywood movie before. I was used to being with the downtown crowd in New York, in a very fertile period."

"When I went on set, I thought everybody would be talking about poetry and film and philosophy. And everybody was talking about their dogs and their horses and their ranches, and I thought, this is a drag, ya know? And now, I've become one of them."