Spider-Man: No Way Home Star Reveals How Willem Dafoe 'Scared Everyone' on Set

By Aeron Mer Eclarinal Posted:
Willem Dafoe as Green Goblin, No Way Home logo

Spider-Man: No Way Home is filled with interesting characters, and one of them is Willem Dafoe's Norman Osborn a.k.a. Green Goblin. Dafoe first made his Marvel debut during 2002's Spider-Man alongside Tobey Maguire's version of the web-slinger. After 19 years, the veteran actor returns in a sinister fashion in the MCU threequel, with fans and critics praising his impressive performance. 

As part of the botched spell from Doctor Strange (thanks to Peter Parker's meddling), Dafoe's Green Goblin was transported to the MCU. Many would agree that the iconic villain's Marvel comeback was a welcome sight, especially after his classic debut in the Sam Raimi-directed movie. 

In the weeks leading to its threequel's premiere, different stories have slowly emerged about Dafoe's significant presence on and off the camera. Tom Holland recalled his scary first encounter with the actor while also teasing his intense fight scene with Dafoe's classic villain. 

Now, as the film joins the $1 billion club at the global box office, another interesting tidbit has emerged about Dafoe. 

Willem Dafoe's Impressive No Way Home Performance

Spider-Man, Green Goblin

Spider-Man: No Way Home stars Tom Holland and Zendaya sat down with Marvel Entertainment to talk about Willem Dafoe's return in the threequel. 

When referring to Dafoe, Holland first admitted that he "never worked with an actor who was able to give a director so many options," citing the scene where Goblin taunted Peter Parker inside Happy's apartment. Zendaya agreed, saying that the actor "scared the hell out of everyone" on set. 

Holland: "I've never worked with an actor who was able to give a director so many options. He has this one speech in the film where he's talking about Peter's kind of existential crisis. And he—"

Zendaya: "Scared the hell out of everyone, to be honest."

The scene's dialogue reads as: 

"Peter. You’re struggling to have everything you want while the world tries to make you choose."

Holland then revealed that Dafoe filmed the scene "30 times and they were all different." Zendaya continued by praising Dafoe's duality as both being lovely and terrifying while mimicking Green Goblin's voice: 

Holland: "He must have done the scene 30 times and they were all different."

Zendaya: "The coolest thing is that everyone's so lovely, and then they just play these very evil characters. He's so good at just like, just being lovely— you know, ‘Hey how are you?’ And then, [mimics Green Goblin voice,] like whoa."

No Way Home's Behind-the-Scenes Spectacle

Holland and Zendaya's latest comments solidify Dafoe's impressive versatility onscreen and behind the scenes.  

The aforementioned scene that is being referred to in the interview above is No Way Home's turning point, meaning that it has to have a significant shift. In the film, many would agree that Dafoe's chilling speech combined with his Green Goblin voice managed to cement the tonal shift of the movie. 

The fact that Dafoe filmed the scene "30 times" essentially establishes his passion for the Green Goblin role. It's possible that Dafoe delivered different lines throughout filming in order to find the best possible outcome for that specific moment. 

It's also worth mentioning that this scene also includes the rest of the villainous ensemble of the movie, giving much more weight to Zendaya's comment of scaring the hell out of "everyone." This means that Dafoe's Green Goblin stands out among the rest, which makes sense since he is No Way Home's main villain

Dafoe's Marvel villain has many standout moments in No Way Home, but it seems that this specific moment will likely be remembered due to Holland and Zendaya's interesting remarks. 

Spider-Man: No Way Home is now playing in theaters worldwide. 

- In This Article: Spider-Man: No Way Home
Release Date
December 17, 2021
- About The Author: Aeron Mer Eclarinal
Aeron is a news/features writer and Content Lead for The Direct who has been working for the site since March 2020. From writing about the inter-connectivity of the Marvel Cinematic Universe to having an extended knowledge about DC TV's Arrowverse, Aeron's expertise has since expanded into the realm of reality TV, K-drama, animated, and live-action shows from Netflix,  Disney+, Prime Video, MGM+, Peacock, Paramount+, and Max. When he isn't writing and watching all things MCU, Aeron is heavily invested with the NBA (go Celtics!) and occasionally watches thrilling matches in the WWE.