Willem Dafoe talks 'The Florida Project' and Oscar buzz

Dafoe appears on "Popcorn With Peter Travers" to talk about his role in "The Florida Project."
19:21 | 11/17/17

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Transcript for Willem Dafoe talks 'The Florida Project' and Oscar buzz
I got a videotape. Of the kids illegally entering utility room. Johnny. Skiing hear. Some in the second week of the summer and there's already been honored dead fish in the pool. Yeah. And water balloons strongman tourists you keep tourists. Last seen me oh my god this is unacceptable. I L doesn't bother you this raised me I'm not hold. And and then talked endlessly. When your friend. Puts you in charge very keen. That kid becomes your responsibility. Ewing taken responsibility. You got that went to choose from few actually address some of the acts. In a redo my expense reports when you witness your kid killed men and I want to watch the ball game you're gonna pay me for three hours ending at work later. Hey guys in the map is reality. Oh yeah. Hi everybody I'm Peter Travers and this is popcorn we we tell you what's happening at the movies and there's a movie now called the Florida project that you have he immediately. You know I don't know exactly how to describe it and I don't think people really should tell you too much so I really don't need my guests Willem Dafoe here to do it. Let's that there Uga. But I wanna say before introducing. That a lot of people are saying he should be nominated for an Academy Award for this I don't agree with that I think he should win. So well there you go out thank you come on Q this is great are you having the daring. To do a movie with six year old children. So OK OK I can learn things and I bet you gets deal. You know the the directors and make a mixes. Actor's new practices older actors. First time winners children and just plain folks. In into its cast. And I knew this was his way of working and I get I get excited but because I think. You know part of your job as an act. Here is. Disappeared on the fabric of the world in this world is very specific and it's helped very much by having people that are non actors in it because it sets the tone of the kind of performance. Says their our in the performances are not. Shall we I don't think and there are they're very rooted very rooted in reality what these kids in particular. I'm very you know they aren't they Dan. Children acting as adults and even children being actors and their children they are planning. Area there's something very. You know clean about what their don't it's not like we. Election on cut around them to give a performance. They're Daryn very present way because he set up the situation. That com. They they felt like they were playing in they would doing things that feeling obligation. You know. Make it big performance or delivering who message are doing a story here. You know they would doing seen icing but let's set this up for those people the Florida project beat that with a name that Disney had when they work. In the planning stages at Disney world in and yeah. I'm the best way without wounding the story for people that I from them don't export spoilers. Is let me describe the world OK it's a world. In case and its Central Florida. It's very close to this center of amusement parks. And it's a series it's a strip with series of motels. On in those motels were budget motels for two hours for many years. And after. The financial crash in the housing crisis lot of people had trouble finding homes once that they could. Make the rent that they could that they had they they want stable enough economically that they could get the down payment or or that security deposit. So they had found a way to live and one of the ways they would live is they go to these cheap motels and lived there many people in the room. And what happens is they become. Temporary longtime residents. And these these motels do exist not only in Central Florida and Miami place they're kind of we of that a bit of that a similar thing with SI arose in the eighties right are in New York City. It's. Away. For them to survive but it's not a very satisfying way because it's very precarious. Life and it's no good have a whole family living in the small motel room. It's not good for the children. In rights. And these are people that. These are people that struggle some of them have jobs but they just can't make it. While we see that did this. The thing that's most moving to me mean that with a can really funny became a really funny. It's it's into the kids I sort of get the idea that it's finger wagging depressing movies aerial. It's very. This week. You know chaos of these children mischievous something I don't know that there are who exactly don't really did just. This is generally well this is they're normal and their kids so where everything is little more tense intense than Lamar exciting a little more know. So I think Sean the director captures that than imagination that mischievous. Ness of these kids living in the motel. That are happening in the out and then as a shadow you see there. There are parents who are struggling to make ends meet you somewhere you you recognize that. If these kids staying in this cycle. They're going to become their parents and they're going to be in the similar situation. Now you've left yourself. If I know you do not play at six hero investment. You aren't pretty manager the magic cats which counts though wonder. If that crop. Not so much Dr. Phil who is this body without anomaly Bob B is the guy that it is a manager he's. Quite normal. Working class guy he's not that different than the people in the month just got a job he's in our paycheck and a and his job is. To on the motel run its monopoly that. He's not. Good hearted guy backed he also why is not. You know he's limited guest where lots of facts in the thing that I can. Use. Here's in the story there's no. Big dramatic scenes really and there's no big transformation. But you do see. I mean he's a complex care. Because he has to deal with people have many different ways and I think what was surprising for me is I just really concentrated on. Rounding them while talent playing this means that that was your method and that I'm actually just violence marred last. Because if it helps you you know very concrete actions and very concrete. You know reason to be. So that's that's how I approached it but with time I started developing relationships with people that I had to do. And those people became my people started to I don't. So those. I'm it was it was an interest in process and I think that also happens in the story. It's the best description of the man because you don't know you're going into this area that you probably know nothing it's the world then those people do become you know yes and you recognize that awesome you recognize that could be you one somewhere deeply. I think you start to wonder what your responsibility. Is that people that. You know have. That struggle you know and how bad facts your web. Well what's it like especially with Brooke you know talk a little bit about her good look at it is known Brooklyn is Mooney who's really central characters is six year old. Guerrero. She's a natural performer as you see when we do Q and eyes after screenings ratios as I've been acting you know. Since I was through. Which is very poised very Smart and she's she can improvise. She's a talented kid but she is to care about all. So working with are the kids you know the real life experience. Informed that fiction because the kids I loved good kids and I love being around them and we made. As you do you make a film particularly on a relocation. Became a family. But also. They were big pain because. In order let me feel free and you know I had to I had to fit in with them I'd it was their world I had do you know deal with them. Intimidated by your body of work are they don't. They don't know but. I maintain once you get in you know even when you admire someone wants use them working. You know it things shift of that concentration on the work and the vegan now. You know that I don't make. That many. Children's I noticed. How well it may sound a little bit but also six zones you know 56 rooms watching blonde. And even necessarily watching. Spider-Man from ten years ago you know. On that's like into history thanks again that he saw green goblins is just. That the two spiders and threats like him yet there's only him. He was around when Jesus. What is what it's better. Yes that's who basically. Covered the waterfront Pittsburgh the kinds of things that you've done. People have this very strange feeling about you that that's that you'd play. Bad guys all the time but you don't you know cupid if you don't civic opinion what she eases you come. Now but this is at the mall compassion you. It's too late Jesus then it really OK and when people bring in up this Oscar talk what how does that affect UV just let it. You know. Be honest it sounds good to me. If you won't throw in a way you don't give one of those little. No more I don't see the point of it and you know this is a small movie. I hope it gets seen and this is where. Critical response. And warm response at festivals house because it shines a light them on a smaller films that. Don't always happy. You know. Placement that let's say a big. Studio film with lots of familiar faces will not. You've done all of those. Kinda things you do if you have done it all but there's something special about this Shaun baker who did the last movie me. I tangerine he basically shot on iPhone yes you you had. They don't and Ripken with 35 and lots and really great DP Alexis. Beautiful beautifully in. Yeah very different than should with a knife. But actually agree with Leah Andrea it really really wonderful move through his way of working. You know he he really roots things with ban the elements that already exist. And in the you know this this movie some people think a lot of its improvised some of it is but we started with a very strong script. And we did shoot the script. And then. Occasionally we go off script and do some other thing I speak with the kids there might be more than one occasion that you would go there weren't there weren't also sometimes. You know lesser light would present itself as the situation you know birds would wander in the parking lot these kinds of things. Order or we'd have to do with. The tourist helicopter that story then was always taking off ruining politics. Sound to assets have been very pleasant all of these things we had to deal with. So. I'm once you're dealing with them you start to accommodate them and accept them into the story and sometimes embraced them and use them today. You know develop the story further. When I'm thinking a view win Oscars and I go back to the first one for platoon. You're nice guys in its true. Sergeant who was a good it's G with compassion. Toward people. But he was also sold in the also killed people I know but it will where have what. All its act he wasn't on the streets mr. you know it's killing people doing. And then of Kuwait where he did chatter of the vampires. You weren't pretty good. I think was just live and his life here. But that. They are not that you had it was just perfect not as beautiful make up yeah and a beautiful opportunity beautiful character. I mean. That was fun because I had such a strong mask you know you've felt differently you move differently he really invites you. Feel different impulses it's actor's dream to be taken away from yourself. That way. And and to create something so that was that was as reiterate from that was really. I don't know about. You're probably right I hate. But you're still the only actor to ever be nominated for an Oscar for playing at. I that is Jewelers half holding back OK let anybody. For now I mean vampires two in. The only other ways and because they had their moments where there but when that happened in those. Two times review and yes I am sure it was a good thing very good thing how very different because like the first time. You know there was a different kind of awareness. You know I remember my son's baby sitter called me up to tell me that I was nominated. You know if Internet. And after the baby sit in noted before I did and the second time. There was a certain anticipation. That was so I was aware of it there was even a certain amount of yeah EU EU at a different awareness just because. The value of the awards is that there's an awareness of when there wasn't when I first started out does it change your life and anyway. Do you get like more offers than you regionally would what happens when it goes up. I'm I think it helps particularly. The Frist on was nominated it. It kind of new lifts you out about the pack a little bit because it. You know it's it's a distinction it's. Something of verification. Of a people's interest in you or there appreciation. And no you don't get too crazy about what it means. You just know that it's it's voted by peers and you know it's it's just like movies it's very many. Factors go into why something and whether the movie is received. Well or not. And you consider those things and view embrace the positive or they don't let the negativity get it down this just sounds like there. You keep me. The gutter like that I have not I'm 200 on the witness anything of Lebanon cameras on new yes and they're saying in the nominees are. And the other guy wins. Yeah woody you know you don't say you're just you're totally okay you don't go well. At least that cats began I think I think listen. I would. That times have been through it before it it's really true you're just happy you take the good you know and to be nominated. Would be great. And if you. Would win that would be the grade that I remember that. As we come to a an ending this there were a martian. And yet it's sad. I want to know you on my want to know why you have. Done that you feel represents you as. With those to a three men. To pick I would refuse I'd say they notable marked I'd say no so he he's so fast that. You know on the I am DB it pays. To track down all the movies if he could find him. And you know it's gotten to examine. Force feed them all the moves and then he could tell me what do you think that's so provide him interest it and there's nobody has ever come up with the idea of strapping them marching down and force feeding him. Your entire. It's less it's like nothing but how you know and and clockwork more you know we'd get the little things that openness what's the to be open and what while the martians watching anti Christ there stub that it would just be. Per cent to crest would be a good ones I would put that I would give the martian. That's a good idea let's it would Peter you can help with this I don't know but one. What would use I mentioned that couple of them all red day. That's an instance they will I think you know to play Jesus that couldn't think. Destroyed. You know. It but yet you came through it. That was won best. Some experiences. But I don't want to be the martian I want the martian to be tortured by any count and that's the way it's gonna be under for now about weekend. As you know in song all. And I am sure it is Sonia art. This morning. I thing. On gone John think not and I are good signs on all I think. It doesn't matter it doesn't matter if they would help but I love to those swingman with a kid when. Between. Their lay eggs. Land I did on their. I found. I hasn't had a perfect cup. Thank you to a faith. I thank you damn you.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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