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Five Favorite Willem Dafoe Roles


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Today, we are having a Willem Dafoe double feature. Why? Because we like you! Up first is “The Clearing” at 4 p.m. ET. The dramatic thriller is the directorial debut by Dutch film producer Pieter Jan Brugge. It stars Robert Redford as an affluent executive Wayne Hayes who lives an idyllic life with his lovely wife Eileen (Helen Mirren). Then Wayne is kidnapped by disgruntled employee Arnold Mack (Willem Dafoe) and held for ransom in a forest while Eileen has to reckon with the FBI agents as they negotiate with the kidnapper. It’s a tense thriller, and the cast is, of course, brilliant. You’ll need a few hours to recover, so do some stretches, watch “Malcolm in the Middle” and then at 8 p.m. ET we’re showing “Boondock Saints.” The film stars Willem Dafoe as a gay FBI agent determined to catch two brothers waging a vigilante holy war in Boston. There is one thing no one can about Willem Dafoe: He knows how to pick a part. From He in Lars Von Trier’s “Antichrist” to Klaus Daimler in “The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou” to Jesus in “The Last Temptation of Christ,” Dafoe has a knack for nailing memorable roles. And his role as Tars Tarkas in the upcoming “John Carter” looks like it will continue the trend. Let’s make a list.

Here are five of our favorite Willem Dafoe roles:

1. FBI agent Paul Smecker in “The Boondock Saints”
(Did we mention that it airs tonight at 8 p.m. ET?)

2. Sgt. Elias in “Platoon”

3. Max Shreck in “Shadow of the Vampire”

4. Bobby Peru in “Wild at Heart”

5. Green Goblin in “Spiderman”

BONUS (What? With a career this incredible we couldn’t pick just five. We’re human beings after all):

Rat in “Fantastic Mr. Fox”

“The Clearing” airs on IFC today at 4 PM ET; Sunday, Mar. 4 at 8:15 AM ET and at 2:45 PM ET; Tuesday, Mar. 20 at 8:45 AM ET and at 4 PM ET

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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at

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Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

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