Everybody knows who Willem Dafoe is, right? He played Sergeant Elias in “Platoon” and Rick Masters, the spooky counterfeiter, in “To Live and Die in L.A.” (among other roles). Well, in the “What I’ve Learned” feature in the March issue of Esquire, Dafoe, a native of Appleton, Wis., tells this story:
“I was really lucky. The father of a friend of mine had tickets, and he said to his son, ‘Who do you want to invite along?’ That’s how I got to go to the Ice Bowl. I felt really guilty. I was a Green Bay Packers fan, but I was 12 years old, and there were people who would have killed for that ticket. I was so worried about being cold [minus-40-degree wind-chill] that I put on so many socks that I think I cut off the circulation in my feet. I must’ve gotten frostbite. When I got home, my feet were screaming pain. Only in retrospect do you appreciate how fantastic that game was.”
Cool, huh? While Cowboys Hall of Famer Bob Hayes was running pass routes with his hands in his pants, the guy who would go on to play Jesus in “The Last Temptation of Christ” was freezing his butt off in the stands at Lambeau Field, watching Vince Lombardi’s last championship team rally to beat Dallas on Bart Starr’s famed quarterback sneak.
(To which Bob Cohn, the former Washington Timesman who’s now at the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, says: “Well, that explains why he often plays such chilling characters.”)