I met Willem Dafoe and had an unexpected conversation with him. (Photo: Elena Tubaro on Flickr)
In a warm Buenos Aires summer night i ran into, in the Palermo neighborhood of Buenos Aires, with the American actor Willem Dafoe.
Christmas 2008 was special in many ways. It was the second time that these very marked dates found me somewhere remote in the World, in the middle of a long trip. I was in Argentina. More specifically, in Buenos Aires.
Planning my South American adventure that would take me to travel almost the entire continent in 7 months, I decided to rent a flat in the charismatic and lively neighborhood of Palermo.
There I spent two weeks of very hot daytime and pleasant night beers on the crowded terraces.
The dead time we had - the heat made the nap and rest even more sacred than in Spain - we spent watching TV while the air conditioner made great efforts to look good.
That week before Christmas Eve, one of the movie channels aired movies like Platoon, Spiderman Y LA Confidential. The common denominator of all of them was a good actor whose face, due to the marks and hard features, is unmistakable: Willem Dafoe.
My travel companion was rather null in cinema but I explained a little about who this guy was and told him about other films in which he participated, such as Mississippi burns Y Streets of Fire.
One Tuesday night before New Year's Eve, Chicco - that's my partner's name - and I would come back from dinner and go around the neighborhood. The night was too hot and at 2 in the morning most restaurants were still open, serving a few dinners and many other drinks.
Right outside the door of a good corner restaurant, Willem Dafoe was standing alone, having a red wine in its glass cup.
Willem Dafoe is not the only famous one you can find in Buenos Aires. Here Maradona in the Mouth. But he didn't talk to me
I recognized him from a distance, but Chicco didn't do it until he almost had it on him. He nudged me just by leaving him behind and said: "Hey! That was the one on TV! ”. I confirmed his suspicions and advised him not to say anything, thinking about the classic aura of greatness attributed to Hollywood stars.
Chicco passed from me and disregarded the few meters that separated us from the actor. He stood in front of him and said in very good English: “I have seen you on my tv… Platoon”. I, coward, contemplated the image, incredulous, a few meters away. He was looking at Willem's face to see his reaction.
Well, uncle laughed and began to chat animatedly with Chicco. A few seconds later I met them.
The talk with Willem Dafoe seemed to be happening with someone else. That is, the uncle not only turned out to be very nice and open, but also asked us about our trip and the places we had visited. Let's see ... If the star is you! A crack.
We started speaking in English but, telling me he was there with his Italian wife, I asked him if he spoke any Italian. He said yes and, without knowing how, we both switched to Italian to Chicco's disgust.
He talked to us a lot and well about his wife, an Italian director named Giada Colagrande which I was accompanying in the recording of a film set in Buenos Aires. We also talk about our trips, the love he feels for Spain and Italy -particularly for its wines and meals-, its filming in our country, and the actors that we have exported to American mecca. Penelope Cruz liked him quite well, but Javier Bardem only told us that his English was not good enough to have had much conversation with him. We start laughing.
We are still there, standing in the deserted street, speaking quietly as if we knew something. At fifteen minutes his beautiful wife appeared with another friend and touched his shoulder to get his attention: "Willem, dobbiamo andare via". Then he presented it to us and said goodbye to us wishing us the best in the months of travel ahead of us.
We react in time to tell him that his wife was doing well with her new movie and him with whatever he had in his hands.
He left without even thinking about how good it would have been to have a camera on hand. Better that way, it might have ruined the moment. We left the idea of returning home and went straight to a bar to celebrate with beer this exciting event of the trip.
A great guy Willem Dafoe. A few nights later we would meet - and talk - with another big one, Ricardo Darin. But that I tell you another day.