Some serious character actors may be embarrassed about playing a comic book character, but Willem Dafoe says he's proud of his role as the villain Green Goblin in the "Spider-Man" movies.
The 55-year-old American actor was asked several times about his performances in Hollywood's "Spider-Man" franchise at a news conference at South Korea's Pusan International Film Festival late Friday _ instead of his more critically acclaimed roles in socially conscious dramas like "Platoon" and "Mississippi Burning."
One reporter even apologized for the line of questioning.
"That's part of my story. Don't be sorry. I'm very proud of that movie," Dafoe responded.
The Appleton, Wisconsin native was in Pusan to promote the film noir "A Woman," which was directed by his wife, Italian filmmaker Giada Colagrande. He plays a novelist who is devastated by the death of his wife but also caught up in a new romance.
Dafoe, however, said he has become more adventurous in choosing new parts because he is now an established actor who can afford to take creative risks.
"I feel like I can be a little more reckless," he said.
The veteran actor has kept up a diverse mix of characters in his recent career. Among his latest releases are "Miral," in which he plays an American who witnesses the development of an orphanage for Palestinian children. He also plays a nine-foot (2.5-meter) tall Martian warrior in the animated film "John Carter of Mars."
"I very much am attracted to strong directors, passionate directors, people who are on fire to express their cinema. I am less interested in exercises in style," he said. "I require more adventure and stimulation."
Dafoe said he'd like to work in Asia again. He played a Jesuit missionary who falls in love with a married woman from 1930s Chinese high society in Hong Kong director Yim Ho's 2001 release "Pavilion of Women," which was shot in the Chinese city of Suzhou.
"I'm always looking for opportunities to work in other situations because it always frees you from your cultural orientation and really helps you get to the most basic, the most essential aspects of telling a story or performing or making cinema," he said.