Tonight, Willem Dafoe has been nominated for Best Actor in a Supporting Role for his work in The Florida Project. The actor earned the same nod at the 2018 Golden Globes, and at the BAFTA Awards.
If past red carpet serve as any indication, the 62-year-old will be attending tonight’s Oscars with his wife, Giada Colagrande.
Read on to learn more about Giada Colagrande.
1. She Is an Italian Director & Actress
Colagrande is an Italian film director and actress. In 2001, she wrote, directed, and starred in her first film at age 26, “Aprimi il Cuore”, meaning “Open My Heart”. The movie premiered at the Venice Film Festival in 2002. It was accepted to other festivals, including the Tribeca Film Festival, and Paris Cinema, among others.
According to Vogue, Willem and Giada met at the premiere of the film.
Colagrande went on to make her second feature film in 2005. The movie was called Before It Had a Name, and co-wrote and co-starred Willem Dafoe. It opened at Venice and was distributed worldwide by Millenium (the title was changed to Black Widow.)
2. They Married a Year After They Met
It didn’t take long for Dafoe to pop the question. The couple married on March 25, 2005; one year after they met.
The Florida Project actor shares with Vogue, “We were having lunch and I said: ‘Do you want to get married tomorrow?'”. The next morning, the two tied the knot, with their two best friends serving as witnesses.
Asked by the outlet what their “secret” is, Giada says, “A strong sense of complicity and a shared passion for cinema…. The collaboration I’ve got with Willem is idea… Intense, pure, without interference.”
3. She Is His Second Wife
Colagrande is Dafoe’s second wife. From 1977 to 2004, he was married to Elizabeth LeCompte, a founding member of The Wooster Group, an experimental company based in New York City.
In 1982, Dafoe and LeCompte founded The Performance Group, another NYC-based experimental group.
LeCompte was born and raised in New Jersey. She received her BA in Fine Arts from Skidmore. She has given lectures and taught at American University, the Art Institute of Chicago, Columbia University, Connecticut College, the Lincoln Center Theatre Directors Lab, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, New York University, Northeastern University, the O’Neill Center, Smith College, the University of London, and the Yale School of Drama.
LeCompte’s work as an artist and academic has won her many awards, including the National Endowment for the Arts Distinguished Artists Fellowship for Lifetime Achievement in the American Theater, the MacArthur Fellowship, the Chevalier des Artes et Lettres from the French Cultural Ministry, a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship, a United States Artists Fellowship, and an Anonymous Was A Woman Award, among others.
4. Dafoe Has One Son with His First Wife
Willem has one son with LeCompte, named Jack. He is 36. According to Woman’s World, Jack is a Yale graduate and public-policy researcher.
In 2007, Jack worked for the New York City Apollo Alliance, which “brings together unions, green groups, and environmental justice and community-based organizations.” Speaking to Paper Magazine, Jack shared, “We’re the first organization to focus on renewable energy and job creation. We need to address global warming, and if we do that, we’ll create a lot of jobs at the same time.”
He also told the outlet about his goals for the future. “I would love to see more people who are thinking about these eco-issues in their lives and more broadly about what they want this city to look like, long-term.”
5. She Studied in Italy, Switzerland, and Australia
Colagrande was born in Pescara, Italy in 1975. She studied across the world, in countries like Italy, Switzerland, and Australia.
According to her biography, Giada moved to Rome and started making documentaries and video art on contemporary art.
For three years from 1997 to 2000, Colagrande was part of an art project called Volume where she “made videos on the works of Jannis Kounellis, Alfredo Pirri, Bernhard Rudiger, Nunzio, Raimund Kummer, Gianni Dessi, Maurizio Savini and Sol Lewitt.”
Colagrande continues to work with her husband. In 2010, she wrote and directed her third feature film, A Woman, starring the actor alongside Jess Weixler and Stefania Rocca. Two years later, she worked on Bob Wilson’s Life & Death of Marina Abramovic, which also starred Willem Dafoe and premiered at the Venice Film Festival.
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