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Melancholia (movie)
Working with the enigmatic Lars von Trier
Working with the enigmatic Lars von Trier

NEW YORK — When actor Willem Dafoe arrived on the Swedish set of Lars von Trier's "Manderlay" a number of years back, the filmmaker asked if they might meet to discuss Dafoe's role. It was far from a typical meeting. Von Trier first asked if Dafoe was a morning person. Then he asked him if he liked to swim. When Dafoe answered yes to both, the director said good; he had a plan. So at 7 a.m. the next morning on an icy late-winter day, Von Trier picked up Dafoe at his hotel and drove them to a frigid lake. PHOTOS: Stars who turned down, or were turned down for, famous roles "We arrived, and it was really cold, but we both stripped down and jumped...