‘An incredible feeling,’ Actor Willem Dafoe says of experiencing EDSA revolution while filming ‘Platoon’

<I>Willem Dafoe as ‘Sgt. Elias’ in 1986’s ‘Platoon.’ Image: Orion Pictures</I>
Willem Dafoe as ‘Sgt. Elias’ in 1986’s ‘Platoon.’ Image: Orion Pictures

Every Filipino has an older family member who participated in the 1986 EDSA People Power Revolution, that dramatic moment in Philippine history where a dictator was toppled by sheer force of numbers without resorting to bloodshed.

Now in a weird turn of events, actor Willem Dafoe divulged that he was in the EDSA revolution, too. Dafoe said as much to Vanity Fair earlier this week in a video break-down of his career’s most-memorable moments.

The opportunity to join the bloodless revolution came up when Willem, now 64, was shooting the Oliver Stone movie Platoon 33 years ago.

Read: More than half of Filipinos weren’t even born during Edsa Revolution

“I arrived in the Philippines and my plane was the last plane in because there was a revolution,” he said. He remembers being told by someone from the movie’s production to “sit tight, the movie’s canceled. There’s a revolution, we’ll get you out when we can.”

The movie eventually got back on track, but the Platoon actor (or Spider-Man actor for the younger set) said that for “about three or four days, me and a couple of other people that were there ahead of time, were out on the streets with the people.”

It was an incredible feeling because it was a revolution that happened for the most part without violence,” he said about the event that ended two decades of Ferdinand Marcos’ dictatorial rule.

More than half of the population now wasn’t alive yet when the revolution happened, and many of us who weren’t, such as this reporter, wish we could have.

What are your thoughts about EDSA? Leave us a comment below or tweet us @CoconutsManila.

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