MILWAUKEE - Willem Dafoe returned home to Wisconsin, where he said seeing childhood friends reminded him of the importance of old ties.
"That's what remains the most important," said Dafoe, 52. "That's what started the most important, and then I think everybody goes away from that for a little while. And then they come back to that. It's like a primitive impulse."
The two-time Oscar nominee, known for roles in the "Spider-Man" trilogy and "Platoon," spoke briefly at the Milwaukee International Film Festival on Friday night after the world premiere of his new movie, "Anamorph."
Dafoe said he had to "get out of town" after adolescence, so he moved to Milwaukee upon graduating from Appleton East High School. He studied drama at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee before joining the avant-garde theater group, Theatre X.
He hasn't been back to Appleton in more than 20 years, but planned to go for a visit.
The film festival also showed two other of Dafoe's movies on Friday, "The Last Temptation of Christ" and "Shadow of a Vampire."