Willem Dafoe, is that your given name? Nope! Turns out the actor has been embracing his inner Lady Bird: “Willem” is a name given to him, by him (sorta). “Willem” Dafoe was really born William Dafoe, The Florida Project star explained to Stephen Colbert. He’s from a big family, his father is named William, and young William Dafoe didn’t want to be called “Billy” or “William Jr.” That’s when this elegant ruse began: “You want your own identity. When I was a kid, I was always seeking a nickname,” Dafoe said. “I finally found one, when a friend of mine just started calling me Willem, like a lazy way of saying William. I didn’t even know how to spell it. And then the irony was that by the time I became an actor, to go back to my birth name felt like a stage name. I just stuck with the name that I felt like.” Very baller.