Willem Dafoe at The Borsch. Photo: Instagram / The Borsch

‘Nosferatu’ star Willem Dafoe chows down on Ukrainian borsch in Prague

Oscar-nominated Hollywood star Willem Dafoe is currently in Prague to film Nosferatu for director Robert Eggers, and the actor has taken the time to sample some of the Czech capital’s highly-rated culinary offerings.

That includes some Ukrainian borsch served by the aptly-named Vinohrady bistro The Borsch. Dafoe recently tried some of the classic Ukrainian dishes at the Prague 2, and was kind enough to pose for a couple Instagram pics outside the venue with owner Natalia Bas.

“Today a real film star visited us to try authentic Ukrainian borsch. Willem Dafoe told us that he likes borsch and as a proof eagerly ate a bowl of our tasty mushroom borsch,” The Borsch wrote on Instagram on Monday. “The owner cannot come to her senses after treating such an esteemed guest.”

The Borsch, by the way, is worth a visit even without the celebrity-spotting. At a time when food prices are soaring in Prague, a large helping (.4 liters) of borsch at the Vinohrady bistro still comes in at just 99 crowns. The venue offers both beef and vegetarian versions, the latter of which apparently comes recommend by Dafoe himself.

The restaurant was opened in 2021 by Natalia Bas and her husband Alex Martynov, who came to Prague from Ukraine four years prior. It became a cultural hub last year as a place for information and assistance to the many Ukrainian refugees in Prague who fled their home country following the Russian invasion.

“We’ve earned a lot of popularity, but unfortunately it’s for a sad reason,” Bas told Forbes last year. “Czechs are extremely nice people and they want to support us. Everyone who comes says a good word. A lot of people ask what they can do to help.”

Alongside Dafoe, actors Bill Skarsgård, Lily-Rose Depp, Nicholas Hoult, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, and Emma Corrin are also in Prague to shoot Nosferatu for director Eggers. Production on the horror movie is currently taking place at Barrandov Studio, with location work at smaller towns outside of the Czech capital.

This isn’t Willem Dafoe‘s first trip to the Czech Republic. The actor previously attended the 2016 Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, where he received a Crystal Globe for Outstanding Artistic Contribution to World Cinema and presented his film Pasolini, in which he stars as Italian director Pier Paolo Pasolini.

Despite his long career, however, Dafoe hasn’t shot a movie in Prague prior to Nosferatu. The closest he came was in 2000, when he filmed Shadow of the Vampire in nearby Slovakia. He also memorably starred in 2014’s The Grand Budapest Hotel, which was partially inspired by Karlovy Vary’s Grandhotel Pupp.


Jason Pirodsky

Jason Pirodsky

Jason Pirodsky has been writing about the Prague film scene and reviewing films in print and online media since 2005. A member of the Online Film Critics Society, you can also catch his musings on life in Prague at expats.cz and tips on mindfulness sourced from ancient principles at MaArtial.com.

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