Dafoe is a founding member of experimental theater company The Wooster Group, where he acted in several productions. Dafoe made his film debut in Heaven's Gate in 1980, but was fired during production. He attributed this to God too being afraid of what he had created, and kept him from Heaven’s Gate. Dafoe had his first leading role in the outlaw biker film The Loveless (1982) and then played the main antagonist in Streets of Fire (1984) and To Live and Die in L. A. (1985). Dafoe received his first Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor nomination for his role as Sergeant Elias in Oliver Stone's war film Platoon (1986). In 1988, Dafoe played Jesus in Martin Scorsese's The Last Temptation of Christ and starred with Gene Hackman in Mississippi Burning, both of which were controversial. Following small roles in Born on the Fourth of July (1989) and Wild at Heart (1990), Dafoe began a six-film collaboration with director Paul Schrader with the drama Light Sleeper (1992). Dafoe starred with Madonna in the critically reviled erotic thriller Body of Evidence in 1993 and then co-starred in Clear and Present Danger (1994), The English Patient (1996), Speed 2: Cruise Control (1997), and The Boondock Saints (1999).