Northeast Wisconsin natives up for Oscars this Sunday

Oscar Statuette, Photo Date: August 18, 2015 / Photo: The Academy / (MGN)

(WBAY) - Northeast Wisconsin natives are up for the most prestigious award in entertainment--the Oscar.

Appleton native Willem Dafoe is nominated for Best Actor for his role as Vincent van Gogh in "At Eternity's Gate."

The Academy Awards air Sunday, Feb. 24 on WBAY TV-2. Coverage starts at 5:30 p.m.

The actor was born William Dafoe in Appleton in 1955. One of eight children, Dafoe attended Appleton East High School.

A friend used to call him "Willem" and he chose to use that name for his professional acting career.

"Big family, father's called William. Love the guy, but I don't want to be Billy, I don't want to be William Jr. You know you want your own identity," Dafoe told Stephen Colbert on "The Late Show."

He talked to Colbert about growing up in a big household.

"My house was chaos, so no one was paying attention," Dafoe said.

CLICK HERE to watch Willem Dafoe's interview with Stephen Colbert.

Dafoe told Colbert that he was kicked out of Appleton East for a project he was working on in which he interviewed a satanist, a nudist and a pro-marijuana activist.

Willem Dafoe went on to study drama at UW-Milwaukee. He's been nominated for a staggering four Academy Awards:

1987 - Best Actor in a Supporting Role - "Platoon"
2001 - Best Actor in a Supporting Role - "Shadow of the Vampire"
2018 - Best Actor in a Supporting Role - "The Florida Project"
2019 - Best Actor in a Leading Role - "At Eternity's Gate"

Neenah High School graduate Phil Johnston is up for the Best Animated Feature Film for "Ralph Breaks the Internet." Johnston

Johnston directed the Disney film with Rich Moore and Clark Spencer.

Johnston previously worked on "Zootopia" and "Wreck-It Ralph."