Thursday, March 25, 2010

D'Onofrio's brilliant career got a Kubrick kick-start

Tallahassee.com
By Mark Hinson • DEMOCRAT SENIOR WRITER • March 25, 2010

Vincent D'Onofrio was a struggling stage actor working night shifts in bars in New York City when he got cast in the major role as the dim-witted Leonard "Gomer Pyle" Lawrence in Stanley Kubrick's "Full Metal Jacket" (1987).

"I didn't live the typical actor's life," D'Onofrio, 50, said. "Most of my friends were bouncers, not actors."

When "Full Metal Jacket" opened in New York — after D'Onofrio spent 13 months in England on Kubrick's movie set — he and his bouncer buddies went to see the Vietnam War film on opening night.

"There's a scene where Lee (Emery, playing a drill instructor) keeps telling me to wipe the smile off my face," D'Onofrio said. "They (my bouncer friends) thought I was screwing up and couldn't remember my lines. They were almost embarrassed for me. They didn't get that I was acting."

And that pretty much sums up D'Onofrio — it's really hard to catch him acting.

D'Onofrio will discuss his craft, filmmaking and his "Full Metal Jacket" days during The Stanley Kubrick Film Festival at Florida State. He and Jan Harlan, Kubrick's producer and brother-in-law, will field questions from the audience after a 7 p.m. screening of the film today in the FSU Student Life Cinema.

"Kubrick was known for doing countless takes of scenes, and no one can attest to what that was like better than Vincent D'Onfrio," festival organizer Robert Howard said. "It's one thing to do countless film takes in a bedroom with Nicole Kidman (in 'Eyes Wide Shut') and quite another to do endless takes in a boot camp with Lee Emery ripping you to shreds. D'Onofrio's got to have some crazy stories."

On Saturday, the day after the weeklong Kubrick Festival officially ends, D'Onofrio is sticking around to show and discuss two movies he directed — the feature-length "slasher-musical" called "Don't Go in the Woods" and the short "Five Minutes, Mr. Welles." It's the second time he's played the legendary director Welles, the first being in Tim Burton's "Ed Wood" (1994).

"I didn't feel like I did Tim justice, so I decided to do it again and get it right," D'Onofrio said. "It's about Orson Welles on the set of 'The Third Man' writing his famous monologue about the cuckoo clock."
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D'Onofrio is most widely recognized these days thanks to nine seasons playing the intense detective Robert Goren on TV's "Law & Order: Criminal Intent." He also has an impressive body of work on the big screen playing everything from a nose-less drug dealer in the underrated "The Salton Sea" (2002) to the eccentric Texas writer Robert E. Howard in the romance "The Whole Wide World" (1996) to an outer-space visitor in "Men in Black" (1997).

But it was Kubrick who put D'Onofrio on the map and the actor has not forgotten it.

"To be there on the set was so unbelievable," D'Onofrio said. "To be there sitting next to Stanley Kubrick watching him work was incredible. I couldn't believe it. He was so nice to me. I was just this kid but he really made me feel welcome. I wish things were that good on every movie set I've been on. It's hard to start out there at the top because everything else is downhill."

In 1985, D'Onofrio was flown to England to gain weight for his role while the rest of the actors filmed the combat scenes for the invasion of Hue', Vietnam.

"There were tanks shooting blanks and special-effects guys blowing up buildings," D'Onofrio said. "They had palm trees and sand flown in from Spain. The second half of the film is still like a dream to me when I watch it." Full article

Thanks Linda!

1 comment:

val said...

He's so modest.

It upsets me a bit that they couldn't be bothered to spell Lee Ermey's name right.

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[CURRENT PROJECTS]

List of films in production.

"In Dubious Battle" [2016]

"In Dubious Battle" [2016]
An activist gets caught up in the labor movement for farm workers in California during the 1930s. Vincent....Al Anderson

"TENN" [TBA]

A story about the early life of Tennessee Williams

Directed by James Franco
Vincent D'Onofrio, Jacob Loeb

"American Falls" - [TBA]

In a rural town in Southern Idaho, the Suzukis, a Japanese American family, run a small motel. One night they get a strange visitor who sports ‘city’ clothes who turns out to be the first African-American man that Toru Suzuki’s children have ever seen. Yoshiko takes it upon herself to solve the mystery about this man, especially when 2 police officers come knocking on their door.

Short film produced by Erika Hampson.
Vincent D'Onofrio as Detective Foster.

'Purgatory' [TBA]

'Purgatory' [TBA]
Tagline: In the Wild West a lot of blood was spilled... but it didn't go to waste. Vincent....Dallas Stoudenmire

"A Fall From Grace" [TBA]

Detective Michael Tabb knows the city of St. Louis inside and out. He has felt its true heart, as much as its dark underbelly: but he does not know who, in both the dark and light - is taking the lives of young girls.

Director: Jennifer Lynch
Producer/Writer ...Eric Wilkinson

Vincent D'Onofrio ....George Lawson (GRACE's father)
Tim Roth.......Detective Tabb

Filming in St Louis - TBA

"Supreme Ruler" [TBA]

A man campaigns to become the leader of the Buffalo lodge.

Vincent D'Onofrio as Hank Dory
Ron Livingston as Steve
Marcia Gay Harden as Nancy

"The Monster Next Door" [TBA]

"The Monster Next Door" - Comedy Horror

Executive Produced by Dennis Johnson, Melanie Mohlman Produced by Eric Wilkinson, David Michaels
Written by Jim Robbins
Directed by Jennifer Lynch

Cast: Vincent D'Onofrio, Bill Pullman, French Stewart, Bill Moseley

'Down & Dirty Pictures' - [in Production - Filming TBA]

'Down & Dirty Pictures' - [in Production - Filming TBA]
Vincent......Harvey Weinstein

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