Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Actor/director Vincent D'Onofrio arrives in Savannah for film festival

SavannahNow, 11.3.10
By Linda Sickler

Vincent D'Onofrio doesn't do many film festivals, but he's made an exception for the one in Savannah.

"They said they wanted to screen my movie, so here I am," he said Tuesday at the Marshall House.

D'Onofrio's film "Don't Go in the Woods" was on the schedule for a Tuesday night screening. "I told them I would do whatever they needed," he said.

That includes meeting with Savannah College of Art and Design students today. D'Onofrio plans to attend SCAD film and television professor Michael Chaney's coffee meeting to talk filmmaking, and he also hopes to speak to a class.

D'Onofrio flew into Savannah on Tuesday and is staying until Thursday. With him is his daughter, Leila, 18, who said her father is "a fun, cool dad."

"He's like a big kid," Leila said. "He's the one forcing me to play video games and not the other way around."

Very much a family man, D'Onofrio said he doesn't do much socializing.

"I have three kids, ages 2, 10 and 18, and we live a very normal life in New York City," he said.

While he's well-known as an actor, D'Onofrio also is a director and producer and directed "Don't Go in the Woods." The film is "a creepy musical about a band that goes into the woods to write an album and gets more than they expected," he said.

The screenplay was written by D'Onofrio's friend, Sam Bisbee, a composer and lyricist.

"He's an amazing rocker," D'Onofrio said.

A sometime singer himself, D'Onofrio sings in the film, although he's not seen. His voice is heard on the radio as a country singer named George Geronimo Gerkie.

Breaking in

His father was involved in community theater, and after doing some tech work, D'Onofrio turned to acting. Today, he's been called "The Human Chameleon" because of his versatility.

"When I was 18, I realized I wanted to be an actor," D'Onofrio said. "I got very confident being on stage because I was a magician as a kid."

D'Onofrio studied at the Actors Studio and the American Stanislavski Theatre, debuting on stage in the Broadway play "Open Admissions" in 1984. He went on to do several plays before he was cast as "Pvt. Pyle" in Stanley Kubrick's Vietnam film, "Full Metal Jacket."

The part was his career break, and D'Onofrio gained nearly 70 pounds to play a recruit who wants to be a Marine but can't keep up during basic training. In a particularly harrowing and heartbreaking scene, he is severely beaten by fellow recruits and becomes mentally unbalanced.

That role remains D'Onofrio's favorite. "It's why I'm here," he said. "I haven't stopped working since it."

Over the years, D'Onofrio has appeared in films such as "Mystic Pizza," "Dying Young," "JFK" and "Men in Black." He has done extensive work in television, and in 2001, he took on the role of Detective Robert Goren, the lead character in "Law & Order: Criminal Intent."

The show has been successful, but D'Onofrio prefers film. "Television is a lot of hard work," he said. "Film is like a vacation.

For young people wanting to get into the film industry, D'Onofrio has some advice: "Perseverance is everything. You have to be able to handle rejection."

D'Onofrio has a budding filmmaker of his own. Leila plans to earn a film degree at New York University.

"You have to be able to say, 'This is what I'm going to do and nothing is going to stop me,'" D'Onofrio said.

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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


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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