Sunday, May 8, 2011

Q&A with actor Vincent D'Onofrio on his final return to TV's 'Law & Order'

The Post and Courier, 5.7.11

He's played a bullied recruit in "Full Metal Jacket," Al Franken's brother in "Stuart Saves His Family" and an alien cockroach in "Men in Black."

But Vincent D'Onofrio is most recognized for playing the intense Detective Robert Goren in "Law & Order: Criminal Intent," which debuted in 2001. D'Onofrio returned to the role for the series' final eight episodes after an 18-month departure (9 p.m. USA).

During a break in shooting, we talked to D'Onofrio about working with Stanley Kubrick and why Goren is a close talker.

Q. What persuaded you to come back for one more season?

A. When (series creator) Dick Wolf calls you, you've got to consider it. He's been in the business for a long time and has amazing intuition. I wanted to go back to the kinetic Goren, the guy from the first three or four seasons. The only time we get away from the crimes is when Goren is visiting

his psychiatrist, who is being played by Julia Ormond.

Q. The "Law & Order" franchise has a reputation for being more concerned with plot than character. Did that ever concern you?

A. Dick once said that he got into crime shows because there are automatically high stakes and that creates drama. We're a little more character-driven than the other shows, but I'm very happy we don't have a lot of soap. If we did, I would have gotten bored a lot faster.

Q. You once collapsed on set and were diagnosed with nervous exhaustion ...

A. What? What's nervous exhaustion?

Q. Not sure myself. I just read that somewhere. What was it?

A. We were working too hard. I'm the one who forced a break. I needed to stop. Me and (co-star) Kathryn Erbe were working 17 or 18 hours a day. I'll never go back to that schedule. We do less episodes now, and we get our rest.

Q. One of Goren's traits is that he bends a lot in front of suspects and gets right up in their faces. Where did you come up with that?

A. I paid a lot of attention to manipulation tools. I just came up with stuff that would stop conversations, throw wrenches into the dialogue, stop scenes in awkward ways, change the tone.

Q. You filmed a movie in the Twin Cities in the mid-1990s called "Feeling Minnesota."

A. That's one of my favorite movies that I've done. I really liked the story. I had never played anyone quite so pathetic or so weak.

Q. More so than Pvt. Pyle in "Full Metal Jacket"?

A. Well, that was more of an iconic role. "Feeling Minnesota" was more a real role.

Q. What did you learn from Stanley Kubrick?

A. Looking back after all these years, I'm more convinced than ever that the best directors consider casting to be half their role. Stanley saw that I was right for the role even though I wasn't well-known at the time.


janethyland said...

Thats odd. I thought Erbe said we were going to meet her father this season and she was looking forward to that personal storyline.Maybe VDO forgot that, or maybe they scraped it..I hope not. I was looking forward to that storyline.

val said...

Wonder why they brought up Feeling Minnesota in particular? I mean, it's a film with a lot of enjoyabl moments, but some of his lesser-known films are far superior (Gary, Steal This Movie, to name but two).

Glad they seem to have made it one of the conditions of their return to go back to the early days.

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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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