Friday, June 29, 2012

'Full Metal Jacket': 25 Things You Didn't Know About Stanley Kubrick's War Classic




Moviefone, 6.28.12

"Full Metal Jacket," which opened 25 years ago this week (on June 26, 1987), is many things: a surreal (or hyperreal) movie about the Vietnam War, a compactly chilly Stanley Kubrick masterpiece (aside from "Dr. Strangelove," it's the only movie he directed during his final 40 years that ran under two hours), a starmaking opportunity for Vincent D'Onofrio, and a collection of the wit and wisdom of Marine drill sergeant-turned-actor R. Lee Ermey. ("Your rifle is only a tool. It is a hard heart that kills" is one of his few non-profane maxims.)
Over the past quarter-century, the movie has become beloved by many disparate groups of fans, including general moviegoers, Kubrick kultists, military fetishists, and sample-happy rappers. Still, as familiar as the film is, there's still plenty you may not know about how it was made -- which Brat Packer nearly landed the lead role that ultimately went to Matthew Modine, how Kubrick meticulously recreated Vietnam in the English countryside, how the author of the source novel infiltrated the set after a falling-out with Kubrick, the record-breaking weight gain D'Onofrio underwent in the service of his art, and just how long Ermey can keep unspooling a spontaneous tirade of profane insults.

...

9. A New York theater actor named Vincent D'Onofrio landed his first major film role in "Full Metal Jacket." To play the doughy Private Gomer Pyle, he packed 70 pounds onto his muscular frame, ballooning up to 280 pounds. That Method-acting stunt is believed to be the record-holder, exceeding the 60 pounds Robert De Niro gained to play Jake LaMotta in "Raging Bull." The extra weight caused torn ligaments in D'Onofrio's legs that had to be surgically repaired. After filming, it took nine months for him to return to his usual 210-pound physique.
Full article


3 comments:

Ms Misanthropist said...

Thanks for that. FMJ is brilliant - a classic. I'm going to watch it again soon. I often wonder if the limp 'Bobby' sported was due to the grueling shoot of FMJ.

Regina Caschetto said...

I never knew about the torn ligaments before. He really went all out for his big break.
Regina

sixtwosue said...

If I had a nickel for every time I've said, "What's your major malfunction?" ... I run, and I thank my lucky stars every day that I've never had knee ligament damage. That's a tough recovery. And both at once -- ouch!

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