Thursday, October 17, 2013

D'Onofrio steals 'Escape' scenes with clean hands

There's a master thief at work in the margins of the new Sylvester Stallone/Arnold Schwarzenegger movie "Escape Plan."

The film, opening Friday, is more or less stolen by sixth-billed Vincent D'Onofrio, best known for, well, all sorts of things: "Full Metal Jacket" and "Mystic Pizza" and "Adventures in Babysitting" when he was younger; "Men in Black" and "Law & Order: Criminal Intent" more recently.

(Upcoming: "The Judge," co-starring Robert Downey Jr., Vera Farmiga and Robert Duvall.) In "Escape Plan" D'Onofrio has a few scenes as the business partner of the prison security expert played by Stallone. Nothing much on the page. Some exposition and plot expediency, little more.

But D'Onofrio seizes the day. He makes the character a pronounced germaphobe (he's first seen piling on the hand sanitizer) with a distinct, wily, subtly deployed Chicago accent. None of this was scripted.

"Yeah, the germaphobic thing, the director Mikael Hafstrom let me bring that in," the actor told me, by phone. "I haven't seen the finished film yet. I will, I guess, eventually."

The actor, now 54, takes issue with my characterization of his "Escape Plan" accent as a Chicago-derived sound.

"Maybe," he says. "Maybe it's Chicago. I wouldn't say it's a city accent. It's more of an Illinois accent. One of the fun things about being an actor is you get to collect all these accents. You don't want to do one if it's just showboating. But I thought it definitely suited that guy."
Next week D'Onofrio begins filming the biopic "Pele," in which he plays the legendary footballer's coach.

"So I've been working on my Brazilian accent, and some Portuguese," he says.
With a genre picture such as "Escape Plan," the temptation exists to have too much fun with the material.

"You have to be careful," he says. "One of the best things about being a character actor is the immense amount of freedom you have, as long as you know the character's place in the story. As long as you're telling the story properly, as long as you're making the same film as everybody else, you have a lot of freedom. It helps to have a good director to stay on top of you. If you both have a sense of humor about what you're doing but you both take it seriously, that'll help you fit into the overall composition."

After the thanks-and-so-long, D'Onofrio added this, regarding his most visible scene partner on "Escape Plan": "I can't tell you what a great guy Stallone was. I grew up watching his films. All of us did. Such an incredible guy. You have no idea. It totally makes sense to me now, why he's been so successful. Very smart. Very active on set. Doesn't waste time. The ultimate professional."
He adds this as well: "With Lester, my character, I wanted everything to be clean, the wardrobe, the hats, everything. I mean, I thought he should have special gloves and a clear plastic raincoat. There were many things I had in mind we ended up not using, believe me."

via Chicago Tribune, 10.17.13

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Claire said...

Yeah, this accent thing sure can be a helpful and adding 'feature' ... though I (as a non-native speaker) wish it would have been less extreme in 'Pawn Shop Chronicles' for example. ;-) I hate having to use subtitles ...

Rosie L. said...

Nice to see in print what we VDO fans already knew.he steals the scenes in whatever movie he's in.

Regina Caschetto said...

I agree, Rosie. It's great to see a wonderful article on Vincent's talent, especially from a big town newspaper.

[Browse Amazon]


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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