Saturday, April 4, 2015

Daredevil's Vincent D'Onofrio on the Kingpin's Origins, Spider-Man, and His Custom-Made Suits

The actor admits he hasn't loved a character this much 'in a long time



Vincent D'Onofrio has comic book movie cred. In Men in Black, technically based on a 1990 Aircel Comics paperback, the actor played an "Edgar Suit" alien. In the 2002 indie The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys, he disciplined kids for writing their own comic. Back in 1987, he played Thor… in Adventures in Babysitting.

OK, D'Onofrio isn't a seasoned superhero veteran, but fans will revel in his take on Wilson Fisk a.k.a. The Kingpin, the classic supervillain appearing in Netflix's new series, Daredevil (premiering April 10). Like a Frankenstein's Monster cobbled together from fallen Goodfellas goons, Fisk is a physical and psychological adversary for the blind hero-in-disguise. Esquire sat down with D'Onofrio during a visit to New York to talk about shaping the comic book source material, whether Daredevil makes up for him passing on Sopranos, and the sharp-and-deadly suit he wears in the show.

Daredevil is one of Marvel's classic New York heroes. You're a native New Yorker.

I am, I was born in Brooklyn, and I was raised partly here, partly in Hialeah, Florida.

I'm guessing you didn't encounter any costumed crime-fighters growing up, but do you have a Hell's Kitchen story? Did you travel up to the neighborhood?

I did when I was in my early twenties. Late teens, early twenties, because a lot of the acting stuff was going on in Hell's Kitchen. The Actor's Studio was in Hell's Kitchen, so it was area that we went to. It was a much different Hell's Kitchen back then. I remember walking down the street with my friends and having bottles thrown at us.

Who was throwing bottles at you?

I don't know, you wouldn't know who was throwing the bottles, but there were bottles being winged at us. I mean, imaginiung that happening today is crazy. But, you know, all those shadows… New York City used to full of shaded, shadowy areas. They're all lit up, now. They're all different; they're all blue sky now. So it's such a different city.

Villains can be one note. "Destroy the world because X." Your character Wilson Fisk is introverted and a bit of a softy. He also runs New York's biggest crime ring. Where did you find that nuance? The source material or your own thoughts on the character?

The artwork from a couple of the different series: the [Brian Michael] Bendis series and the Frank Miller series and some of Jeff Loeb's stuff. I knew a lot of the storylines and I reread some of the big graphic novels, like Man Without Fear. [Fisk's] origin stuff is all very interesting. But it's the artwork. There are certain periods of artwork that showed him vulnerable as well as tough and crazy. There are always reasons why somebody is in the shadow, an extrovert, kind of antisocial even if they would prefer not to be, and there has to be emotional reasons why that's happening. I tried to bring a lot of those to Fisk.
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The first five episodes give us a taste of Fisk. Do we see how this troubled character got to where he is today?

There's a lot more coming. There's a lot more emotional life coming between him and Vanessa, [his love interest played by Ayelet Zurer]. There's a lot more of him exposing himself. His dark side is super explored, his love life is super explored, and these kind of emotional quirks you're talking about become more relevant.

Plus you get to beat the living crap out of people every once in a while.

Every once in a while.

You were recently in The Judge as a low-key, affable guy. What's more difficult: playing nice or playing diabolical?

Both things are as interesting to play, I loved playing Fisk. I mean, I haven't loved playing a character in a long time. I really enjoyed playing Wilson Fisk. I think that's because of what Steven DeKnight did with the writing. He made him so multi-leveled. The way that I was using Steven DeKnight's ideas, the way that I was able to bring the character was, I mean, he could be a child or a monster within one or two sentences.

In the past, you've talked about turning down a part on The Sopranos (and not regretting it). Does playing a mobster on Daredevil make you recall what could have been? Do you see similarities?

No, the Wilson Fisk stuff is so iconic in the Marvel universe that it really can't be compared to anything, I don't think. And as far as me approaching it as an actor, I never really got that far with the whole Sopranos thing. I'm not even sure I remember what part it was, it was a long time ago. And so, in my mind, they don't connect at all.

Joining the "Marvel Cinematic Universe" can be a multi-series or -movie commitment. Did you need to know where this character would go in the years to come before taking the part? Did you want that chance to pop up elsewhere?

I guess when everybody started to say that, I hadn't thought about it previous to that, but people talk about that kind of thing a lot, and it would be super, super exciting to play Fisk in another format if that ever happened. I don't know if it will or not, but we've never talked about that stuff, I've never talked about that stuff with Marvel. I knew who Wilson Fisk was when he was mentioned to me, and so that made me excited. Once Jeff Loeb and DeKnight, once we had our conversations and they told me where they wanted to go, the kind of show Daredevil was going to be, I just got super excited. And to have that happen when there's this whole Marvel universe going on is an exciting thing. It's a great company and I was hoping when they went into it that they would be great to work for and they were just amazing. Marvel's an amazing company to work for.

I think I was introduced to Fisk actually through Spider-Man.

Yeah, that's how I was introduced too. Spider-Man was one of my comics when I was a kid.

Now that Spider-Man is back in the Marvel fold is there an opportunity for you to meet him?

I don't know!

You wear an amazing suit in Daredevil. It's the most stylish body armor ever made, based on some attacks you ward off.

It's a suit that was made by Michael Andrews. He's an incredible suitmaker. He mad made this suit [I'm wearing now]. I met him in the Marvel show. He's an amazing tailor and he builds these incredible suits. He has a shop in New York called Michael Andrews Bespoke, and he's an incredible maker. That particular suit that you're talking about was supposedly made of Kevlar underneath, a super thin Kevlar that one of the characters knows how to tailor. I don't know if I can talk about who that character is because that's past the fifth episode.

No spoilers.

Yeah, now you're never gonna know.

via Esquire Magazine, 4.3.15
by Matt Patches



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1 comment:

Regina Caschetto said...

Keep on loving interviews with Vincent.
Regina

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[CURRENT PROJECTS]

List of films in production.

"Emerald City" [Airs 1.6.17]

TV Series - A modern reimagining of the stories that lead to 'The Wizard of Oz'. Vincent.....The Wizard

"CHiPs" [TBA]

Film based on the cops television series CHiPs

Shoots Oct. 15–Nov. 15 in Los Angeles.
Warner Brothers


"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

"Pele" [2016]

The life story of Brazilian football legend, Pele.

Vincent D'Onofrio....Coach Feola
Filmed in Brazil November 2013

"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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