He played his pioneering role so convincingly that women fled him, believing that he was stupid

Vincent D’Onofrio is probably best known for his emblematic role as a chubby and inept marine recruit in Stanley Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket.

But after that, his popularity fell.

The actor with devastating beauty, who celebrated his 64th birthday on June 30, 2023, said that the role required a spectacular physical transformation, which led him to repel women who had once fainted in front of his curly brown hair and athletic build.

Vincent D’Onofrio’s CV is as long as it is diversified. He always invests 200% in each role, and he is always able to embody the character to the point that we forget who he is.

The Brooklyn-born actor made his debut in theatrical productions, some outside Broadway, others inside, and has carried out many side activities, such as the bodyguard of Yul Brynner and Robert Plant, to realize his dream of being an actor.

In his early days, he earned his living as a nightclub bouncer, flower delivery man, curtain installer and taxi driver.

But after playing in a few low-budget films, a friend of D’Onofrio, actor Matthew Modine, encouraged him to send an audition cassette to Stanley Kubrick, who at the time was making a casting for his next great success.

D’Onofrio, who is 1.80 m tall and is incredibly fit, gets the role of Leonard, fat and narrow-minded, but under some conditions.

Working with Kubrick was a transformative experience for D’Onofrio, because it allowed him to immerse himself deeply in his character and explore his abilities as an actor in a stimulating and intense environment.

This father of three, now 64 years old, had to shave his magnificent hair and gain between 30 and 40 kilos, which, to date, is the most important weight taken by an actor for a role.

«Kubrick asked me very early if I agreed to gain this weight. I went there and gained about 13 kilos, and I remember that he saw it and said that I only seemed to be able to kick everyone’s ass. He thought we needed to gain a little more weight.» Speaking of the role he played at the age of 24, D’Onofrio continued: «I think I gained up to 40 kilos… from 90 to 127 kilos. »

Gaining weight was not an easy task for D’Onofrio, who was then confronted with the exhausting demands of the scenes of the film’s training camp.

Obstacle courses would have been easy with his athlete’s build, but it was particularly trying for someone who weighs 129 kilos.

The impressive interpretation of D’Onofrio in the role of Leonard, a chubby, mute and mentally disturbed character, earned him much praise from critics, but he also had to face fans who confused the actor with the character.

«People treat you differently when you make this size — you must remember that I had a shaved head, so it was like a completely different character, from the slender actor I was to the big strong with a bald head… it was a very strange change of life». The Broken Horses star continues: «It changed my life. The women didn’t look at me, most of the time I looked at their backs when they ran away. People told me things twice, because they thought I was stupid.»

A year later, the Magnificent Seven star had complete hair and her body had regained its size of yesteryear. Today, the director, producer, screenwriter and actor born in New York, author of the book «Pigs Can’t Look Up» (2023), attributes his long career to Kubrick.»Stanley made my career, there is no doubt, I made more than 50 films thanks to him. It’s thanks to this role.» D’Onofrio referred to his many roles in film and television, notably in the series Law & Order: Criminal Intent (2001 to 2011) and in Marvel’s Daredevil (2015 to 2018). In the cinema, he has notably played in Dying Young, The Break-Up and Jurassic World.

Vincent D’Onofrio woman and children

D’Onofrio’s life was greatly affected by the divorce of his parents when he was a child. His mother remarried George Meyer, a renowned American producer and writer.

The family then moved to the Hialeah region of Florida. During his childhood, D’Onofrio was a reserved boy who often retires to his room, lost in his thoughts.

During his stay in Florida, he was interested in magic and the art of tricks, skills he acquired from Cuban artists who run a small magic shop.

In the early 1990s, Vincent D’Onofrio had a romantic relationship with actress Greta Scacchi. They appeared together in many films at that time, such as The Player and Fires Within. From their relationship was born a girl, Leila George, around 1991 or 1992, who has been pursuing an acting career since.

In 1997, Vincent D’Onofrio married Carin van der Donk, a Dutch model.

Together, they welcomed their first son in 1999. However, their relationship experienced difficulties in the early 2000s, which led to a separation. They later reconciled and had a second son in 2008.

In June 2023, D’Onofrio began divorce proceedings before the Manhattan Supreme Court, marking the end of their 26-year marriage to Carin van der Donk.

We can see D’Onofrio alongside Sandra Bullock in the film The Unforgivable, released in 2021, and in the comedy Dumb Money, which will be released soon.

Vincent D’Onofrio was fantastic in Full Metal Jacket and his mental decline in the role of Leonard is incredibly credible! He no longer has the same appearance at all today, as can be expected several decades later, but we still appreciate his performance!What do you think of his interpretation of the stupid and fat Leonard?

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