Not sure if I’m repeating this article but I like it.

Interview: Vincent D’Onofrio
His role in Thumbsucker and his acting methods.

http://au.movies.ign.com/articles/652/652193p1.html
by Jeff Otto

US, September 19, 2005 – “When you’re acting, it should be the most important thing that’s going on. But when you’re not, leave it alone…”

This is the mantra that Vincent D’Onofrio lives by. His focus has enabled him to become one of the top actors of his generation. Many outside of the industry may not even know his name. He’s that good, a chameleon from role to role. His first feature was an unforgettable part as “Pyle” in Stanley Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket. He was the psychopathic killer in The Cell, a role which the actor admits still gives him nightmares. TV fans may best know D’Onofrio from his role on the series, Law and Order: Criminal Intent.

If there is a single word used by both fans of his work and even co-stars, it’s intense. D’Onofrio approaches each of his roles with the utmost focus and determination. He’s a method actor, a segment of the acting populous that is often seen as mysterious and un-approachable.

During the course of IGN FilmForce’s interview with D’Onofrio, we attempted to dispel the actor’s “mysterious” methods as well as discuss his latest role, opposite Tilda Swinton and Lou Pucci in director Mike Mills’ Thumbsucker.

D’Onofrio says that he has always chosen his parts based on what would offer him the greatest challenge. Playing the father, Mike Cobb, in Thumbsucker, was no different. “It’s something that I’ve been saying for years when people ask me how I pick the things that I do. I pick the things that scare me the most… You have to like the story first… I’m not gonna play a part that doesn’t instill some kind of fear in me. If I read a part, and suddenly, I’m thinking halfway through, ‘I’m not sure I could get away with this…’ [I think of] everything I can think of to keep me from doing it, that’s the one I should do…”

Playing “the father” in a film could be a relatively forgettable part, but D’Onofrio brings a reality to the character that stays with audiences. “It was through the route of being a man. I am a man and I deal with these issues every day of my life. I am still trying to figure out who I am and I am still trying to live with the parts that I have figured out. It’s not a far stretch from that… So, this guy, there are things in my life that are very hard to deal with, as they are for that character in the film… When you have children, you have to make sure that you’re raising them correctly, obviously, but you make so many accidents, obviously, that it can make you wonder, it can make you start to rate yourself as a parent which is not a very good thing to do…”

– Sony Pictures Classics

D’Onofrio in Thumbsucker
First time director Mike Mills allowed his actors to improv develop many of their scenes. “We got to know each other through those improvisations. There were times when the camera was rolling that I would look at Lou and there would be no difference between him and my daughter. There would be no difference between how I listened to him and how I listen to my daughter…

“[Mike Mills] was very impressive. I still don’t know where he got his ability… Just considering a guy like Lou, he’s the one that had the least experience on the movie, and he’s like a little powerhouse in himself, the way he locks onto things and how open and brave he is… The fact that he was able to let us have the freedom, let us be brave, like I said, and be open and go all these places and yet still have the ability to direct us, I don’t know where he learned that. I don’t know if you can learn that. I just think it’s something that you know how to do [and] I was very impressed by him…”

As previously mentioned, Vincent D’Onofrio is a method actor. This is a term we often hear mentioned, but few know the meaning behind it. “I am a method actor, but I’m also a film actor as well as a method actor… Characters that don’t have humility, whether they are heroes or villains, are hard to relate to. All characters in every aspect of what we do should have humility. If they don’t, then they’re a cartoon character. I know that during actual performance scenes, what I need to trigger myself off, and I know how to trigger it off so that it will trigger you off, which will also influence how you feel when I’m expressionless…”

We’ve heard reports of method actors seeping deep into a character, taking the character home and being haunted by that character’s actions for months. D’Onofrio laughs a bit at this idea. “No, it’s not that romantic. I’m not that romantic of an actor. The thing is, it’s the research that you do that is exhausting. That’s what always affects you. When I did The Cell – no matter what you think of that movie, because I have my opinions of it too – it was, you know, I still have nightmares from the research that I did. Not from playing the part, just from the research. There was stuff that I should have never looked at, [that] I should have never gone anywhere near. As a father, I can’t imagine going to that place again. I’m not saying I wouldn’t, I’m just saying it was too much…

“Acting is not a mystery. There’s nothing that I know that other actors don’t know. We all act, we’re all actors, we all know the same thing. The only thing that separates us is experience. Acting can’t creep up on you from behind without you knowing. It can’t. It’s not a ghost, it can’t suddenly embody you without your control. It’s not that romantic, I’m telling you, it’s a job, you know? You set out to do things [and] the harder you work, the more you gather, the more you have to throw away and the more you’re left with that comes the part…

“A lot of that stuff is misunderstood. I’m not gonna make excuses for other actors. I’m just talking about myself… The good actors that I’ve met – I’ve met some of the best actors that we’ll ever see – and I know for sure the one thing that we all have in common when we all look in each other’s eyes, is that we’re all struggling to achieve 100 percent… That’s all I see when I see another artist…”

“All of us are trying to achieve 100 percent in our work. That’s all we struggle to do… We never do, but we never stop trying until the day we die… It’s that struggle to achieve 100 percent, that’s where our performance lies, that’s what the audience gets. They get the struggle…”

Up next for D’Onofrio is a role opposite Vince Vaughn and Cole Hauser in the comedy The Break Up. “I’ve done three films with [Vince] now. Would I have gone out and searched for a film like The Break Up? No, I wouldn’t have. But because we talked about it and it’s Vince and the opportunities were there to be had, you know, [and] I showed up. It’s not often when that happens. Not a lot of favors happen in this business.

“Cole Hauser and I, the three of us play brothers… We own a bus tour company in Chicago. Quite a ridiculous movie. That’s all I can say… And it some funny s**t. There is a dinner scene in that movie with Ann-Margret, Michael Higgins, Vince’s dad actually, Vince Vaughn, Jennifer Aniston, me, Cole Hauser… It is ridiculous… Michael and myself and Vince, we just, you give us the opportunity and…it was fun…”

D’Onofrio also recently completed a short that was entered in the Venice Film Festival on Orson Welles. Some may remember that D’Onofrio played Welles once before in Tim Burton’s Ed Wood. “There is a connection. I never was happy with the job I did in Ed Wood. Even though Tim was, I wasn’t… Because it’s not what I wanted, it’s not what I wanted. First of all, the company, for whatever reason, not Tim, but the company took a very long time to hire me and I was busy doing another project. I eventually only ended up with three weeks to prepare for it and that bothered me. But you know, I had to be brave and I had to do it the best I could. It was too much of a caricature. I didn’t like it. It was too surface of a performance…

“This is very in-depth. It’s during The Third Man… You’ll get a chance to see it because it’s doing really well. It’s called Five Minutes Mr. Welles and it takes place in the bungalow at Shepperton Studios during the shooting of The Third Man just before the ferris wheel scene.”
Interview: Vincent D’Onofrio
His role in Thumbsucker and his acting methods.
http://au.movies.ign.com/articles/652/652193p1.html
by Jeff Otto
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US, September 19, 2005 – “When you’re acting, it should be the most important thing that’s going on. But when you’re not, leave it alone…”

This is the mantra that Vincent D’Onofrio lives by. His focus has enabled him to become one of the top actors of his generation. Many outside of the industry may not even know his name. He’s that good, a chameleon from role to role. His first feature was an unforgettable part as “Pyle” in Stanley Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket. He was the psychopathic killer in The Cell, a role which the actor admits still gives him nightmares. TV fans may best know D’Onofrio from his role on the series, Law and Order: Criminal Intent.

If there is a single word used by both fans of his work and even co-stars, it’s intense. D’Onofrio approaches each of his roles with the utmost focus and determination. He’s a method actor, a segment of the acting populous that is often seen as mysterious and un-approachable.

During the course of IGN FilmForce’s interview with D’Onofrio, we attempted to dispel the actor’s “mysterious” methods as well as discuss his latest role, opposite Tilda Swinton and Lou Pucci in director Mike Mills’ Thumbsucker.

D’Onofrio says that he has always chosen his parts based on what would offer him the greatest challenge. Playing the father, Mike Cobb, in Thumbsucker, was no different. “It’s something that I’ve been saying for years when people ask me how I pick the things that I do. I pick the things that scare me the most… You have to like the story first… I’m not gonna play a part that doesn’t instill some kind of fear in me. If I read a part, and suddenly, I’m thinking halfway through, ‘I’m not sure I could get away with this…’ [I think of] everything I can think of to keep me from doing it, that’s the one I should do…”

Playing “the father” in a film could be a relatively forgettable part, but D’Onofrio brings a reality to the character that stays with audiences. “It was through the route of being a man. I am a man and I deal with these issues every day of my life. I am still trying to figure out who I am andI am still trying to live with the parts that I have figured out. It’s not a far stretch from that… So, this guy, there are things in my life that are very hard to deal with, as they are for that character in the film… When you have children, you have to make sure that you’re raising them correctly, obviously, but you make so many accidents, obviously, that it can make you wonder, it can make you start to rate yourself as a parent which is not a very good thing to do…”

– Sony Pictures Classics

D’Onofrio in Thumbsucker
First time director Mike Mills allowed his actors to improv develop many of their scenes. “We got to know each other through those improvisations. There were times when the camera was rolling that I would look at Lou and there would be no difference between him and my daughter. There would be no difference between how I listened to him and how I listen to my daughter…

“[Mike Mills] was very impressive. I still don’t know where he got his ability… Just considering a guy like Lou, he’s the one that had the least experience on the movie, and he’s like a little powerhouse in himself, the way he locks onto things and how open and brave he is… The fact that he was able to let us have the freedom, let us be brave, like I said, and be open and go all these places and yet still have the ability to direct us, I don’t know where he learned that. I don’t know if you can learn that. I just think it’s something that you know how to do [and] I was very impressed by him…”

As previously mentioned, Vincent D’Onofrio is a method actor. This is a term we often hear mentioned, but few know the meaning behind it. “I am a method actor, but I’m also a film actor as well as a method actor… Characters that don’t have humility, whether they are heroes or villains, are hard to relate to. All characters in every aspect of what we do should have humility. If they don’t, then they’re a cartoon character. I know that during actual performance scenes, what I need to trigger myself off, and I know how to trigger it off so that it will trigger you off, which will also influence how you feel when I’m expressionless…”

We’ve heard reports of method actors seeping deep into a character, taking the character home and being haunted by that character’s actions for months. D’Onofrio laughs a bit at this idea. “No, it’s not that romantic. I’m not that romantic of an actor. The thing is, it’s the research that you do that is exhausting. That’s what always affects you. When I did The Cell – no matter what you think of that movie, because I have my opinions of it too – it was, you know, I still have nightmares from the research that I did. Not from playing the part, just from the research. There was stuff that I should have never looked at, [that] I should have never gone anywhere near. As a father, I can’t imagine going to that place again. I’m not saying I wouldn’t, I’m just saying it was too much…

“Acting is not a mystery. There’s nothing that I know that other actors don’t know. We all act, we’re all actors, we all know the same thing. The only thing that separates us is experience. Acting can’t creep up on you from behind without you knowing. It can’t. It’s not a ghost, it can’t suddenly embody you without your control. It’s not that romantic, I’m telling you, it’s a job, you know? You set out to do things [and] the harder you work, the more you gather, the more you have to throw away and the more you’re left with that comes the part…

“A lot of that stuff is misunderstood. I’m not gonna make excuses for other actors. I’m just talking about myself… The good actors that I’ve met – I’ve met some of the best actors that we’ll ever see – and I know for sure the one thing that weall have in common when we all look in each other’s eyes, is that we’re all struggling to achieve 100 percent… That’s all I see when I see another artist…”

“All of us are trying to achieve 100 percent in our work. That’s all we struggle to do… We never do, but we never stop trying until the day we die… It’s that struggle to achieve 100 percent, that’s where our performance lies, that’s what the audience gets. They get the struggle…”

– Sony Pictures Classics

From left to right, Lou Pucci, D’Onofrio, Tilda Swinton
Up next for D’Onofrio is a role opposite Vince Vaughn and Cole Hauser in the comedy The Break Up. “I’ve done three films with [Vince] now. Would I have gone out and searched for a film like The Break Up? No, I wouldn’t have. But because we talked about it and it’s Vince and the opportunities were there to be had, you know, [and] I showed up. It’s not often when that happens. Not a lot of favors happen in this business.

“Cole Hauser and I, the three of us play brothers… We own a bus tour company in Chicago. Quite a ridiculous movie. That’s all I can say… And it some funny s**t. There is a dinner scene in that movie with Ann-Margret, Michael Higgins, Vince’s dad actually, Vince Vaughn, Jennifer Aniston, me, Cole Hauser… It is ridiculous… Michael and myself and Vince, we just, you give us the opportunity and…it was fun…”

D’Onofrio also recently completed a short that was entered in the Venice Film Festival on Orson Welles. Some may remember that D’Onofrio played Welles once before in Tim Burton’s Ed Wood. “There is a connection. I never was happy with the job I did in Ed Wood. Even though Tim was, I wasn’t… Because it’s not what I wanted, it’s not what I wanted. First of all, the company, for whatever reason, not Tim, but the company took a very long time to hire me and I was busy doing another project. I eventually only ended up with three weeks to prepare for it and that bothered me. But you know, I had to be brave and I had to do it the best I could. It was too much of a caricature. I didn’t like it. It was too surface of a performance…

“This is very in-depth. It’s during The Third Man… You’ll get a chance to see it because it’s doing really well. It’s called Five Minutes Mr. Welles and it takes place in the bungalow at Shepperton Studios during the shooting of The Third Man just before the ferris wheel scene.”

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About Frances
Frances Sydney, Australia Divorced, Mother, Sister, MiL, Aged Care Worker, Compulsive Reader, Computer Enthusiast and Reluctant Gardener.

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