The famous part of the fat, inexperienced Marine trainee in Stanley Kubrick’s film Full Metal Jacket was played by Vincent D’Onofrio.
His fame did go down after that, though.
The ruggedly handsome 64-year-old actor said that the role required a big change in his body, which turned off the girls who liked him before because of his curly black hair and athletic build.
The length and breadth of Vincent D’Onofrio’s resume are both amazing. His performance in every part is always top-notch, and he can always blend in so well that you forget who he is. The Brooklyn-born actor started his career as a bodyguard for Yul Brynner and Robert Plant. He also did a lot of other jobs to pay for his playing dreams.
In the beginning, he worked as a bar bouncer, flower deliveryman, drapery hanger, and taxi driver to make money. After he had been in a few low-budget movies, D’Onofrio’s friend, actor Matthew Modine, told him to send a test video to Stanley Kubrick, who was hiring for his next big hit.
An imposing 6-foot-3 man D’Onofrio, who was very fit, was cast as the fat and stupid Leonard, but he had to meet some standards. For D’Onofrio, working with Kubrick changed his life because it gave him the chance to really become the character and improve his acting skills in a tough setting.
With 70 to 80 pounds of weight gain, the 64-year-old father of three had to shave off his beautiful full head of hair. This is still the most weight gain by an actor for a part.
When Kubrick first asked me if I was okay with adding this much weight, I went over there and put on about 30 pounds. I remember him seeing me and telling me I only look like I could kick everyone’s as**. He thought it would need more weight. D’Onofrio went on to say about the part he played when he was 24, “I think it went up to 80 pounds, from 200 to 280.”
D’Onofrio had a hard time putting on weight, and then the tough demands of the movie’s boot camp scenes blew him away.
He was in great shape, so obstacle courses should have been easy for him, but at 280 pounds, it was really hard for him.
Lots of reviewers said D’Onofrio did a great job playing Leonard, who was fat, dumb, and mentally ill. But some fans thought he was the actor, which was annoying.
“You have to remember that when I shaved my head, I looked like a whole different person. I went from being a tall, skinny actor to a big, burly guy with a bald head. It was a very strange life change.” The star of Broken Horses went on, “It changed my life.” Most of the time, women were running away, so I looked at their backs instead. People treated me badly because they believed I was not smart.
By the next year, the character from “The Magnificent Seven” had grown a full head of hair and his body had gone back to its normal size. In his 2023 book “Pigs Can’t Look Up,” the director, producer, screenwriter, and actor from New York says that Kubrick helped him get where he is today in his work.
The fact that I’ve been in over 50 movies is without a doubt due to Stanley. Considering that part.” He was talking about his many parts in movies and TV shows, including his time as a regular on Law & Order: Criminal Intent (2001–2011) and Marvel’s Daredevil (2015–2018). He plays the lead in the movies Dying Young, The Break-Up, and Jurassic World.
D’Onofrio’s parents splitting up when he was a child had a big effect on his life. A famous American director and writer named George Meyer and his mother got married again. Because of this, the family moved to the Hialeah, Florida area. When he was a kid, D’Onofrio liked to be alone with his thoughts in his room.
While living in Florida, he became interested in magic and trick of hand. He learned these skills from Cuban artists who ran a small magic shop.
It was in the early 1990s that actress Greta Scacchi and actor Vincent D’Onofrio were dating. At this time, they were both in a lot of movies together, like “The Player” and “Fires Within.”Leila George, their daughter from their relationship, was born between 1991 and 1992. Since then, she has become an actress.
In 1997, D’Onofrio married Carin van der Donk, a Dutch model. The first child they had together was born in 1999. But things went badly between them in the early 2000s, and they broke up. They made up with each other later, and in 2008 they had a second boy.
This ended their 26-year marriage when D’Onofrio filed for divorce from Carin van der Donk in Manhattan Supreme Court in June 2023. Sandra Bullock and D’Onofrio will be together in the 2016 comedy Dumb Money and the 2021 thriller The Unforgivable.
In Full Metal Jacket, Vincent D’Onofrio did a great job, and his mental decline as Leonard is very real.