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Thursday, October 27, 2011

111

The Best Time I Met Vincent D'Onofrio

I had become, quite recently, very interested in interviewing the actor Vincent D'Onofrio.

This started, innocently enough, when I fell into what could best be described as an internet k-hole. Like all internet k-holes, it began with Wikipedia. Specifically with the Wikipedia entry for the Law & Order: Criminal Intent episode "Icarus," which it had been reported at the time was going star Patti Smith in a guest role. For serious? To the encyclopedia of obscure knowledges of television programs!

This was exactly the sort of detail that would get my boyfriend, finally, to appreciate Criminal Intentfor what it is: the clearly superior flavor of Law & Order of the dozen or so (or how ever many) flavors there were. And why this was so was because of the Detective Goren character, played by Vincent D'Onofrio.

Plus Patti Smith = no contest.

Or so I thought. Up until this point my boyfriend had watched it with me begrudgingly in the way that we all do things for the person we love that we don't 100% want to, which are usually, sometimes, but not always, sex things. And so: Detective Goren. My boyfriend is of the opinion that Goren is the single stupidest, most unrealistic, offensive character to have ever hulkingly graced a television screen:

"Wait, wait — this the part where Goren floats away on a cloud made of his own cleverness, yes?"

"..."

"HEY EVERYONE! I heard that someone needed a deus ex machina to tie up these impossible plots threads in the final two minutes of the episode? I'M HERE. DON'T WORRY."

"..."

"And then Goren just yelled at someone for the length of an amazingly detailed and twitchy monologue until they confessed. The End."

"...".

All of this witty commentary made it hard for me to passively enjoy the brainless predictablilty of Criminal Intent while also enjoying the hard to puzzle sexiness of Vincent D'Onofrio,* as is its unique appeal.

So I was looking up Wikipedia to verify the truthiness of this Patti Smith thing, and that's when I fell into the k-hole. From there it was just a couple of short hours of reading, following links to extremely detailed fan blogs (why??), while passively watching a CI marathon in the background (Pro Tip: it's always the second person interviewed by the detectives who did it), before I knew pretty much everything there was to know about Vincent D'Onofrio. And he was very interesting! For example:

- It's his fault those dick shots of Anthony Weiner got out.

- He's worked with Stanley Kubrick, Robert Altman, Oliver Stone, Kathryn Bigelow, and Mike Mills, but has never won a major acting award, and seems not to care.

- He turned down a role in The Sopranos.

- He has taken a string of roles over the years in what can only be described as terrible sci-fi movies (please enjoy something called Salute of the Jugger).

- Still, this is a pretty great scene in Men in Black.

- He's given relatively few long interviews over the years.

I also read that when he was cast in practically perfect film, The Player, by Robert Altman in 1992, Vincent D'Onofrio did not have a phone. So Robert Altman was wondering around his neighborhood, looking for his house so he could deliver the script to him. How could you have a career as an actor and not have a phone? Was it like a Cormac McCarthy/Gil Scott thing? Was it even true? Intrigue! These were pressing questions of our age! Or so I thought, briefly, when my mind drifted at work one slow day to how I might go about asking someone who was like that why they were like that. It's no fun trying to interview someone if getting to them is easy, right (no phone!)? Well good, because this will be impossible.

I secured a commission for a profile in a magazine. The editor wrote back to my pitch:

Editor: "I too harbor an unnatural love of Vincent D'Onofrio and think this would be an ideal fit."

(GREAT!)

Me: "What help could you afford me in securing an interview?"

Editor: "Absolutely none."

(OK, wonderful.)

I pulled all the strings that I could at my job in an effort to line this thing up. There were several roadblocks in the way of this, the first being that Criminal Intent had been recently canceled (the pain is too much to go into right now) and so no publicist was interested in pushing for an interview with a reclusive actor in aide of spruiking a show that no longer existed. All the other roadblocks had to do with the fact I wasn't calling from The Hollywood Reporter. Oh no! I was calling from the other side of the world, from Australia, where if anyone in Los Angeles knew where it was they did not care that the time difference necessitated my calling them bleary-eyed at three in the morning, where I mumbled my pitch.

"So you're what? You want who, I can't understand you."

"VincenndOnofffrio, jus, like [stifled yawn], tennnminutes on the phone..."

"OK, great! Just email me through the details and when you want this to happen and I'll pass it on for you."

At the other end of the line I heard the sound of my hastily written email being burned on a pile of hundreds of other emails where the DO NOT PURSUE emails are all destroyed forever.

Still, I tried this with all the avenues I could think of: small production companies about to put out a film starring Vincent D'Onofrio, the people who used to rep him on Law & Order, film festivals he was speaking at, whatever. I know this all sounds creepy, but it's my job! Admittedly, also, I was just being stubborn about it now. The whole no-phone thing was like a red flag to a bull for me: I will track this shit down. But also I started to wonder about myself a little bit: Had I become a character in Law & Order, only instead of solving fictitious crimes, I was setting myself a series of escalating challenges to solve, just to keep things interesting like I was part of some kind of scavenger hunt only I was playing? If so, what was wrong with me? Where in this episode was some kind of all-knowing psychiatrist/detective character who could diagnose this tendency?

Whatever! I had to fly to New York.

I was in New York because it's on the way to Miami, which is where I was going to cover a story on board an enormous cruise ship with a couple thousand KISS Army members. But in the meantime, New York.

I will not lie: All the aforementioned had resulted in me adding "Vincent D'Onofrio" to my Google alerts. Which was how I found out he was giving a lecture at the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute in two days' time.

I called the press office at the school, emailed through my attendance request and credentials and explained that I was writing about the film festival and this would make for great color and blah blah, and I'll sit quietly in the back and you won't even know that I'm there. This is it! This was so simple and it fell in my lap!

Nothing.

I sent polite follow ups in the next two days, and got nothing again. So on the morning of the lecture I got up and went into the city thinking that I would just present myself in the flesh and talk my way in. And yes, for a moment, as I was walking down the street I told myself that Goren would totally do this. Just channel Goren and you'll charm your way into a place you aren't meant to be with a tilt of the head. Yes, I actually thought that.

"Oh, are you with press for Vincent D'Onofrio?" a young man at the front desk asked me enthusiastically.

"Yes I am."

"Okay, great! Someone will be right with you."

Because no one got back to my email I was pretty sure someone was going to check it, shake their head, and come come out and tell me to leave. Instead, an extremely helpful and friendly woman from administration came out and presented me with a complimentary Lee Strasberg tote bag, a copy of The Definition of Acting, one of A Dream of Passion, and a glossy brochure for the school, from the pages of which stare Alec Baldwin, Robert De Niro, Brando, and Marilyn Monroe, all very intensely.

"We'll save a seat in here for you, it will start in about 10 minutes."

"Thank you so much," I said.

As I flipped though the pages trying to find out how much it would cost to study somewhere like this, I heard an unmistakable voice.

"Hi!" Vincent D'Onofrio said from where he was standing at my feet with his back to me. He was quickly ushered off by someone, and as soon as he was safely out of earshot all the women in the room dissolved into giggles and one of them mimed fainting.

I was working out how to play this in my mind. I'd sit through this acting workshop for an hour, and then I'd just really coolly ask Vincent D'Onofrio — who hates interviews, talking about himself, and journalists — if he has maybe 20 minutes at some point in the next week to meet me somewhere for a totally informal chat that's not really an interview, more like, 'Hey, this is fun! Right?' and I'll give him my card, he'll smile and say, "No problem!" and then I'll get to the bottom of this no-phone thing. Simple.

I took my seat in the second row in the small theatre space. Soon all the students file in and I can safely say that I have never been around so many actors in my life; I was the only one out of the 40 or so people in the room who wasn't one. There was quite an electric buzz rippling through the room, even if not everyone seemed to know who Vincent D'Onofrio is, because I guess having maybe one of the most well known method actors of the last 25 years visit your school of method acting without knowing who they are is a pretty regular thing?

"Wait, so who is this guy?" one girl asked while looking him up on her laptop.

"Oh my God, my mom loves him," said her friend. "She is gonna freak."

A squeal pierced my right ear as Wikipedia delivered a result. "He's the Law & Order guy??? Oh. My. God. *I* love him!" The grin does not leave this girl's face for hours.

So Vincent D'Onofrio came onstage and delivered over the next hour what amounted to a master class on Method acting, and not being an actor I of course had no idea what he was talking about a lot of the time, but everyone around me was nodding and making quiet sounds of approval and understanding. I was also beset by the intense feeling that I was in a place I was not supposed to be, like I'd been mistakenly admitted in to a witches' coven. Or a cult.

The first thing he said was, "I'd rather not talk about myself. I hate talking about myself. I want to talk about acting, so let's talk about acting."

Soon he was talking about creating a feeling of intense discomfort, when he played the role of Edgar in Men in Black, a 10-foot-tall alien crunched down into the body of a human being.

"I'm in my trailer with my legs bound up in these braces I bought and I sit there and I put on this football helmet. This football helmet that I really fucking hated wearing when I played high school football."

It took me a moment to realize that this football helmet was metaphorical. Especially as this story came right after he'd said that when you become an actor, everyone else on the set "Will treat you like a wild animal. Always. Always. Like you are an animal in a cage and don't stick your hand too far in to the cage." Why would people think that? Surely not because you are sitting in a trailer with your legs bound, silently, while wearing a football helmet? Just the leg braces were real, not the helmet, so no problem.

Objects of intense emotional significance to you are employed a lot in method acting, I learned. They have to be older than seven years for it to work in eliciting a response. There is a lot of reading I have to do in these books I was given to fully understand it, of course, but it sounds sort of like a cross between Tantric meditation and voodoo.

Vincent D'Onofrio was, for a lot of this time, sitting in a chair on the stage which is very tall because he is kind of a giant. He was wearing scruffy black jeans, old sneakers, and a black collared shirt, which, because of the way he was sitting, was popped open a little in the place that reveals a person's bellybutton and my mind strayed a minute to wondering about if there is and if so how much lint might be in there, and maybe harvesting it, maybe, I was just sort of thinking that for a pleasant moment and tuning out just for a second when Vincent D'Onofrio stood up and planted himself on the stage two feet away and said, "So I was taught to lead with my dick."

And, what??? Okay, what? What this about is how important sexuality is to method acting and owning an innate presence on the stage, not a showy kind of sexiness but knowing inside yourself that you are a sexual being and using that to stand your ground on a stage, "Whether you're a woman or a man, it doesn't matter, it's the same." And then he went into some detail about this, about "owning what was between my hips, what was going on down there — you guys are learning that, right?" and it was so intensely riveting to every person there that it really heightened the feeling in me of not being meant to be there, and also suddenly of being incredibly, incredibly thirsty.

There was a lot of other stuff covered after, including the fact that he's dyslexic and can't differentiate between "3"s and "E"s, but still can learn 11 pages of dialogue in an hour after someone told him in acting school, "You can get over that."

Eventually someone asked about Law & Order, and he said, "You know, one of those silly interrogation scenes?" and how the character was meant to possess this boundless energy and how that was mustered through him annoying the shit out of everyone in the immediate vicinity by either touching them inappropriately or cursing them under his breath, or whatever it was,"Until, BOOM! All that energy was sucked up and put into the scene. But there was sometimes 16 hours a day of this on a show like that, it's like being on a hurtling train and wanting to get off. But you can't. It's your job."

Things wrapped up after that. The students applauded for a really long time, and then there was a photo session, during which a woman, maybe the head of the school, posed on the stage with Vincent D'Onofrio hanging onto his arm like a vice and smiling to the point where her teeth could have splintered from the pressure, which he totally coolly appeared to tolerate, and then he said goodbye and slipped off backstage.

There is a thing in journalism that's something of a vital skill, and I'm terrible at it, and it's the Doorstop Interview. If someone has agreed to speak with me weeks in advance and they know they will be interviewed, then I am fine with that. But otherwise I think that barreling up to someone and asking them something for the record out of the blue is really unfair and kind of rude and ambush-y. That might make me a terrible journalist, I don't know. But I was thinking to myself, This is the other side of the world from my home, which is a long way, and so I will just wait outside for the length of time it takes me to smoke a cigarette and if in that time Vincent D'Onofrio walks out I'll give him my card and ask for some time and it will be cool. Don't worry about it, just do it.

I was out of the street and I checked my email while I waited, and there's one from The Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute that reads, "Sorry, the President is not comfortable with you attending."

I nearly dropped the cigarette out of my mouth, and I looked around expecting that someone will arrest me, or something, but instead it's Vincent D'Onofrio getting on his bike.

"Hey Vincent... D'Onofrio?" I stammered.

"Hey!" He smiled and he rode off down East 15th street with a cigarette between his teeth.

*DON'T PRETEND YOU DON'T KNOW.

Elmo Keep is an Australian writer. These are her stories.

111 Comments / Post A Comment

cloudburst

Aaaah this is relevant to my interests. I am kind of obsessed with his crime solving insanity which I attribute to his giant head.

LivAnna

I, too, love L&O: CI, and Vincent. I went to a premiere of a horror film he directed last year, and while I didn't meet him, it was cool seeing him in person. He looked like a slightly overweight old werewolf.

madge

ugh i love him! "the whole wide world" is the best movie!

itmakesmewonder

@madge YES YES YES

TreatYoSelf

Awesome! He seems like a really strange dude but I love him. I loved the character of Goren, but I have to say I'm more of a Stabler girl myself.

Elmo Keep

@momentisaflower :(((((((((

TreatYoSelf

@Elmo Keep :((((((((( x 1000 because Christopher Meloni up and left SVU forever and took his angry brooding and hot biceps with him. I AM SO SAD.

Seriously though, this is a great piece! Very well written.

Wookiee Hole

@momentisaflower Stabler! Staaaaabllerrrrr!!!

theharpoon

@momentisaflower "You said you were going to go... fondle your sweaters."

dustwindbun

@momentisaflower I NEED PARSLEY!

katesmash

@momentisaflower I said I was going to make fondue...WITH CHEDDAR!

Danzig!

The story I'd always heard was that he was waiting for a flight, on which he had coach seats. An airline rep came up to him and offered him an upgrade to first-class on account of his being a celebrity, to which he replied "well, if you see that celebrity, tell him I said hi". Classy bro. Great character actor, too.

I had a dim view of him for a number of years when I learned that Vincent D'Onofrio had sued Madonna for stealing the concept of "Swept Away" from him. I reasoned that only the most pompous douchebag on Earth would sue for the the bragging rights to having come up with "Swept Away". Turns out, it was an entirely different Vincent D'Onofrio!

ihatesomuch

They can cancel new episodes of Law & Order: CI, but they can't cancel the love I have for it in my heart. Or the repeats on USA. You know that shit's going to be on forever.

Elmo Keep

Also, I wasn't sure what to do with this, but he has some kind of country singer alter ego:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QlhBfyzlAFE

????????????

Katie Scarlett

@Elmo Keep Whoa, it's like his own Chris Gaines.

Also- omg the laughing

Charlotte

@Elmo Keep Hahahahaha oh my lord what is this.

Elmo Keep

@Charlotte o_O

Maura Johnston

EVERYTHING ABOUT THIS IS WONDERFUL AND I AM GOING TO REREAD IT 9238420 TIMES

Maura Johnston

Sorry about the all caps. Leading with my crotch, you know.

LauraAlien

My word, I love Vincent D'Onofrio as Goren - especially when he goes all angry and sad because of his childhood and slams the interrogation desk. Crumbs!
Method acting, though - when I think about how it gave the world Goren and everything starring Al Pacino, I think it must be a good thing. Then I hear an actor talk about it and I remember how insanely self-indulgent and douchey it is. Life's complicated, isn't it?

TooCool4School

it's the voice. Also, get we get a Mystic Pizza shoutout- sexiest husband ever in that!

Elmo Keep

@TooCool4School Mystic Pizza! Again with the crotch, there's that line, "I'm tellin you I LOVE YOU, and all you love is my *dick*! Do you know how that makes me feel?"

TreatYoSelf

@TooCool4School Ahahahaha I never realized that was him! Awesome.

becky@twitter

@Elmo Keep @TooCool4School MYSTIC PIZZA. YES.

LauraAlien

@TooCool4School Love him in Mystic Pizza. Anyone seen Dying Young? I wouldn't recommend it but he is totally sweet in it. Stupid Julia Roberts chooses Campbell Scott over him, though Campbell treats her like dirt. Very upsetting.

karion

@TooCool4School: God love you for mentioning the wonder that is Mystic Pizza. My love of 80's movies knows positively no bounds.

Also, I thought he overacted and camped it up AT THE TIME I WATCHED IT, so it should probably go without saying that I am not a VO fan.

For my L&O crush, I pick, without hesitation Michael Moriarty/Ben Stone, with a small side of Bratt, but mostly Ben Stone.

Elmo, I loved this and love your style and delivery.

TooCool4School

http://www.thefancarpet.com/uploaded_assets/images/gallery/4893/Mystic_Pizza_46518_Medium.jpg

oh lily taylor, how i coveted thee!

frigwiggin

This story had me on. The. Edge. Of. My. SEAT. "WILL SHE TALK TO HIM???" The leftover adrenaline is going to give me a good bike ride home, I tell you what.

(Whyyyy is he sexy? I can't parse it either, but! Maybe because he leads with his crotch???)

simone eastbro

Okay okay there is so much here but I am so stuck in the Sharks vs Jets SVU vs CI thing that I don't know what to do except snap my fingers threateningly at you.

wee_ramekin

@simone eastbro We have Olivia, they have...oh, what's her name?...she never does anything....not even sure why she's there...oh RIGHT. Now I remember. Eames.

SVU wins. No contest.

simone eastbro

@wee_ramekin THANK YOU.

Elmo Keep

Come now, everyone. We all know, rationally, whatever our allegiance, that if the All Star All-In Crossover episode had ever happened, Goren would have been the one to solve the case. YOU KNOW IT! Stabler would have beaten up some sex-offender for looking at his tie, but then Goren would have swept in and sewn all that shit up. Don't make me draw a chart. Which I will for my own "research."

I will give you Jayne Mansfield's daughter, however. Oooh-whee.

simone eastbro

@Elmo Keep you're hurting me with your words.

Elmo Keep

@simone eastbro With my true words.

cloudburst

@simone eastbro But in a cage match Original Flavor would win because they have Jerry Orbach and Sam Waterston. (and later bearded Jeremy Sisto, mmm)

Momster

@cloudburst OOOOORRRRRBBBAAAAAAAACCCHHHH!

Kinloch

@cloudburst Original Flavor always wins! The Briscoe/Green years were the best years in my opinion.

dustwindbun

@cloudburst no, clearly SVU would still win the cage match because Ice-T would cut a bitch up, amirite? and whatshisface, his crazy partner, is crazy.

City_Dater

@Kinloch

Oh yes. And here is where I will mention that though I am a grown ass woman who works in the entertainment industry, no stranger to the sight and sound of attractive famous people, Jesse Martin walking by on the street has reduced me to "thirteen-year-old girl shaking hands with Justin Bieber."

simone eastbro

@dustwindbun i'm really glad to find that even in spite of these troubled times, NOT EVERYONE HAS COMPLETELY LOST THEIR MINDS. REASON CAN STILL BE SPOKEN. truth to power, occupy your tv.

wee_ramekin

@everyone

OK, look guys, look. Do I have to spell out for you why Benson wins at EVERYTHING? FINE.

She:

a) is smart and bad-ass
b) has a way of getting children and rape survivors to trust her completely in about 30 seconds
c) is personally invested in the mission (child of rape, y'all!)
d) is, after Season 7, skilled in computer-crimes, which has the bonus of fostering inter-departmental ties
e) as Season 6 and other episodes show us, is able to go undercover quite effectively
f) not struggling with anger-management issues (I'm looking at you, unStabler)
g) is a woman with her own sense of agency (Eames, do you even exist as anything other than Goren's personal assistant?)
h) is not struggling with some sort of narcissistic personality disorder that causes her to move her head and body in awkward and uncomfortable contortions (GOREN...exhibit A: see this article's accompanying photo)
i) not Big on Sex & the City (UGH)
j) has an entire genre of fanfic based on her Sapphic relationships with Alex Cabot

Seriously. Who the heck can even compare to Olivia Benson? No one. She wins. End of got-damned story.

cloudburst

@wee_ramekin Oh man Alex Cabot. There were always fine and awesome lady ADAs in all L&O flavors. Except the one that was stuffed into a trunk on original flavor.

Elmo Keep

@everyone Perhaps on F/M/K will only truly settle this?

wee_ramekin

@Elmo Keep Oh, that's easy:

Fuck - Stabler. *YUH*
Marry - Benson (because when you marry someone in MY FMKs, you get to marry and fuck them! Isn't that what marriage is all about?).
Kill - Goren. One hundred times Goren!

wee_ramekin

@wee_ramekin I would like to add that I want the Chief from SVU (the one who looks like Mr. Peanut?) to be my grandfather.

Elmo Keep

@wee_ramekin Poor Goren. :(

brilliantmistake

If you'd like to continue your D'Onofrio obsession and annoy your BF, I recommend the movie "Happy Accidents" where he plays a dude who may or may not be a time traveler. He's very good at straddling that line between "he's nuts, she should dump him" and "he's hot, she should jump him."

Elmo Keep

@brilliantmistake I HAVE SO SEEN THIS! We watched this together, even! That movie is also very satisfying on the time travel causality level, because it all matches up! Just about!

This is what I nerd I am, everyone. I'll just go and look up some equations now.

Ames

@brilliantmistake I love this movie SO HARD

cherrispryte

@brilliantmistake YES. SUCH A GOOD MOVIE.

Okay quick story: 4x a year, 3 other people and I do this incredibly boring task at my job, which requires us to be in a conference room all day. We usually watch a Netflix Instant movie while doing this mindless, boring task, and since it is impossible for the 4 of use to agree on a movie, we usually wind up with a horrible Jennifer Aniston rom-com. And then one time my idiot coworker thought Happy Accidents looked good, and we turned it on and it was the best movie EVER and the stupid bitches I work with kept being all "wait, what's going on" and I kept yelling "SHUT UP I'M WATCHING THIS AWESOME MOVIE" and it was amazing.

Jazzy

Is this a bad time to mention that I was cocktail waitressing at a restaurant where he was staying and got a late night call to deliver three vodka sodas to a hotel room at like 3am and that when I got to the door it was Vincent signing the bill while two naked models did coke of the mirrored coffee table?

Elmo Keep

@Jazzy Oh my.

ritualtheory

@Jazzy Please tell me you made that up, and I will forgive you for the horrifying cliche. Please?

whereismyrobot

@ritualtheory well, some random person on the Internet said it, so it MUST be true!

Jazzy

@ritualtheory Did not make up. Swear to you. Am completely whatever about Vincent D. But choose not to believe it if you like!

Atheist Watermelon

Can't believe no one has said it yet... Anyone remember Thor from Adventures in Babysitting (the car mechanic that Sarah thought was Thor)? Yes. That was Vincent D'Onofrio. Proof:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7rnTpR4M1ZI&feature=related

Can we have a moment of reflection for just... how... FINE... he was in this movie...? drool.

frigwiggin

@LittleBookofCalm I was just thinking of this! Ugggghh Thornofrio, so good. That whole movie, so good.

mouthalmighty

@LittleBookofCalm: You just changed my life.

Wookiee Hole

@figwiggin Thornofrio! And when he says he has one at home! OMG! So influential to my formative years!

branza

@LittleBookofCalm omg his hair in that

atipofthehat

You blew it, Nicole: your one chance for happiness. One chance, and you had to come back to me?

Charlotte

@atipofthehat Keep you hands on deck we don't want you playing with your pistol under the table.

Megasus

Oh dang, the plan almost worked! But if I ever have to snag an interview and I'm desperate, I might have to try this.
HOW DID THEY GET YOUR EMAIL THOUGH!?

Elmo Keep

@Megan Patterson@facebook I'd emailed them to ask if it was ok, and they didn't get back to me until after the fact! Though, technically because I didn't have data on my phone, they in fact did get back to me in time, I just didn't get their rebuff until, well, TOO LATE.

Inkling

@Elmo Keep That means ANYONE can go ANYWHERE with confidence and play the role of whoever they can pull off. Good job in acting, yourself!

Jon Custer

Here's another L&O pro tip, which works with all flavors: if there is a doctor or medical professional involved in any way, they either did it or are deeply involved in something shady/illegal. (Also: I did not realize until very recently that he's Pvt. Pyle, from Full Metal Jacket!!!)

Jon Custer

@Jon Custer Also, according to original L&O, 31% of the people who live in Manhattan are murderous white supremacists.

Blousey Brown

Y'all, please enjoy my precious mem'ry of when VD'O helped me find my contact lens when I was 22. It was on the set of the Player in 1992, and I was an extra. He saw me scrambling on the ground, asked what the deal was, and I told him I'd lost my contact. He scrambled on the ground, looking with me, not being particularly friendly about it, but still, it was nice of him to help. Suddenly I said, "Oh! I found it!" He asked, "Where was it?" and I said, sheepishly, "Uh, it was in my eye." And he said, "Seems like that's the first place you would've looked." He was in full-on gruff dreamboat mode. I was charmed/embarrassed and have enjoyed watching his career take off in the years since.

Nate Jones@twitter

@Blousey Brown That is an AMAZING line. Nice ad-lib, VDO!

rabswom

I heart VD'O!

oatmealshrapnel

I'm strangely obsessed with Vincent D'Onofrio and this article has made me revert back to a high school like daze when I would get embarrassingly enraptured with certain actors left and right. Anyway, I'm totally copying this article onto my blog, which is a little law and order speckled. (I incoherently rambled about sexism and gender predictability of Law and Order Criminal Intent, which I've watched EVERY SINGLE EPISODE OF).
Crunchette

Craftastrophies

Argh has anyone seen this whack short film with him in it, that I don't know the name of. I saw it late one night on SBS and it kind of blew my mind and maybe not in a good way? It's basically just him and some lady, and she wakes up handcuffed to a bed with him. Turns out it was her hen's night or something and she's getting married the next day, and... something. I don't EVEN KNOW you guys. Everything is lit red and he's jumping around semi naked and... what is plot? I don't think there's a conclusive ending or anuthing, either.

Damn I wish I could remember what that was called.

Elmo Keep

@Craftastrophies At risk of never being invited anywhere again, ever, I can tell you that is called The Naked Stranger(!). Which I think co-stars a python? And not a metaphorical one.

Craftastrophies

@Elmo Keep YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS This has been plauging me for seriously almost ten years. I saw it with my boyfriend at the time and he wouldn't believe me that it was vincent. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0113335/

You have totally made my week. For actual serious.

kiamaria

@Craftastrophies I SAW IT TOO!! I don't really remember the plot at all, just that I couldn't really figure out what was happening! And that he seemed really young

Peanut

@Craftastrophies Yay for weird, sexy SBS late night movies!

Lydia S@twitter

Gosh, I only watched Criminal Intent for Vincent D'Onofrio, despite everyone I know hating on that L&O non-stop. Great read!

ritualtheory

If you love him, you must, must, must watch the wonderful "Household Saints." He cements his undeniable sex appeal with a creepy remark about something he can do with his thumb.

Ames

My mind was blown when I realized he played that dealer without a nose in The Salton Sea. Would never have recognized him, but he killed it, of course. Love him.

anotherkate

Loved this. I am a D'Onofrio fan as well. I've been ignoring the tenth & last season of CI, but this article may convince me to watch it to get my fix.

rocknrollunicorn

I nearly fainted while reading this, because I so badly needed for him to not be a dick. So glad he didn't curse you out or something. Also, THANK YOU, Criminal Intent was the best L&O by far. THE BEST.

acanthe

So, I started developing a cold at work today and was feeling pretty self-pitying about not being able to stop this virus from wreaking havoc on my weekend until I read this post. Now, I am warm in bed, pint of gelato in hand, gleefully watching reruns of Law and Order CI. Thank you, The Hairpin, thank you.

ChristineMargaret

Why on earth would I think I was the only one? Yeah girls. Since commencement of my addiction to Law and Order at advent of streaming Netflixs I've been practicing pronoucing "d'Onofrio" just in case I ran into him on the street.

And we're talking an LA NY entertainment lawyer here who turned down dates and never got a hot on for anyone in the biz. But when he walked into a scene on L&O wearing formal uniform I almost slipped off my chair. Who knew ... me ... 58 years old and I never suspected what else could push my buttons. I brought up the possiblity of uniforms in bedroom with husband who thought it was hilarious and went back to his science. Ahhh ... imagination is a lovely thing.

SuperMargie

I went to see Household Saints at The Lagoon theater about 25 years ago and then had a random sex dream about him and I have coveted that big fucking galoot ever since. Love, love , love him.

kayjay

This is a fantastic story and couldn't have possibly had a better ending. I love it.

I have a thing for Vincent D'Onofrio kind of like I do for Spader (old Spader; I have a thing for Young Spader, too, but that's different and rather personal, thank you very much) and Goldblum: Older men who are overly intense to the point of making me feel like scratching my eyes out, and at the same time mesmerizing and kind of weirdly sexual but not "sexy". Ya dig? It's very specific. Willian Fitchner has that, too, sort of, and man, do I find him attractive.

wilarseny

@kayjay Weirdly: I came here to see if anyone shared my James Spader Thing, as they're definitely in the same category to me. I disagree about Goldblum, but mostly because of the drunk jeff goldblum youtube videos.

kayjay

@wilarseny Have you ever seen Goldblum on the Jamie Kennedy Experiment? Terrible, short-lived show, but the Goldblum bit is great. I enjoy watching Drunk Goldblum and that back to back on Youtube, just for contrast.

cloudburst

@kayjay Yesss old Spader

wilarseny

@kayjay Next time I am not at work, I will totes look it up.

Kinloch

I had a coffee causality with my computer screen reading the begrudging boyfriend comments toward Vincent. Alas I have my own bf who has the same response to Andre Braugher and made me suffer during my determined marathon of "Homicide: Life on the Street". (We almost broke up over my insistence that it was the best damn show ever).

For the record, both Goren and Pembleton are entertaining interrogators!

Ham Snadwich

I'm convinced that Vincent D'Onofrio is the only person that can play Judge Holden in the rumored (directed by James Franco!) film version of Blood Meridian.

Elmo Keep

@Ham Snadwich !!!

Lady Humungus

...Also, The Cell? Yes, the one with J. Lo. It's actually pretty good, especially if you're moderately stoned.

whereismyrobot

I am just so happy that this story, and the comments, exist.

That is all.

RosemaryF

CI is my old-man obsession. I am DVRing the series on Cloo right now and I have about 20 stock piled, and I would let every male detective on that show touch it. Yes, D'Onofrio is the most oddly sexy one on the show, even in his puffy stages. Goldbloom is a close second, though. I don't care if Noth is a turd, he could touch it, too.

tortietabbie

I am saving this entire comment thread and watching all of these movies ASAP.

Valley Girl

Goren! Head tilts! Leading with his dick! Biking with a smoke in his teeth! Vincent D'Onofrio is perfect and this article is perfect and nothing hurts.

Charlotte

My D'onofrio obsession is well documented and this article made me remember a make-out scene (skip to 1:40) from a movie called "The Velocity of Gary". I'm not gonna comment further, it'll find the people who it needs to find.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-2lwoMN708M

DorothyMantooth

I can't believe that only one person has mentioned Private Pyle. Private Pyle, you guysssss!

Elmo Keep

@DorothyMantooth PRIVATE PYYYYYYYYLE!!

Clarke Barry@twitter

@DorothyMantooth The ONLY reason i read this was the Pyle bit. I wanted to read about him working with Kubrick. Kubrick was mentioned, though, and that is something. Not too very damn much since I already knew it.

Asa
Asa

My mom calls CI "Deducing with D'onofrio".

Joe Hackett@twitter

This is just about the only time I'll ever read a comment thread and know, deep down inside, that all of the friends I'll ever need are here.

masterofkarate

This might sound crazy, but are you the same elmo keep from Hungry Beast? I love that show!!

Elmo Keep

@masterofkarate Yep!

Pony-girl

@Elmo Keep yes have seen you on that show! Australian Hairpinners collective, who knew?
I used to jump around the lounge with my housemate screaming 'chunky man! chunky man' every week when CI was on. We worked ourselves up in to quite a frenzy! I do love the chunky man and his strange appeal.

naughtysneaky

In the room the women come and go...

Carissa S

Love him! So glad it turned out so well!

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