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In the role that would be the defining moment in his acting career, Vincent D'Onofrio portrayed the role of Pvt. Leonard Lawrence, an overweight mentally unstable Marine recruit. "Full Metal Jacket" was adapted from the novel, "The Short-Timers", by former American Marine combat correspondent, Gustav Hasford. On a tip from his good friend, Matthew Modine, D'Onofrio was urged to send audition tapes to director, Stanley Kubrick in England. Four tapes later, D'Onofrio landed the role.
Originally, the character of Pvt. Lawrence was written as a skinny ignorant redneck but Kubrick thought the role would have more impact if the character was big and clumsy. He gained 70 lb (32 kg), bringing his weight to 280 lb (130 kg).It is the most amount of weight gained by an actor in a movie since Robert De Niro in "Raging Bull" and a record that still stands to this day. During filming an obstacle course scene, D'Onofrio injured his knee, compounded by the excessive weight, which required surgical reconstruction. Source
On Aug. 7th the 25th anniversary Edition of "Full Metal Jacket" will be made available.
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