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Friday, 5 October 2012

“Chained” with Vincent D’Onofrio. The Secret to Playing a Serial Killer

Vincent D’Onofrio has enjoyed a career playing characters who aren’t exactly warm and fuzzy. From his famous turn in Full Metal Jacket as the troubled Private Gomer Pyle, to Edgar in Men In Black, D’Onofrio has become a go-to man when it comes to psychotic characters. It certainly doesn’t hurt matters that he excels at the part.
With Chained, D’Onofrio plays Bob, a sadistic killer who preys upon families with his taxi. It’s another fine performance from the man, and he brings a lot of his characteristic quirks to the part. We had a chance to discuss the role with Mr. D’Onofrio recently.
When studying for Bob, did you research any serial killers?
Just as a person, not as an actor, I have no sympathy towards them at all. I think they should be locked up. As an actor, I explored it a lot to give Bob certain actions for why he does the things he does. As I approach this character, and telling the story properly with him, it’s about executing it correctly, so that the story is told properly so that it’s not about Bob and who he is, but an actual story. I made sure his tone and his behavior was a certain way that it fit the storyline.
You’ve played various characters with certain quirks throughout your career. What about that role attracts you?
It’s stuff that I bring to the part. If you were to read these scripts the story would be there, but you wouldn’t necessarily associate those things with the character. Most actors bring things to the part without changing any words, or changing any part of the story. We help tell the story in the way that we thought of, so there are things about Bob that were not scripted that I brought. If I think the story is interesting enough to tell, then that’s what I’ll bring to it.

When you’re playing a character with secrets or you have something to hide, how do you suppress that?
You do it like we do in real life; we behave like we don’t have them. The deeper the secret, the less you’ll be aware that somebody has them. It’s a secret that’s a very surface secret, we can detect when somebody is holding it back. But if it’s a really deep, dark secret then people behave normally. You’re supposed to behave like you don’t have one.
What was it like to work with Jennifer Lynch on this project?
She’s great. She’s a very hands-on director. She’s good at keeping things going with a very positive attitude, with a lot of great ideas at any given time. I’m going to work with her again on a film called Fall From Grace.


  1. What I am happy about is that this time when he immersed himself in this role, it didn't cost him his relationship with his wife. I seem to recall the first time things fell apart when he was doing his research to play Carl Stargher and became difficult to live with.

  2. Yes, he said over the years he's has learned to take himself in and out the role with more ease. Making him easier to live with.

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