Vincent D'Onofrio

Vincent D'Onofrio


6/30/1959, Brooklyn New York USA

Birth Name

Vincent Phillip D'Onofrio



Also Known As

Vincent Phillip D'Onofrio, Vincent Philip D'Onofrio
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User Rating
415 votes


This young actor pulled a De Niro to perform the role of a boot-camp underachiever turned fullblown psycho in Kubrick's Vietnam movie Full Metal Jacket (1987), adding many pounds to his normally slender frame. Because he was a complete unknown at the time, audiences couldn't appreciate the extent…more


Trivia and Quotes

  • Trivia

    • Vincent and wife Carrie welcomed their second son, Luca, into the world on February 14, 2008.

    • Renee Zellweger thanked him in her Oscar acceptance speech when she won 'Best Actress in a Supporting Role' for Cold Mountain (2003).

    • Before breaking through as a stage actor, Vincent was earning money as a bouncer in New York.

    • While starring in Law and Order: CI, Vincent appeared in one The More You Know public service announcement for NBC. His topic was anti-prejudice.

    • Five Minutes, Mr. Welles, is a short film Vincent D'Onofrio wrote, directed and starred in. He did this independent film because he felt that his portrayal of Welles wasn't that good in an earlier movie. (Ed Woods/Tim Burton Film)

    • Vincent and Vince Vaughn are good friends and he refers to Vince as a brother. They have been in three movies together: The Cell, Thumbsucker, and The Break Up.

    • D'Onofrio portrayed Orson Welles in the Tim Burton movie Ed Wood. Burton disliked D'Onofrio's vocal impression of Welles, so Burton overdubbed a digital combination of D'Onofrio's voice and the voice of Maurice LaMarche, a voice actor particularly noted for his impression of Orson Welles.

    • Vincent is left-handed.

    • As a teenager growing up in Miami, Florida, D'Onofrio became adept at magic tricks that he calls "sleight of hand". He has joked if he was not acting, he would have become a magician.

    • In 2005 D'Onofrio and Joe Pantoliano began work on a small film titled "Little Victories" about a 12-year old boy whose perceptions of the world are forever changed when his gangster uncle comes to live with him. The film is still shrouded in mystery and there have been talks of plaguing production problems.

    • D'Onofrio was linked to actress Greta Scacchi from 1991 to 1993, and was later married to model and photographer Carin van der Donk from 1997 to 2003. D'Onofrio has two children, daughter Leila George, with Scacchi, born 20 March 1992, and his son Elias, with van der Donk, born in 2000.

    • In 1984, D'Onofrio became a full member of the American Stanislavsky Theatre. Before this breakthrough, he had been acting in New York University student films and was working as a bouncer.

    • D'Onofrio played Dawson/'Thor' in the 1987 movie Adventures in Babysitting.

      He was credited by his full name Vincent Phillip D'Onofrio.

    • Vincent is a smoker.

    • Vincent played a comatose psychotic killer in the 2000 movie The Cell, which starred Jennifer Lopez.

    • His full name is Vincent Phillip D'Onofrio.

    • Vincent won the Lone Star Film & Television in 1998 as Best Actor for his role in The Whole Wide World.

    • He won the Saturn Award in 1998 as Best Supporting Actor for his role in Men in Black.

    • He was nominated for Emmy in 1998 as Outstanding Guest Actor for his role in Homicide: Life on the Street.

    • He was nominated for a Blockbuster Award in 1998 as Favorite Supporting Actor for his role in Men in Black.

    • Det. Bobby Goren, Vincent's character on Law & Order: Criminal Intent, often elicits confessions from suspects using his expansive knowledge on practically every topic.

    • He and Law & Order: Criminal Intent co-star Kathryn Erbe (Det. Alexandra Eames) were both guest stars on Homicide: Life on the Street in episodes that aired a week apart.

    • His last name is pronounced Duh-noff-ree-o.

    • Vincent's trademark "Goren lean" for Criminal Intent originated from the pilot when he leaned over in an effort to meet the eyes of a seated guest actor. Creator Dick Wolf was on set and loved the move that became a staple of the show.

    • He likes Bowling.

    • He lives in New York both to be with his family and for the filming of Law & Order: Criminal Intent.

    • He played the role of Bill Newman in both 1991's JFK and 1992's Malcolm X.

    • He was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award in 1994 as Best Male Lead for his role in Household Saints.

    • He won a Golden Space Needle Award in 1996 as Best Actor for his role in The Whole Wide World.

    • He has two children: daughter Leila George D'Onofrio, born in March 1992, from his marriage to Greta Scacchi, and son Elias D'Onofrio, born in 2000, from his marriage to Carin Van Der Donk.

    • He is 6' 3½" or 6'4" depending on the source.

    • His nickname is The Human Chameleon.

    • He's a co-founder of the River Run Film Festival in Winston-Salem, NC, with his sister Elizabeth and father Gene.

    • He gained 45 pounds for his role in 2002's The Salton Sea.

    • His sister Elizabeth is an acting teacher in Asheville, NC.

    • He gained 70 pounds, a world record, for his role as Private Gomer Pyle in 1987's Full Metal Jacket.

    • He bleached his hair for his role in 1987's Adventures in Babysitting.

  • Quotes

    • Vincent D'Onofrio: (On his career choices) 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.

    • Vincent D'Onofrio: I took a route of acting, rather than star making, so it cost me a lot financially.

    • Vincent D'Onofrio: There's a lot of shame that goes on when you're playing someone who has really lived and has passed. You're struggling with it all the time. I am, anyway. When I played Robert Howard in The Whole Wide World (1996), I was struggling with it. There's this dual thing where you feel real good about being able to play this juicy part, and then there's constant shame. Who am I to pretend to know who this guy was? Who am I to represent this guy for people who never knew him? The pressure is unbelievable, I can't tell you.

    • Vincent D'Onofrio: (On his role in Ed Wood (1994)) I never was happy with the job I did in Ed Wood (1994). Even though Tim Burton was, I wasn't. Because 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.

    • Vincent D'Onofrio: (On being a method 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.

    • Vincent D'Onofrio: The more you are known, the more difficult it is to hide behind characters.

    • Vincent D'Onofrio: This haunting idea of becoming a celebrity doesn't settle well with me at all.

    • Vincent D'Onofrio: When I was younger I used to pick things just to face the fear.

    • Vincent D'Onofrio: Unless you look like Brad Pitt, it's really hard to have full control of your character.

    • Vincent D'Onofrio: The Whole Wide World is the first movie I've ever produced.

    • Vincent D'Onofrio: The only thing I do worry about is that the more films I do the more visible I am going to become as a personality because of press and because of the sheer quantity of films.

    • Vincent D'Onofrio: The minute you start feeling like you've got it down, you know what you're doing, you're dead in the water.

    • Vincent D'Onofrio: To me the definition of true masculinity - and femininity, too - is being able to lay in your own skin comfortably.

    • Vincent D'Onofrio: It doesn't need to be a No 1 show, it just needs to be good.

    • Vincent D'Onofrio: I've never tried to be something I'm not.

    • Vincent D'Onofrio: I'm a character actor, and I made a choice when I was young, after Mystic Pizza, not to go for the mainstream stuff, and to do a more eclectic kind of route.

    • Vincent D'Onofrio: The search for the truth is not for the faint hearted.

    • Vincent D'Onofrio: Evil changes everybody!

    • Vincent D'Onofrio: Some scenes you juggle two balls, some scenes you juggle three balls, some scenes you can juggle five balls. The key is always to speak in your own voice. Speak the truth. That's Acting 101. Then you start putting layers on top of that.

    • Vincent D'Onofrio: 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 others eyes, is that we're all struggling to achieve 100 percent. That's all I see when I see another artist.

    • Vincent D'Onofrio: 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.

    • Vincent D'Onofrio: The most fun you can possibly have as an actor is to walk that line between what's real and what's interesting.

    • Vincent D'Onofrio: People were a little nervous about Goren ... the way he speaks, the way he plays games with voice and posture. I approached the scenes without changing any of Rene's [producer Rene Balcer] words but would [physically] improvise with something that wasn't on the page. It made people nervous. Half the time they don't know what I'm going to do. But I do talk with Rene beforehand, so he knows what I'm going to do and how it'll track through the story."

    • Vincent D'Onofrio: 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.

    • Vincent D'Onofrio: 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.

    • Vincent D'Onofrio: When you're a child you're able to assimilate so easily into any situation. You even start talking like the people you're around. I wasn't conscious that I was so good at that until I started to truly feel like an actor.