‘Daredevil’: Vincent D’Onofrio On Playing Kingpin & Acting for Marvel

Published 8 months ago by

daredevil vincent donofrio kingpin Daredevil: Vincent DOnofrio On Playing Kingpin & Acting for Marvel

Marvel Studios’ continued success is certainly in part due to its habit of recruiting top-notch acting talent, to bring the eccentric, outlandish and/or otherwise fantastical inhabitants of its comic book universe to life on either the big screen and/or TV. Case in point, the first of its upcoming Hell’s Kitchen-based Netflix series, Daredevil, will be headlined by a reputable squad that includes Charlie Cox (Boardwalk Empire), Rosario Dawson (Sin City: A Dame to Kill For), and celebrated “actor’s actor” Vincent D’Onofrio (Law & Order: Criminal Intent).

D’Onofrio, who memorably played dangerous and/or disturbed people (or, in certain cases, non-humans) in such films as Full Metal Jacket, Men in Black, and The Cell, is following in the footsteps of the late Michael Clarke Duncan, by portraying the villainous Wilson Fisk (a.k.a. Kingpin) on the Daredevil Netflix series. Filming on Daredevil is currently underway, but D’Onofrio took the time to chat with Screen Crush about his experience of joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe – among other topics related to the Daredevil series.

As you would expect, D’Onofrio was full of praise for Marvel Studios and its “huge” Shared Universe. More interesting, perhaps, was what he had to offer, on the topic of how many people have described working for Marvel “almost as their childhood fantasy come to life.”

Yeah. I mean, it’s kinda cool. The thing about Marvel is that they’re not – they’re into real acting. They’re looking for artists that are willing to take chances and are willing to create characters, even if that character has been around for years and years in comic books, they still are depending on us to create something and take it somewhere else.Robert Downey [Jr.] is the perfect example of that. Who knew that Iron Man was going to be who Robert made him?… And Jon Favreau. I would have never guessed Iron Man was going to be that kind of Tony Stark. Not in a million years, and, you know, that’s because of Jon and especially Robert. So, everybody is following suit with that. Personally, I felt Downey kind of led the way in that, and he’s kind of said to the studios and to the public, “It can work. These Marvel things can work.

Indeed, the best characters featured as part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe thus far – whether we’re talking about one of the Avengers (such as RDJ’s Tony Stark) or even a supporting character like Dave Bautista’s Drax the Destroyer from Guardians of the Galaxy –  are the ones where the actors behind them have been fully committed to putting their own stamp on the part – as they would any other role, outside of a comic book movie. As RDJ have demonstrated, it then becomes all the easier to ignore what their character might’ve been like in the past, as explored through the printed page over the years.

daredevil netflix kingpin Daredevil: Vincent DOnofrio On Playing Kingpin & Acting for Marvel

Part of what makes D’Onofrio seem like such a promising choice to play Kingpin is his approach; besides having the proper build and height (he’s 6′ 4”), D’Onofrio tends to treat every role he takes on with the same devotion – no matter how ridiculous or “unrealistic” they may seem on the surface, that is. Case in point: the actor kept his lips shut about what he intends to bring to the role of Kingpin, during his talk with Screen Crush, but promised to deliver something as memorable as you could ask for.

I think – it’s not just me, by the way, it’s the writer. It’s Steven DeKnight, it’s Jeph Loeb at Marvel, it’s the scripts, and it’s me. I think it’s gonna be the … I hope — I should say – I hope it’s gonna be the new way to look at Wilson Fisk. I think that there will be no other Wilson Fisk but this one after we’re all done with it. That’s what we’re hoping for.

Steven DeKnight (creator of Starz’ Spartacus TV series), as mentioned by D’Onofrio above, is currently serving as the show-runner on Marvel’s Daredevil Netflix series. Additional cast members on the show include Elden Henson (The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 & 2), Peter Shinkado (Falling Skies), and Deborah Ann Woll (True Blood).

Daredevil will be made available for viewing on Netflix Instant beginning May 2015.

Source: Screen Crush

Follow Sandy Schaefer on Twitter @feynmanguy
TAGS: Daredevil
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  1. I’m liking this casting choice. I never really watched Law and Order, but Vincent D’Onofrio in The Cell and Full Metal Jacket performed masterfully. He should make for an imposing villain opposite Daredevil. Can’t wait.

    • The picture up above kind of looks like one of those ‘tard-pingers that hang around outside the local 7-11 store. However, having said that, if this actor is the guy I think he is who played a detective on Law and Order, I think I saw him in action on that show a couple times and he did an excellent job if I am recalling the right character. So, no he does not look like Kingpin. However, he might bring an interesting twist after all to the character. Yeah, let’s give him a chance. By the way, hope we will see Daredevil fight Mr. Fear….!

      • Yes, this is Goren from Law and Order: Criminal Intent. He’s a brilliant method actor and will do this role justice.

      • That pic is a role he played in Full Metal Jacket which is a great movie about the Vietnam War if you haven’t seen it do yourself a favor and check it out. He is a great actor and should really be able to take this role and put a true signature on it. I really like Michael Clarke Duncan and he might have been one of the best things about the Daredevil movie but I don’t think it will even be close to what Donofrio will do with it. Really looking forward to this. I also love the fact that the whole series will be available all at once. I hate waiting a week to see the next episode of great shows and then a year for the next season.

  2. Robert Downey Jr., Samuel L. Jackson, Tom Hiddleston, Chris Pratt…

    I don’t know if I’d put Dave Bautista’s Drax on that list, but maybe we could put Rocket Raccoon and Groot for memorable performances?

    • We haven’t seen that many female characters steal the show, the way that Loki did in Avengers. Maybe Lily’s Hope will be it?

      • Scarlett Johnasson really nailed Black Widow in Winter Soldier. I would put that up against any Marvel performance. Karen Gillan was a great Nebula, though we hardly saw her. Jaimie Alexander captured Sif quite well and I hope they ditch Portman’s character completely for Sif. Zoe Saldana was good as well. Gwyneth Paltrow, despite being a crazy person, was a very enjoyable Pepper Pots. I am excited for Lily’s performance and for Palicki’s.

        On a side note, Portman’s character should have died at the end of Thor 2. She doesn’t want to play it anymore, and the iteration is widely disliked. The death of Jane would have made Thor the Marvel Universe’s tragic love hero. Thus differentiating him from the other Heroes in that his tragedy of love would be overt and shocking. It would be the only contribution the character would have made to the film series.

        • Meh. Scarlett’s raspy voice just doesn’t do it for me. Gwen’s Pepper in later entries makes a mark, and I was kinda happy she saved Tony at the end of IM3 instead of being the typical damsel in distress.

        • Great reply.

    • Yep. I dont know about Batista either.
      Groot? ok yeah as a CGI memorable character.

      • Really? I wasn’t expecting anything at all with Batista. I didn’t know much about Guardians and had no idea it was gonna be that awesome. Groot was cool but I really didn’t understand the need to cast Vin Diesel. They could have gotten someone from catering or wardrobe to be the voice. He really must love that comic or something. They even make fun of his limited vocabulary. It wasn’t like watching a cartoon and recognizing someones voice. Batista had some great lines and just looked the part.

  3. This series is going to be so awesome. The cast is perfect and I’m halfway expecting a superhero show masquerading as a gritty courtroom/mobster drama.

    There’s a ton of comic shows coming out but I’m most looking forward to this and Iron Fist.

    Michael Pitt for Bullseye!

  4. Can you pay for Netflix with a debit card?

    • you can watch all Netflix shows for free – either on Netflix or other sites
      open an Netflix account and just cancel it within 30 days
      or just watch on any free sites – do a search

      or if you have the money to spare and feel like paying for Netflix – nothing wrong with that

  5. I never liked his character in L&O. But he is a very talented actor. Very excited to see where they take the character.

  6. What I find really exciting is this will be the first time we’ll get a Marvel antagonist who will have a more continued story beyond just one or two films. To date, Loki is certainly, and I don’t think anyone would disagee, the most popular Marvel villian due, I’m sure, in no small part to him being the one that we’ve seen the most (plus he was just great in The Avengers). So now, we get treated to 12 episodes where this character can be explored and expanded by a truly talented actor. I would not be surprised if he surpasses Loki as “fan favorite” once everything is said and done.

  7. I know he’s from song but if Daredevil connects to the MCU and kingpin’s in it they have to add Spiderman.

    • they don’t HAVE to (because of Sony)

      it would just be really nice if they did.

      not gonna hold my breath.. although while highly unlikely a spider-man daredevil team up movie would breathe much needed new life into the spider-man movies.

        • Marvel has the rights to the ANIMATED versions of Spiderman, X-men, F4, etc. They do not own the live action rights to those characters, whether film or TV.

          • Bugger. Thank you for the correction though. As long as MARVEL don’t go down the ‘who framed Roger Rabbit’ route then, we should be OK :-)

  8. WOw nice first he was seen as Thor in The Adventures of Babysitting Now he’s actually playing a Marvel Character KingPin Wilson Fisk Marvel is good…

  9. WTH? Did I miss this announcement or is this it???!

    I think D’Onofrio is an excellent choice to play Kingpin. I absolutely loved him in The Cell and feel he will really embrace the role.

    My only question is, will he bulk up for the role, wear some sort of “bulk” suit to represent Kingpin’s formidable girth or will there be some CGI work? (I doubt CGI though because this is small screen)

    • It might be a little of both. DeKnight is masterful when it comes to the visual aspects of a show, like a Del Toro or a Snyder. I think even if it was D’Onofrio just as is, it will still be good because he just brings a presence to a show character.

  10. Daredevil’s law partner in this is the original bash brother from the mighty ducks…awesome. Too bad they reference him as being in the hunger games and not the mighty duck franchise lol.

  11. Well, as Spartacus was so awesome, Daredevil is going to be off the chain !!! Can’t wait.

    • With Spartacus done and DeKnight having some room to play with it should be awesome. If it’s anything as good as Spartacus then we shall have a hit show

  12. Glad he’s taking the role seriously. Looking forward to this show. I guess we get more bang for our buck with a DD TV show vs a movie.

    Tone and mood are everything for this to succeed IMO.

  13. I will be in Marvel heaven come May 2015 with the release of The Avengers and debut of Daredevil.

  14. Could you see the guy who played Vic Mackie on The Shield as the Kingpin?

  15. I just got done laughing my ass off at his parts in Pawn Shop Chronicles. I duo the does comedy bits here, but he’s a good villain, as I remember him from Escape Plan as well.

  16. love that actor! fun to see him in something else.

  17. Are there any rumors on who will be playing Luke Cage yet? Or any official wants from the studio like how it was reported Jared Leto Tom Hardy and Benedict Cumberbatch were who was wanted for Dr. Strange?

  18. I never liked Kingpin because in the comic why they made Kingpin so powerful and strong villian. To me, he is not and he is cheap. Sorry about my English

  19. Peter SHINKODA!

  20. Each episode I find myself with my jaw dropped and mesmerized by him. Who the hell is this guy, the rest of the characters/actors are amazing but this guy is by far the most captivating and enthralling thing I’ve seen in a long time, wow!!!