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

Vincent D'Onofrio talks Kingpin on Daredevil

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.

Vincent D'Onofrio talks Kingpin on Daredevil

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

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