Vincent D’Onofrio On Playing The Kingpin In ‘Daredevil:’ ‘You Guys Don’t Know What You’re Going To Get’

03.12.15 2 years ago • 20 Comments


Earlier this week, the trailer for the highly anticipated new Netflix series, Daredevil, was released to wide acclaim. The story of a blind lawyer named Matt Murdock who fights crime has been told before (the infamous Ben Affleck movie is still considered a pox), but the new trailer proved that the new series will show a gritty, crime-infested stink hole of a setting. At the center of the new trailer is Vincent D’Onofrio, who plays The Kingpin, and this Kingpin thinks he’s on the right side of justice, keeping the streets safe.

D’Onofrio is promoting his new film, Broken Horses (the full interview will run closer to the film’s release), but here he talks about that new Daredevil trailer everyone likes so much and what we should expect from the new Marvel series, very excitedly, I should add; D’Onofrio is not at all hiding his enthusiasm for this series.

The new Daredevil trailer gave us a better understanding of your Kingpin. He seems like a guy who feels he’s doing the right thing for his city.

Yeah, you know, I tweeted out the other day that I watch these trailers and they make me so proud of all the work that we did. But, at the same time, there’s so much that you guys don’t know what you’re going to get. There’s so much in our show. And there’s so much they’re not giving away. I mean, it gets so intense and so emotional. It’s really quite something. It goes to places you would never think it goes because of what Jeph Loeb and Steven DeKnight wanted to do. It really does.

Does the intensity have anything to do with the fact it’s on Netflix? Does that allow more freedom than network television?

I think you’re right. I think it has something to do with that. You know, it’s been done in the movie, too. I mean, Robert Downey Jr.’s character has been explored pretty extensively and they’re trying to do the same thing with Captain America. And with all the new stuff coming up in the next five to seven years from now, it will get intricately emotional and much deeper than it is already. Our show, to your point, we have 13 episodes of content to take our time because of Netflix. Under the umbrella of Netflix, they’re very supportive, and it’s not like doing a TV series at all. It’s like doing a 13-hour film. So, I think that lends itself to being able to be much more specific and take your time in telling this long story. Now, having said that, they at the same time have to deliver a superhero aspect – a Marvel aspect to it – which, as we all know, is so dynamic and cool. So, that was the trick, to deliver the dynamic kind of Marvel superhero show and, at the same time, make it a serial that’s interesting and emotional and a real story. I mean, I could go on about it, but everybody can judge it for themselves – but, in my opinion, everybody was firing on all cylinders and just doing a great job.

Your own personal enthusiasm has been getting people excited. People can tell you’re really into this.

[Laughs] I am really into it! I mean, I haven’t had that much fun or interest in playing a role in awhile I guess. I am very enthusiastic about it.

You mentioned it being a 13-hour movie, the fact it’s on Netflix and delivered all at once, people are going to treat it as a 13-hour movie.

Yeah, that I find shocking, but I wish I had that kind of time. I’m a little jealous about that. But, you can do it.

In the trailer, there are references to Iron Man and Thor, so people in the Daredevil series are aware of what’s happening in the movies.

Yeah, we’re definitely all in the same universe. It’s definitely happening all around us, which I think is a very cool thing because it’s two very kind of different approaches, but they’re in the same world. I think that’s very cool.

And you’ve played Thor before in Adventures of Babysitting.

[Laughs] I did! I did for a few minutes, yeah.

Will The Kingpin show up in the other Netflix Marvel series, like Luke Cage?

I actually have no idea. Marvel doesn’t tell you about their plans, they just tell you how happy they are with you and give you all of this creative freedom and stuff. But, the one thing they keep secret is what their plans are. They tell you eventually, but not while it’s all still in the planning stage. They keep it to themselves. I actually have no idea.

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Mike Ryan has written for The Huffington Post, Wired, Vanity Fair and New York. He is senior entertainment writer at Uproxx. You can contact him directly on Twitter.

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