It’s a pretty good year for Vincent D’Onofrio. On April 10, Daredevil, his highly anticipated Marvel series, premieres on Netflix (and we spoke to D’Onofrio about Daredevil in a previously published segment of this interview). Then, in another surefire hit, D’Onofrio appears in the highly anticipated Jurassic World, which, as he explains below, won him great favor with his children.
But, first, D’Onofrio stars in Broken Horses, in which he plays Julius Hench, a kind of Southwestern United States Kingpin of sorts who manipulates the drug war at the American-Mexican border for his own benefit, with two brothers (Anton Yelchin and Chris Marquette) used as pawns.
Ahead, D’Onofrio talks about his new film, the upcoming Jurassic World, and explains why he’s only seen Full Metal Jacket one time (which ranks him very low on the “How many times have you seen Full Metal Jacket?” list).
Broken Horses has a good, “I know there’s a rat in my crew,” scene. I enjoy scenes like that.
Yeah, I love it. When they’re all standing around me?
Yes. Waiting to see whose phone rings.
That’s Vidhu Chopra, he comes up with that stuff.
He’s known for directing Bollywood films, how did you two meet?
Actually, we met in New York. He asked to see me and I rode my bike over to see him and we got along great. We ended up sitting there for a couple hours, I think.
I love that you rode your bike. I’m terrified when I ride a bike in New York.
Oh, yeah. That’s how I get around the city. Unless I’m in a suit or something, I don’t take cabs — or unless I’m with my kids. My wife and I, we ride our bikes all over.
How did you get around this past winter? It was awful.
Well, when it’s really bad, when there’s ice on the ground, you can’t, you’ll eventually go down. Your tires will just come out from under you.
This winter will never end.
Everybody’s keeping their fingers crossed, right? You never know with March. March is a tricky month in New York. It always has been.
Broken Horses will keep you guessing where it’s going. It is suspenseful.
Well, I feel he was out to make this story about love, not a story about drug cartels…
Drug cartels do play a role in the background of the story.
Yeah. And about hardship and the struggle to be who you are and do the right thing. And there’s a lot of questions of the grey area of love and how to take care of somebody properly. I think that was a unique approach to that world.
And you also have Jurassic World coming up.
Yeah, I’m very happy about it. My kids are very happy about it. They love these projects because I usually do very kind of adult stuff. Although, my oldest is 22 now, so she can watch everything I do. But my 15-year-old and my 7-year-old boy – the two boys are younger – yeah, they are very excited. I’m very excited about it; I love this stuff. There are a lot of good opportunities coming my way and I love it.
What’s it like when you come home one day and say, “Guess what, gang? I’m in the new Jurassic Park movie”?
Oh, my daughter, their generation, it’s like their Star Wars; they were just so psyched, they couldn’t believe it. The first thing that came out of their mouths is, “You have to let us come visit the set!” And so Colin Trevorrow, the director, was very nice about that. My kids were able to come and they got a tour of the whole thing. It was really cool.
You’re now up for father of the year.
Yeah, yeah, now I’ve got to top it somehow. I don’t know how I’m going to do that.
Full Metal Jacket is on television all the time and it’s impossible not to watch. If you’re flipping through channels, will you watch it?
No. I’ve seen Full Metal Jacket once. I saw it once.
That doesn’t surprise me for some reason.
But I think that’s cool that you can’t not watch it, there are a lot of people like that, I guess. But, it’s not just Full Metal Jacket; it’s not because it’s Full Metal Jacket. It’s just because it’s not interesting for me to watch my films. I’ve seen most of them, not all of them. Most of them because of premieres and stuff like that, but I’ve only seen them once. Being in it takes you out of the film and it’s not so enjoyable. I like, honestly, other films that I’m not in, so that I can just be an audience member.
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.