Daredevil‘s Vincent D’Onofrio generally keeps his head down and only surfaces to promote his work, but suddenly, he’s feeling chatty with the world. He recently opened up about his bad reputation on the Law & Order: Criminal Intent set, and perhaps he’s feeling even more candid now, because over the weekend, D’Onofrio consulted Twitter on a very heated subject — whether or not actors must question portraying heinous characters rooted in real life.
To be certain, this a dilemma faced by many actors (especially in this heated political climate) because these roles exist, and someone must portray such atrocities onscreen, especially in the context of larger stories. Yet accepting a hefty paycheck for doing so must weigh heavily at the same time, and Topher Grace has admitted to recovering from the stress of playing former KKK Grand Wizard David Duke in BlacKkKlansman by editing The Hobbit down to a manageable length. And so, D’Onofrio asked his followers to weigh in on the issue of whether he should play a non-fictional, “irredeemable racist” character in an unnamed future TV series.
He added that he felt particularly torn because “Our morality is in shreds in this country.”
Fellow actors Ron Perlman and Donal Logue quickly weighed in with their opinions, which included pointing out how actors have portrayed horrible characters for countless decades. They also both urged D’Onofrio to accept the role, but he fretted that this would be “dangerous,” and “[m]aybe art or no art we must b responsible?”
Within 24 hours, D’Onofrio declared that thousands of users replied to his tweet. Some were not so kind (he continues to retweet the positive and negative takes) while others pointed out that such performances are often necessary. D’Onofrio also thanked those who engaged in a civilized discussion with him. “Not only am I impressed with all the reply’s I received from my question,” he tweeted. “I am impressed by my peers in the business.”