Sunday, March 31, 2013

For bid: Suit worn by Vincent D'Onofrio; proceeds for charity

Up for bid is this suit worn by Vincent in what is speculated to be in Season 10. The owner of the suit is Ruby and can be trusted and authentic. The proceeds will benefit the charity for David Jorgensen.

"For auction is this gorgeous Brioni suit worn on the TV show ”Law & Order: Criminal Intent” by Vincent D’Onofrio as Robert Goren. It was bought directly from NBC Universal and comes with a Certificate of Authenticity with hologram. This lovely blue suit is soft, lightweight 100% wool and the jacket is sized 46L. The trousers measure 44” at the waist and 33” at the inseam. The jacket lining is a beautiful embroidered blue on blue, and the sleeve linings sport light blue stripes on white. It has two buttons down the front and double vents in the back. And pockets galore, inside and out! Brioni, well-respected Italian suit makers since 1945 and acquired by PPR in 2011, have their off-the-rack suits sell for thousands of dollars! James Bond wears Brioni suits as well as many other real-life celebrities (see Wikipedia for more info). Please note that the wardrobe items contained in this listing have been previously worn during production. The size indicated in the listing is based on measuring or the label; however, wardrobe may have been altered for use in production. This includes a 5” space at the nape of the neck where the lining has come unstitched from the back of the jacket; it arrived from the studio in this condition. This, however, can be easily repaired. This, a slight alteration at the back of the waistband of the trousers, and other than needing a pressing, the suit appears to be in perfect condition. This is your chance to own a piece of television history—a suit worn by Bobby Goren, one of the most iconic detectives ever to grace the small screen! Please view all photos carefully and ask any questions you may have before you bid. I *believe* to be the suit Goren wore in Season 10 of “Law & Order: Criminal Intent,” Episode 8, “To the Boy in the Blue Knit Cap.” If you wish to see pictures from that episode, please contact me through eBay and I will send you photos. Flat Rate Priority Postage with Tracking: $17.00 Insurance and/or international shipping would be more. Thanks for your consideration! Good luck!"

Wishing you all...

And many blessings today and always!

Friday, March 22, 2013

'Partners at the Collective Split to Launch New Firm'

The Collective partners Sam Maydew and Jeff Golenberg are preparing to exit the management-production powerhouse to launch a new entity focused on repping clients in film and TV.

Michael Green will remain CEO of the Collective, overseeing its digital media operations and management departments that rep music and digital clients. Green’s side will retain what was characterized as a passive investment in the Maydew-Golenberg entity, and vice versa.

For the short term, Maydew and Golenberg will remain at the Collective’s current office space in Beverly Hills but will look for its own digs down the road. The pair are expected to take about 15 Collective staffers with them at the outset. The sides are still in the early stages of working out the separation plan.

Sources emphasized that the split was amicable and comes after a period of rapid growth for the company. The partners decided that because the skill sets and needs of the film/TV department were so different than digital/music, it made sense to divide the biz in a way that would allow each side to make their own decisions about how best to deploy manpower and resources. Sources close to the situation downplayed rumors of tensions between the camps because profits were being funneled into efforts to expand the digital biz.

Maydew and Golenberg plan to take their entire roster with them in the move.  Those clients include Emile Hirsch, Evangeline Lilly, Jai Courtney, John Leguizamo, Vincent D’Onofrio, Jason Isaacs, David Krumholtz, Cat Deeley, Chi McBride, Eliza Dushku, Josh Peck, Ashley Madekwe, Christa B. Allen, Barry Sloane, Ramon Rodriguez, David Morrissey, June Diane Raphael, Wilmer Valderrama, Max Schneider amd Derek Hough, among others.  Comedian Martin Lawrence will remain repped by both firms.

On the production side, Maydew and Golenberg will continue to work with Green as producers of a pilot for Leguizamo at ABC and the Lawrence/Kelsey Grammer comedy series collaboration for Debmar Mercury. The trio is also shepherding a pilot for a docu-series on country singer Sara Evans at A&E (and they will continue to rep Evans with the Collective).

Maydew and Golenberg were part of the triumvirate that founded Collective in 2005 along with Green, who came from another management powerhouse, the Firm.

The changes reflects the growth of digital at the company, which is led by partner Reza Izad.

The rationale for getting aggressive outside the traditional realms of the entertainment business was that even though there was little immediate earnings potential, the direct-to-consumer nature of the Internet–where gatekeepers like networks and studios have yet to fully assert themselves–allowed for a greater share in long-term profits.

Collective’s growing interest in digital could also be seen as an impatience with the limitations many companies have with the traditional representation business; even talent agencies from CAA to UTA to WME are branching out into venture capital, making investments in start-ups with hopes of a payoff down the road that could ease the unpredictability of their core enterprise.

How Collective does its digital business is a twist on the traditional management model of taking a percentage of a client’s earnings. Instead, the company partners with clients on productions in exchange for offering a variety of essential services including deficit financing, technology and advertising sales.

Collective has figured out a low-cost formula for whetting consumer appetites for intellectual property online, then retaining control to that IP for a bigger payday on the more traditional platforms that are willing to relinquish rights to an already proven attraction. The company has also grown expert in exploiting that IP via touring and merchandising.

But it’s YouTube that has provided the foundation for Collective’s model, although there’s been some off-site exploitation across other platforms and apps as well.

Collective boasts a multichannel network business that generates 200 million viewers per month. While that’s still a far cry from the billion-view level that separates them from leaders in the MCN space like Maker Studios, Machinima and Fullscreen, it’s quite possible the company is looking to participate in the same rush of investment activity that has enveloped the sector in recent months.

Time Warner, Bertlesmann and Chernin Ventures are among the heavyweights that have plunked down coin for these properties with the intent of building brands that have the potential to scale to global TV networks.

Among the top properties on the Collective Digital Network include the Annoying Orange, Epic Meal Time, FreddieW and My Drunk Kitchen. While not mainstream phenomena in the conventional sense of the word, they are household names among the millennials that are increasingly slipping through the fingers of TV network yet still very much in demand to advertisers.

Madison Avenue has been getting over its traditional reluctance to associate its brands on YouTube with more and more experimentation with customized sponsorship integrations with YouTube personalities who have been aggressive about incorporating products directly into their programs in a way that hearkens back to the origins of TV.

Collective has brokered plenty of deals between these two factions including an upcoming Dodge branded integration for “Video Game High School 2,” a sequel to a hit YouTube sensation starring the firm’s client FreddieW.

Collective has scored a number of hits by taking a nontraditional path. Its first success came with comedian Katt Williams, who rose to prominence on the strength of a comedy special and DVD that was largely marketed off his website. 

Then came Lucas Cruikshank, a teenager known to the YouTube crowd as the helium-voiced Fred. After exploding on YouTube, Fred transitioned to Nickelodeon where he generated several high-rated TV movies and a series.

The most recent example of Collective’s migration strategy is The Annoying Orange, an animated fruit that has gone from a viral phenomenon to its own series on Cartoon Network. However, the cable channel simply licenses the series from Collective, which is able to sell the IP overseas as well.

Collective’s digital work isn’t restricted to amateur talent either; the firm partnered with “CSI” producer Anthony Zuiker on his own YouTube franchise, BlackboxTV.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Updated info on Vincent D'Onofrio appearance in Utah


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

More photos of Vincent D'Onofrio teaching Master Class at Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute


Vera Farmiga cast in 'The Judge' with Vincent D'Onofrio


Vera Farmiga
Vera Farmiga

David Dobkin is directing the dramedy, which counts Robert Duvall and Vincent D'Onofrio in its cast.

Vera Farmiga, hot off her debut in A&E’sBates Motel, has been cast as the female lead opposite Robert Downey Jr. in The Judge, the Warner Bros. dramedy whichDavid Dobkin is directing.

Downey stars as a successful attorney who returns to his hometown for his mother's funeral only to discover that his estranged father (Robert Duvall), the town's judge, is the murder suspect. The man sets out to discover the truth and along the way reconnects with the family he walked away from years before.
Farmiga will play a waitress in the hometown, portraying a woman who never left the small-town life and who has a history with Downey’s character.
Judge is a co-production between Team Downey and Big Kid Pictures. A Boston shoot beginning in June is being eyed.
Farmiga, who was nominated for an Oscar for her work in 2009’s Up in the Air, is receiving raves for her performance as Norman Bates’ mother in Bates Motel. The show premiered Monday, grabbing 3 million viewers and becoming A&E’s highest rated premiere with the coveted adults 25-54 and adults 18-49 demo.
The actress, repped by CAA, Authentic Talent and Peikoff Mahan, will next be seen starring in New Line’s horror thriller The Conjuring, which opens July 19.


Happy Spring!

Happy 21ST Birthday, Leila!

Wishing Vincent's daughter, Leila, a very happy 21ST birthday. First, a video I made with some photos and below that a clip from musical theatre at the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute where Leila is currently a student.

Monday, March 18, 2013

'Robert Downey, Jr.’s 'The Judge' Casts A-List Stars: Will it Be Downey, Jr.’s Road to Oscar Glory?'

By  | Yahoo! Contributor Network
You don't see a movie often that courts several Oscar-winning actors to join the cast, unless you're a Scorsese, Spielberg, or Hooper. When you're Robert Downey, Jr., it's a compounded event considering he's never won an Oscar after two acting nominations. And you can be sure that with his financial security being mostly in the "Iron Man" and "Marvel's The Avengers" wheelhouses of late, he likely knows the risk is there of losing more award-worthy human dramas if the superhero franchises go on too long.
Downey, Jr. may have found his human drama in his upcoming film project "The Judge." There, he plays a lawyer who goes home after his mother dies, only to find his ailing judge father may be to blame for the death. It could have been a project nearly existing in a dream had Jack Nicholson almost joined the cast as Downey's father. But with Robert Duvall replacing Nicholson, plus a cast of Vincent D'Onofrio and Billy Bob Thornton in tow, it looks like a project from the last days of the studio system.
Even Duvall must see that casting as something not usually seen since the 1970s when the last of the truly great movies with large casts were done. Yes, we saw many big stars in the recently dreadful "Movie 43", despite almost all of them being snookered into doing the project. Even Martin Scorsese hasn't employed this diverse of an Oscar-winning cast when you consider he's been recently re-using the same bank of actors.
It's possible Downey, Jr. will help bring back this element to movies that compete for Oscars. His only competition may be George Clooney who has his World War II epic "The Monuments Men" out at the end of this year with a surprisingly large A-list cast. Over the next decade, it could be only Downey, Jr. and Clooney being the two biggest movie stars in the world who can assemble myriad Oscar winners in a cast without trepidation by a single actor.
With celebrity egos seemingly getting larger by the minute, that's a refreshing way for Downey, Jr. and Clooney to use their powers. Regardless, compiling such huge casts might seem overly obvious as pandering for awards. That's why it seems top actors mostly prefer acting in projects where they can be the focus, or in smaller, independent productions not requiring equal acting time.
There's nothing worse than several legendary actors from one movie having to endure analysis of how much time they put into the movie for an Oscar nomination. We've seen our share of those, with some winning awards for being in no more than 10 minutes of scenes. The same potential is there should Downey, Jr.'s "The Judge" become a multi-Oscar nominee in a couple of years.
The real question is whether the film will reignite Downey, Jr.'s Oscar chances as a producer and actor. Any answer seems in the affirmative when we know how expansive he can be as an actor when not being stuck in the pit of his sarcastic Tony Stark persona. Because we haven't seen him in an intense family drama before, seeing a raw and emotional Downey act next to today's finest actors seems a setup as an eventual exit from the superhero genre.
That is, unless he's somehow Oscar-nominated for "Iron Man 3" after a raw and emotional performance surviving at the nefarious hand of The Mandarin.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Vincent D'Onofrio Gangnam Style

Marian made this funny video...
Personalize funny videos and birthday eCards at JibJab!

Review...'Chlorine' at Sun Valley Film Festival

I stuck around for the 8:00 p.m. screening of “Chlorine,” an independent feature with an intriguing cast: Vincent D’Onofrio, Kyra Sedgwick, Michele Hicks, Dreama Walker – and more familiar faces popped up as the film unspooled, including Tom Sizemore and Elizabeth Röhm.  I found the tone unsettling: the central family of D’Onofrio and Sedgwick and their two adolescent children all seemed in crisis, and all the people surrounding them were cruel, feckless, betraying, and mean-spirited. I was reminded of “American Beauty,” but less so.  Amazingly, after everybody did everybody dirt, there was a surprisingly sweet-tempered ending, in which at least D’Onofrio and Sedgwick seemed reconciled.

Writer/Director Jay Alaimo, carefully and stylishly dressed in a cool aesthetic of plaid trousers, blue shirt, dotted tie, and corduroy jacket, seemed almost apologetic, oddly modest, self-deprecating, and very soft-spoken – he didn’t use the mic he was given, and we strained to hear both him and the questions from the sliver of the audience that stuck around.

Even though I hadn’t really warmed to the film, I was immediately impressed when he said it had been shot in 17 days, which seemed almost impossible (especially when he said that many other scenes that he shot didn’t make it into the film), on a tiny budget, in super 16.  I was interested in a discussion of side-by-side testing of the Alexa digital camera and 35mm Fuji film for a new project – he preferred the digital – and just shot a project he directed for hire, “The World Within,” digitally with two cameras at once, not only saving time but, he said, capturing amazing energy in performances.

Still, I was left with two wistful soundbites: “I think this film [“Chlorine”] has been jinxed in a lot of ways that make me laugh,” and what he said was a quote: “Filmmaking is the least artistic of all the arts” – to which Amaino added “It’s true, and it’s a b

Entire article on Indiewire here

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Vincent as 'Gavin' in 'Salt On Our Skin'

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Billy Bob Thornton Could Sign On For The Judge With Vincent D'Onofrio

CINEMABLEND.COM  published: 2013-03-15 21:11:00 Author: Eric EisenbergBilly Bob Thornton Could Sign On For The Judge With Robert Downey Jr. image
Robert Downey Jr. spent a lot of time looking for an actor to play his father in the upcoming David Dobkin film The Judge. Late last year the Iron Manstar was trying hard to get Jack Nicholson to join, but when those plans fell through they signed Robert Duvall for the part. The casting news has been rolling in since, with it just being reported earlier today that Vincent D'onofrio has joined the production, and now we have yet another report to share.

Billy Bob Thornton, who just recently worked with Duvall on his directorial effort Jayne Mansfield's Car, is now in talks to play one of the central antagonists in the upcoming film, according to Variety. Based on an original script by Nick Schenk that was rewritten by Bill Dubuque, The Judge tells the story of a hot-shot lawyer (Downey Jr.) who returns to his hometown after being away for decades to attend his mother's funeral. When he arrives, however, he discovers that his estranged father, the local judge, is suspected of killing her. As the lawyer works to prove his dad's innocence, the two finally get to bond like they never got to when they were younger. Should he sign on, Thornton will be playing "the special prosecutor brought in to try Duvall’s character." 

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Charity Fundraiser this April in Utah with Vincent D'Onofrio

Official poster...thanks to Chris at thereelblog for sharing!

Vincent D'Onofrio joins 'The Judge'


Vincent D’Onofrio has signed on to play the brother of Robert Downey Jr’s character in The Judge, the Warner Bros dramedy that also stars Robert Duvall. Bill Dubuque was pegged to pen a new draft of the Nick Schenk script, about a big-city lawyer (Downey) who returns to his childhood home where his estranged father (Duvall), the town‘s judge, is suspected of murder. He sets out to discover the truth and along the way reconnects with the family he walked away from years before. David Dobkin is directing, and Downey and Susan Downey are producing with Dobkin. D’Onofrio just completed the off-Broadway show Clive opposite Ethan Hawke and Zoe Kazan. On the big screen, he just wrapped the action comedy Pawn Shop Chronicles and next appears in the indie Broken Horses with Anton Yelchin and Thomas Jane. D’Onofrio is repped by UTA and the Collective.

'The story centers on a successful lawyer (Robert Downey Jr.) who returns to his hometown and learns that his father (Robert Duvall), the town's judge, is accused of murdering his mother. The attorney sets out to find the truth, while reconnecting with his estranged dad, who suffers from Alzheimer's Disease.'

Rib City Grill gets its own reality show...'Smoked'


A couple of years back, Rib City Grill Utah filmed a pilot episode for a reality show that fans voted on in order to win a slot for viewing.  They won by popular vote, however it seemed to have fizzled and nothing else was heard.  This appears to be another attempt via a different venue.  The video did not have an embed feature so you will have to click on the link above to view.  Rib City's video is the one on the right and gives you a taste of what the series has to offer.  It looks as if viewing is online only and that new shows will be posted each week.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Vincent D'Onofrio at The New Group Bright Lights Off-Broadway 2013 Gala

NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 11: Actor Vincent D'Onofrio attends The New Group Bright Lights Off-Broadway 2013 Gala at Tribeca Rooftop on March 11, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images)

Monday, March 11, 2013

As per request...

vikeau requested I repost this article done by an Australian girl who went to one of Vincent's classes at the Lee Strasberg Film and Theatre Institute...

The Best Time I Met Vincent D'Onofrio

I had become, quite recently, very interested in interviewing the actor Vincent D'Onofrio.
This started, innocently enough, when I fell into what could best be described as an internet k-hole. Like all internet k-holes, it began with Wikipedia. Specifically with the Wikipedia entry for the Law & Order: Criminal Intent episode "Icarus," which it had been reported at the time was going star Patti Smith in a guest role. For serious? To the encyclopedia of obscure knowledges of television programs!
This was exactly the sort of detail that would get my boyfriend, finally, to appreciate Criminal Intentfor what it is: the clearly superior flavor of Law & Order of the dozen or so (or how ever many) flavors there were. And why this was so was because of the Detective Goren character, played by Vincent D'Onofrio.
Plus Patti Smith = no contest.
Or so I thought. Up until this point my boyfriend had watched it with me begrudgingly in the way that we all do things for the person we love that we don't 100% want to, which are usually, sometimes, but not always, sex things. And so: Detective Goren. My boyfriend is of the opinion that Goren is the single stupidest, most unrealistic, offensive character to have ever hulkingly graced a television screen:
"Wait, wait — this the part where Goren floats away on a cloud made of his own cleverness, yes?"
"HEY EVERYONE! I heard that someone needed a deus ex machina to tie up these impossible plots threads in the final two minutes of the episode? I'M HERE. DON'T WORRY."
"And then Goren just yelled at someone for the length of an amazingly detailed and twitchy monologue until they confessed. The End."
All of this witty commentary made it hard for me to passively enjoy the brainless predictablilty of Criminal Intent while also enjoying the hard to puzzle sexiness of Vincent D'Onofrio,* as is its unique appeal.
So I was looking up Wikipedia to verify the truthiness of this Patti Smith thing, and that's when I fell into the k-hole. From there it was just a couple of short hours of reading, following links to extremely detailed fan blogs (why??), while passively watching a CI marathon in the background (Pro Tip: it's always the second person interviewed by the detectives who did it), before I knew pretty much everything there was to know about Vincent D'Onofrio. And he was very interesting! For example:
- It's his fault those dick shots of Anthony Weiner got out.
- He's worked with Stanley Kubrick, Robert Altman, Oliver Stone, Kathryn Bigelow, and Mike Mills, but has never won a major acting award, and seems not to care.
- He turned down a role in The Sopranos.
- He has taken a string of roles over the years in what can only be described as terrible sci-fi movies (please enjoy something called Salute of the Jugger).
- Still, this is a pretty great scene in Men in Black.
- He's given relatively few long interviews over the years.
I also read that when he was cast in practically perfect film, The Player, by Robert Altman in 1992, Vincent D'Onofrio did not have a phone. So Robert Altman was wondering around his neighborhood, looking for his house so he could deliver the script to him. How could you have a career as an actor and not have a phone? Was it like a Cormac McCarthy/Gil Scott thing? Was it even true? Intrigue! These were pressing questions of our age! Or so I thought, briefly, when my mind drifted at work one slow day to how I might go about asking someone who was like that why they were like that. It's no fun trying to interview someone if getting to them is easy, right (no phone!)? Well good, because this will be impossible.
I secured a commission for a profile in a magazine. The editor wrote back to my pitch:
Editor: "I too harbor an unnatural love of Vincent D'Onofrio and think this would be an ideal fit."
Me: "What help could you afford me in securing an interview?"
Editor: "Absolutely none."
(OK, wonderful.)
I pulled all the strings that I could at my job in an effort to line this thing up. There were several roadblocks in the way of this, the first being that Criminal Intent had been recently canceled (the pain is too much to go into right now) and so no publicist was interested in pushing for an interview with a reclusive actor in aide of spruiking a show that no longer existed. All the other roadblocks had to do with the fact I wasn't calling from The Hollywood Reporter. Oh no! I was calling from the other side of the world, from Australia, where if anyone in Los Angeles knew where it was they did not care that the time difference necessitated my calling them bleary-eyed at three in the morning, where I mumbled my pitch.
"So you're what? You want who, I can't understand you."
"VincenndOnofffrio, jus, like [stifled yawn], tennnminutes on the phone..."
"OK, great! Just email me through the details and when you want this to happen and I'll pass it on for you."
At the other end of the line I heard the sound of my hastily written email being burned on a pile of hundreds of other emails where the DO NOT PURSUE emails are all destroyed forever.
Still, I tried this with all the avenues I could think of: small production companies about to put out a film starring Vincent D'Onofrio, the people who used to rep him on Law & Order, film festivals he was speaking at, whatever. I know this all sounds creepy, but it's my job! Admittedly, also, I was just being stubborn about it now. The whole no-phone thing was like a red flag to a bull for me: I will track this shit down. But also I started to wonder about myself a little bit: Had I become a character in Law & Order, only instead of solving fictitious crimes, I was setting myself a series of escalating challenges to solve, just to keep things interesting like I was part of some kind of scavenger hunt only I was playing? If so, what was wrong with me? Where in this episode was some kind of all-knowing psychiatrist/detective character who could diagnose this tendency?
Whatever! I had to fly to New York.
I was in New York because it's on the way to Miami, which is where I was going to cover a story on board an enormous cruise ship with a couple thousand KISS Army members. But in the meantime, New York.
I will not lie: All the aforementioned had resulted in me adding "Vincent D'Onofrio" to my Google alerts. Which was how I found out he was giving a lecture at the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute in two days' time.
I called the press office at the school, emailed through my attendance request and credentials and explained that I was writing about the film festival and this would make for great color and blah blah, and I'll sit quietly in the back and you won't even know that I'm there. This is it! This was so simple and it fell in my lap!
I sent polite follow ups in the next two days, and got nothing again. So on the morning of the lecture I got up and went into the city thinking that I would just present myself in the flesh and talk my way in. And yes, for a moment, as I was walking down the street I told myself that Goren would totally do this. Just channel Goren and you'll charm your way into a place you aren't meant to be with a tilt of the head. Yes, I actually thought that.
"Oh, are you with press for Vincent D'Onofrio?" a young man at the front desk asked me enthusiastically.
"Yes I am."
"Okay, great! Someone will be right with you."
Because no one got back to my email I was pretty sure someone was going to check it, shake their head, and come come out and tell me to leave. Instead, an extremely helpful and friendly woman from administration came out and presented me with a complimentary Lee Strasberg tote bag, a copy of The Definition of Acting, one of A Dream of Passion, and a glossy brochure for the school, from the pages of which stare Alec Baldwin, Robert De Niro, Brando, and Marilyn Monroe, all very intensely.
"We'll save a seat in here for you, it will start in about 10 minutes."
"Thank you so much," I said.
As I flipped though the pages trying to find out how much it would cost to study somewhere like this, I heard an unmistakable voice.
"Hi!" Vincent D'Onofrio said from where he was standing at my feet with his back to me. He was quickly ushered off by someone, and as soon as he was safely out of earshot all the women in the room dissolved into giggles and one of them mimed fainting.
I was working out how to play this in my mind. I'd sit through this acting workshop for an hour, and then I'd just really coolly ask Vincent D'Onofrio — who hates interviews, talking about himself, and journalists — if he has maybe 20 minutes at some point in the next week to meet me somewhere for a totally informal chat that's not really an interview, more like, 'Hey, this is fun! Right?' and I'll give him my card, he'll smile and say, "No problem!" and then I'll get to the bottom of this no-phone thing. Simple.
I took my seat in the second row in the small theatre space. Soon all the students file in and I can safely say that I have never been around so many actors in my life; I was the only one out of the 40 or so people in the room who wasn't one. There was quite an electric buzz rippling through the room, even if not everyone seemed to know who Vincent D'Onofrio is, because I guess having maybe one of the most well known method actors of the last 25 years visit your school of method acting without knowing who they are is a pretty regular thing?
"Wait, so who is this guy?" one girl asked while looking him up on her laptop.
"Oh my God, my mom loves him," said her friend. "She is gonna freak."
A squeal pierced my right ear as Wikipedia delivered a result. "He's the Law & Order guy??? Oh. My. God. *I* love him!" The grin does not leave this girl's face for hours.
So Vincent D'Onofrio came onstage and delivered over the next hour what amounted to a master class on Method acting, and not being an actor I of course had no idea what he was talking about a lot of the time, but everyone around me was nodding and making quiet sounds of approval and understanding. I was also beset by the intense feeling that I was in a place I was not supposed to be, like I'd been mistakenly admitted in to a witches' coven. Or a cult.
The first thing he said was, "I'd rather not talk about myself. I hate talking about myself. I want to talk about acting, so let's talk about acting."
Soon he was talking about creating a feeling of intense discomfort, when he played the role of Edgar in Men in Black, a 10-foot-tall alien crunched down into the body of a human being.
"I'm in my trailer with my legs bound up in these braces I bought and I sit there and I put on this football helmet. This football helmet that I really fucking hated wearing when I played high school football."
It took me a moment to realize that this football helmet was metaphorical. Especially as this story came right after he'd said that when you become an actor, everyone else on the set "Will treat you like a wild animal. Always. Always. Like you are an animal in a cage and don't stick your hand too far in to the cage." Why would people think that? Surely not because you are sitting in a trailer with your legs bound, silently, while wearing a football helmet? Just the leg braces were real, not the helmet, so no problem.
Objects of intense emotional significance to you are employed a lot in method acting, I learned. They have to be older than seven years for it to work in eliciting a response. There is a lot of reading I have to do in these books I was given to fully understand it, of course, but it sounds sort of like a cross between Tantric meditation and voodoo.
Vincent D'Onofrio was, for a lot of this time, sitting in a chair on the stage which is very tall because he is kind of a giant. He was wearing scruffy black jeans, old sneakers, and a black collared shirt, which, because of the way he was sitting, was popped open a little in the place that reveals a person's bellybutton and my mind strayed a minute to wondering about if there is and if so how much lint might be in there, and maybe harvesting it, maybe, I was just sort of thinking that for a pleasant moment and tuning out just for a second when Vincent D'Onofrio stood up and planted himself on the stage two feet away and said, "So I was taught to lead with my dick."
And, what??? Okay, what? What this about is how important sexuality is to method acting and owning an innate presence on the stage, not a showy kind of sexiness but knowing inside yourself that you are a sexual being and using that to stand your ground on a stage, "Whether you're a woman or a man, it doesn't matter, it's the same." And then he went into some detail about this, about "owning what was between my hips, what was going on down there — you guys are learning that, right?" and it was so intensely riveting to every person there that it really heightened the feeling in me of not being meant to be there, and also suddenly of being incredibly, incredibly thirsty.
There was a lot of other stuff covered after, including the fact that he's dyslexic and can't differentiate between "3"s and "E"s, but still can learn 11 pages of dialogue in an hour after someone told him in acting school, "You can get over that."
Eventually someone asked about Law & Order, and he said, "You know, one of those silly interrogation scenes?" and how the character was meant to possess this boundless energy and how that was mustered through him annoying the shit out of everyone in the immediate vicinity by either touching them inappropriately or cursing them under his breath, or whatever it was,"Until, BOOM! All that energy was sucked up and put into the scene. But there was sometimes 16 hours a day of this on a show like that, it's like being on a hurtling train and wanting to get off. But you can't. It's your job."
Things wrapped up after that. The students applauded for a really long time, and then there was a photo session, during which a woman, maybe the head of the school, posed on the stage with Vincent D'Onofrio hanging onto his arm like a vice and smiling to the point where her teeth could have splintered from the pressure, which he totally coolly appeared to tolerate, and then he said goodbye and slipped off backstage.
There is a thing in journalism that's something of a vital skill, and I'm terrible at it, and it's the Doorstop Interview. If someone has agreed to speak with me weeks in advance and they know they will be interviewed, then I am fine with that. But otherwise I think that barreling up to someone and asking them something for the record out of the blue is really unfair and kind of rude and ambush-y. That might make me a terrible journalist, I don't know. But I was thinking to myself, This is the other side of the world from my home, which is a long way, and so I will just wait outside for the length of time it takes me to smoke a cigarette and if in that time Vincent D'Onofrio walks out I'll give him my card and ask for some time and it will be cool. Don't worry about it, just do it.
I was out of the street and I checked my email while I waited, and there's one from The Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute that reads, "Sorry, the President is not comfortable with you attending."
I nearly dropped the cigarette out of my mouth, and I looked around expecting that someone will arrest me, or something, but instead it's Vincent D'Onofrio getting on his bike.
"Hey Vincent... D'Onofrio?" I stammered.
"Hey!" He smiled and he rode off down East 15th street with a cigarette between his teeth.
Elmo Keep is an Australian writer. These are her stories.