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"BACK IN HIALEAH, HE'S JUST VINCENT DOWN AT THE GYM"...THE MIAMI HERALD...1988...LYDIA MARTIN Herald Staff Writer Straining on the overhead press at a Hialeah gym, Vincent D'Onofrio easily blends in with the regulars.
He's glad about that. In some parts of the country people gawk and stop him for autographs. Here, whether he's pumping iron at a neighborhood gym or shopping for a cappuccino maker for his mother, he's just a regular guy.
The only difference is that Vincent D'Onofrio, who grew up in Hialeah, is a pretty big name in Hollywood. He played the fat recruit in the 1987 movie Full Metal Jacket, he is in the current movie Mystic Pizza, and days ago he returned from Australia where he made a movie called Salute of the Jugger, in which he plays an athlete.
"When I come here I can be Vincent the guy I was when I grew up here. I come here often for that reason, and to be with my family," said D'Onofrio, 29, who now keeps an apartment in Manhattan.
D'Onofrio was in town last week for the opening of his sister's new gym, named Vincent's Gym after him.
"I came to help with the publicity and will come back every so often to help her out," said D'Onofrio, who stays at his mother's house when he's in town.
On the back wall of the gym, at 2050 W. 56th St., there are several autographed black-and-white glossies of D'Onofrio. Sister Toni D'Onofrio is hoping her brother's popularity on screen will attract people to the gym, which is equipped with Nautilus machines and free weights.
"We're using him. It's mostly word of mouth right now," she said. "I hope it becomes famous as Vincent D'Onofrio's gym, but now it's getting its name as a monthly gym with no yearly contract that people can afford."
D'Onofrio said he enjoys staying at his mother's house and taking a break from the cameras.
"I get to do the regular things when I'm here. Like the other day my little nephew woke up with a high fever and we had to take him to the hospital," he said.
D'Onofrio won a great deal of praise for his role in Full Metal Jacket, for which he had to gain 70 pounds. While it was a challenging role, he won't do any other role similar to it, he said.
"I'll never accept a role where I have to put on 70 pounds again, that's very hard," said D'Onofrio, who months before shooting Full Metal Jacket stopped exercising and started indulging in a daily diet of about 10,000 calories. After the movie, he spent nine months working out with weights and running to take the weight off.
For Salute to the Jugger, D'Onofrio had to look his athletic best. Today, he is trim and muscular and sports reddish hair.
"In this movie I have the posture of an athlete. I worked with a stunt man for a long time to get everything right. Working out in the outbacks of Australia was great exercise," he said. "I was tan from working out in the sun every day, and my hair was dyed red and bleached by the sun."
D'Onofrio said he would like to be an even bigger success story, but success itself never drives him.
"You have to be talented and work real hard," he said. "And you have to keep your mind off the success because it will come. If you work hard, you will eventually get paid for it."
In the world of movie-making, success goes hand in hand with making money. D'Onofrio is getting a taste of both.
"You want to know the most decadent thing I've done? Every day in the outback in Australia I had cappuccino," he said. "I hooked the coffee maker up to a car battery and I had the coffee flown in from Sydney."
The Salute of the Jugger - Training
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Copyright (c) 1988 The Miami Herald