Exclusive: Vincent D’Onofrio on ‘Jurassic Park 4,’ No One Really Has It Right
Vincent D'Onofrio may be most widely recognized as the detective with some unorthodox techniques on 'Law & Order: Criminal Intent,' but he's ready to branch out into more sinister roles in playing the Kingpin in Marvel's 'Daredevil' Netflix series and, reportedly, a villain in 'Jurassic Park 4.' As the actor reminded me, he was known for his many bad-guy characters in his earlier career (for one, see 'Men in Black'), though newer generations will become acclimated with his darker side.
D'Onofrio came into the ScreenCrush offices the other day to chat about an indie film he produced and co-wrote for director and Linkin Park member Joe Hahn, called 'Mall.' In the weeks to come, we'll have more to report on the film, which follows a group of characters in the midst of a tragic mall shooting, but the actor spoke a bit about his experience working on 'Jurassic Park 4' (officially titled 'Jurassic World') with director Colin Trevorrow and star Chris Pratt. And, though we've already seen an interview from Trevorrow himself detailing some of the events to come, no one has really gotten the full story on this film -- at least, according to D'Onofrio.
Colin Trevorrow recently tweeted that production is completely wrapped and now they’re in post-production. Can you talk about that experience?
It’s just great. ... I don’t know if you saw Colin’s first film.
Yeah. It’s on Netflix right now.
‘Safety Not Guaranteed.’ It’s just so great.
I think he was such an interesting choice, too.
Yeah, he was amazing. Basically, I think Spielberg chose him because of the end of that movie, ‘Safety Not Guaranteed.’ And that movie wasn’t supposed to end that way, and it was Colin’s idea to end that movie that way, and I thought it was amazing.
Anyway ... I mean, all I can say – I can’t talk about story, again. These days, it’s like the way Woody Allen -- everybody’s taking Woody Allen’s approach and you’re not allowed to discuss anything, so ... Basically all I can say is that Chris Pratt has become a friend; he’s an awesome guy. Colin Trevorrow is a great director. The crew on that [film] was amazing. The storyline is gonna be so different than the first few.
Some of the scenes in that, just the scenes that I shot -- I’m not in nearly as much as Chris is or Bryce, they’re the leads in the movie -- but just if I’m gonna talk about the stuff that I did, the scenes are so cool. There’s real dialogue scenes in the movie and there’s real, like, acting scenes in the movie, but at the same time the environment is full of dinosaurs. I mean, it’s just amazing.
Do you remember where you were, or what you were doing when you saw the first ‘Jurassic Park’ movie?
Yeah, I was with my daughter; we watched it together. She’s a huge fan of ‘Jurassic Park.’
Is her mind completely blown that you’re in this project?
Yeah. All my kids are. I have three kids – two young boys and Leila. Leila's an actress. She just got really great reviews, and she’s doing Chekhov in…
...with Australia. No, she’s doing it in Perth at a big theatre, a Heath Ledger theatre in Perth. And she just got great reviews from a top critic out there. So she’s doing real well, but she came to visit with my oldest son, who’s 14 – Leila's 22, she goes by the name Leila George – and Elias is my son, as well. They came out to visit, because the little one, the 6-year-old, would have been too scared to be there. But they came out and they watched a certain scene that was really super cool, and they just loved it. They just loved it.
That’s really cool. Well, we kind of already know, I mean Trevorrow has kind of already dished a lot on the plot, but…
You know, I’ve seen a lot of the stories out there. None of them really have it.
Yeah, not really.
Well, that’s good. Surprises, we need surprises.
... You have no idea what’s in store. There really are a couple of, I would say more than five or six scenes in that, that are just totally iconic, like amazing.
I think what I’m most excited about, too, are the special effects. Because Phil Tippett from the first movie is [working on] this. Did you ever get a chance to talk with him or see his work in action?
Well, yeah. I mean, they were all there.
Can you say anything about…?
[Laughs] No! I mean, I can’t. I’m legally bound not to say anything, and I also think it’s more exciting not to. It’s so funny because, when you’re on a set like that ... it’s not the same feeling you have on any other set, like, something that was created up, this world that was created by Steven Spielberg. When you’re on that set, I remember the first couple days on the set it was so weird it. You see, "oh, there’s the jeep from so and so," and [whispers] "oh fuck, that's...oh shit!," and everything looks so Jurassic-y. It’s quite something. Then you have to realize that, you know, fuck, you know, I’m playing a real guy in a real situation, and you gotta start acting. But at first when you walk on set, like when we were shooting in Hawaii, we’re on the side of this beautiful mountain, flying in helicopters and all kinds of shit.
... Like I said, there’s an endless amount of iconic scenes in the movie that come one after another that are going to be so spectacular. You know, I think everyone is going to just love it. If they’re anything, like, if the public is anything as enthusiastic as my daughter and my 14-year-old son, I think it’s gonna be a huge movie then.
Stay tuned for more information from Vincent D'Onofrio on 'Mall.'