“Emerald City” stars Adria Arjona and Vincent D’Onofrio share with Access Hollywood Live’s Natalie Morales and Kit Hoover how the new NBC drama is “a reimagining of the classic” Wizard of Oz story. “Emerald City” premieres Jan. 6 at 9/8c on NBC.
Orange is the New Black’s Uzo Aduba and Daredevil’s Vincent D’Onofrio sit down to discuss just how complicated it can be to work on a popular series. Join us on the Netflix YouTube channel for interviews between stars from our best and brightest Netflix shows.
Where are you shooting?
Baton Rouge. 100-and-something degrees, it’s crazy, but’s it all good. It’s an outdoor adventure. We built a town there, and then I’m going to New Mexico to shoot out there for three or four weeks. Baton Rouge is cool, man. It’s Louisiana — low-key, laid back. Gotta be careful what you eat, cause there’s a lot of good food out there. Spicy, salty, and I’m trying to stay clean. But the people are nice.
Are you one to easily shift out of that mode into talking about “Southpaw” now?
Not at all, I’m in ‘Mag Seven’ mode. So for these questions I really have to think about and remember, but you know, the movie is so personal for me anyway. I was in it so deep, so it was just a natural thing. I box every day, I have a gym built wherever I go so I still got my gym. Everyday I try to get in there and work out the mitts. So I stay in a certain mode, but I got my cowboy hat waiting for me back in Lousiana.
It’s interesting, with “Seven Samurai” and the original “Magnificent Seven” there was a certain cultural or pop culture attachment to each of the cast members. It seems you’ve done the same thing here.
Yeah, I knew I wanted Denzel, obviously. And then Ethan [Hawke], and Vincent D’Onofrio — they were the first phone calls I was making. Got Chris Pratt, who I love. Byung-hun Lee, the Korean actor — I saw him in “A Bittersweet Life” and “The Good, The Bad, The Weird,” and just wait ’til you see him in this. And then I found an unknown but great Latino actor, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, and also a Native American actor, Martin Sensmeier, who’s hardcore with a mohawk in this.
When I look at the picture and see all seven of them, they’ve all definitely got a different pop culture feel, with Denzel in the middle where Yul Brynner was. All different types of actors and ages, it keeps me going every day when it’s hot and hard and the horses don’t wanna do what you want. “Hey, it’s ‘Mag Seven’ and I got my boys.”
Set 22 years after the events of Jurassic Park, Colin Trevorrow‘s Jurassic World sees the dinosaur theme park fully restored and operational. But even with its success, the park needs to find ways to attract new visitors, and at InGen’s request, the science team created the Indominus Rex, a fearsome hybrid dinosaur that grows beyond InGen’s control. Now, it is up to Owen Grady (Chris Pratt), a raptor whisperer, Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard), the park’s CEO, and the island’s private security force to stop the monstrous creation before she can cause more damage.
In the film, Vincent D’Onofrio plays Vic Hoskins, the leader of Jurassic World’s private security force, who is also trying to utilize the park’s dinosaurs for military purposes. We had the opportunity to talk to D’Onofrio over the phone about the film, his character, and working with director Colin Trevorrow. We also had a chance to reminisce about working with Rick Baker on the set of Men in Black, and were reminded about Marvel’s code of silence.
Geeks Of Doom: What’s it like to get a script that has Jurassic World in the title?
Vincent D’Onofrio: Amazing. Amazing. You have to take your time with it, because you have to make sure you are getting the whole thing. You want to make sure what it is.
Geeks of Doom: Was there any initial worry to working with someone like Colin Trevorrow, because this is his second film, first major blockbuster, and at what point did you see that he was the right person for the job?
Vincent D’Onforio: I had already seen, before any of this came up, I had already seen Safety [Not Guaranteed], and I loved it. So what I did, when he was attached to it, two things went through my mind. One was if [Steven] Spielberg was entrusting him to do a draft of it and direct it, it’s okay by me. You know what I mean. The other was… I loved the first movie that he did, and that movie could have really been super bad. And it was so good, and the way he edited it was just perfect. You know what I mean? I knew I was getting someone super talented. Then we had conversations before we met on the phone, so we got along right away. We got along really well. That’s all I can say about that.
On set, he is at the helm of this incredibly big production, and he is just fantastic. He is very involved with the actors. He is very in story, all the time. I can’t say enough great things about Colin. Colin is a terrific guy and a real big talent.
Geeks of Doom: So going to your character, do you consider him a villain or just an opportunist?
Vincent D’Onofrio: I don’t really know, I consider him a guy with a point of view, with a job to do. I do think he has one opinion. I don’t think he is crazy. I’ll say this, if I had approached it like he was a villain, it wouldn’t have come out like that. You gotta approach it like he was a real guy, and that was his real intentions, and he would commit to it. The way I approach it is that he is a very real guy, and he has got a job to do, and he was hired to do it.
Geeks of Doom: Yeah, he certainly had some ideas to use the dinosaurs as weapons, and it made some sense to do it.
Vincent D’Onofirio: I mean, do I agree with him? No. But he is a particular kind of guy.
Geeks of Doom: So my first major experience watching you in a theater was in 1997 for Men In Black. So I gotta ask, what was it like to work with Rick Baker at the time?
Vincent D’Onofrio: Rick was incredible. We used to meet in the trailer at 3am, and he would construct my face and my hands, and paint, paint, paint for hours. And when everyone would get on set which was something like four or five hours later, they would set up shop. Rick and I would roll out and do a scene and then go home. It would be like that every morning. That makeup job, the amount of time took anywhere between five and sometimes seven, eight hours, depending on what stage my character was at the time. He’s just an awesome guy. I’ll never forget that time we spent working together.
You know, we often have a lot to do with how that character turned out. It was not in the script that dictated how the character ended up the way he ended up looking, and sound the way he ended up sounding. Rick and I got to do a lot of that stuff on our own.
Geeks of Doom: So, moving on to a bigger question, will you be returning for Daredevil Season 2?
Vincent D’Onofrio: Oh, I can’t talk about that. I can’t say a word about Daredevil.
Geeks of Doom: I guess it’s the Marvel Code of Silence at work then.
Vincent D’Onofrio: I have to. It’s Marvel. It’s not my choice. Marvel doesn’t want you to talk about it, so you don’t talk about it.
Everything about Vincent D’Onofrio’s performance as Wilson Fisk in the first season of Daredevil was absolutely perfect, and the man established himself as one of the best villains in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. If anything was missing from his performance, it was that he never wore his iconic white suit he is famous for in the comics – but there’s actually a very good reason for that. As D’Onofrio recently explained it to me, the white suit is the costume of the Kingpin, and in Daredevil Season 1 the character is not quite at that point.
I recently had the chance to have a pleasant phone chat with the actor – who is currently promoting his work in the upcoming Jurassic World – and I took the opportunity to ask for his thoughts on why his character never wore his famous white suit in the first 13 episodes of Daredevil. He explained,
“Because he’s not Kingpin yet. It’s an origin story, so he’s working towards becoming Kingpin – or the world is working him towards becoming Kingpin, I should say.”
Going further with his answer, Vincent D’Onofrio also referenced the work of some of the greatest writers and artists who have worked on the Wilson Fisk/Kingpin character, and noted that the character isn’t always exclusively seen sporting his classic look, and has had an attire that has changed with his status. Said D’Onofrio,
“I think that everyone thinks of the iconic character Kingpin, like you said, in the white suit and everything, but he does, if you look at the [Brian Michael] Bendis stuff and the [Frank] Miller stuff, the David Mack drawings, and [Bill] Sienkiewicz, these guys always drew him wearing all kinds of clothes, you know? When he was just Wilson Fisk and not called Kingpin yet – so that’s the idea behind that.”
It should be noted that while the first season of Daredevil didn’t feature Kingpin’s classic get-up, there were references to it. For example, Vanessa (Ayelet Zurer) talks about a man wearing a white suit and a cravat trying to seduce her, and even later in the season starts steering Wilson away from black suits and more towards grey tones. And let’s not forget that the final shot of the Kingpin has him wearing a white prison uniform.
Vincent D’Onofrio sadly could neither confirm or deny if Wilson Fisk will be back in Daredevil Season 2 – simply telling me that “the second season is going to be really amazing,” but every fan of the show is certainly hoping that he does. Production is scheduled to start up later this year, and the new episodes will be on Netflix some time in 2016.
SPINOFF ONLINE: Jurassic Park is very a revered and huge part of cinematic history. What’s it like being part of this new chapter?
Vincent D’Onofrio: It feels great! It’s an opportunity that comes once in a lifetime, and it was fantastic to be asked to do it. The whole journey — reading the original script, meeting the cast, hanging out with the director, Colin [Trevorrow], — was fantastic. It’s just great!
Where you a fan of the original “Jurassic Park?”
Oh yeah. I remembering reading the book all in one sitting while on a plane and then hearing not much longer after that, that [Steven] Spielberg was going to do it. Anybody that saw that original movie when it came out in theaters, we all have something great in common because of that. There’s a laundry list of images that come from that movie that were spectacular — just spectacular — to watch. So, there’s a lot of nostalgia involved.
In that regard, when you saw the sets on this film and walked into that world, how did it make you feel as a fan of both the book and the original film?
Oh, it was so cool. The answer is exactly what you would imagine. It’s so cool! What else can I say? You’re seeing the jeep from one movie and flying in the helicopter from another movie, you see this statue of [John] Hammond and the logo everywhere — it’s fantastic. It’s exactly what you would imagine it being like.
You share a lot of scenes with Chris Pratt, and the two of you butt heads a lot in this movie, which is interesting on a couple levels. One: you both play Marvel characters on opposite sides. Two: you’ve played a lot of roles including a lot of comedic ones — Edgar in “Men in Black” being a prime example — and Chris is known for his comedy. So, what was it like between takes with the two of you?
Chris and I had a great time. We just got along so well. We’re doing “The Magnificent Seven” together right now, and we just hit it off like gangbusters. We have the same sense of humor. I mean, he’s funnier that I am, obviously, but we find the same things funny, I should say. So, he had me laughing the whole time. We just got along like bros. It was really great, and we picked right back up where we left off now that we’re doing “Magnificent Seven.” He’s such a super talented and great guy.
There’s one scene in the movie where he comes out and straight up punches you in the face. I’m curious about a scene like that because you’re a pretty big guy but Chris is a pretty fit guy after that intense “Guardians” workout, and sometimes actors actually get slapped or punched accidently. Did you tell him, “Okay, take the swing and please don’t hit me?”
[Laughs] It’s always a weird thing. I have been hit before — for real — in a movie by accident by a stuntman and it gave me six stitches on my forehead.
Yeah. I won’t tell you when or where, but it was on the first take. The director said action and bam! I get hit with brass knuckles. So, I know what that can be like. But with someone like Chris, who is a really level-headed dude and really good on his feet, you know a guy like that will work it out with you. We knew exactly what to do. I’ve been selling punches — is what they call it — for years, so I know how to react well to a punch and he knows how to throw a punch so it was perfectly safe.