General Question

Mr_M's avatar

OMG! I'm watching "Men In Black" on TV and realize that the guy who plays the farmer I KNOW!

Asked by Mr_M (7591points) August 17th, 2008

I never realized it when the movie came out but the character is played by Vincent D’Onofrio, from “Law and Order, Criminal Intent” before he was famous. Have you ever been “shocked” when you realize a character in an old movie you’ve seen a dozen times was actually a big star today and you never realized it before?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

51 Answers

mvgolden's avatar

I was just watching Galaxy Quest yesterday and noticed that one of the aliens is Rainn Wilson.

btw, if you want to see Vincent D’Onofrio in one of his best early rolls, rent “Full Metal Jacket” You will never be able to watch Law and Order Criminal Intent in the same way again.

iwamoto's avatar

well, the sherrif from the new rob zombie halloween did the voice for chucky from childsplay, and an even bigger shock….he played grima wormtongue in LoTR !!! TA TA TAAAAA

his name is brad dourif by the way

mvgolden's avatar

I just saw grima wormtongue in an old episode of Babylon 5. He’s everywhere.

wildflower's avatar

I’m still convinced the guy playing the arcade game at the grill when they’re playing Dancing in the Street in Footloose is a young David Hasselhof, but I’ve yet to find any evidence or credits to confirm it…...

lefteh's avatar

I didn’t realize until the third time around (and then only by watching the credits) that Kiefer Sutherland is the younger officer in A Few Good Men.

Poppet's avatar

I thought you meant that you actually KNOW the guy…like you went to school with him or he was your neighbor….!!
But I know what you mean…it’s fun to see someone you “know” from before they made it big in an old movie….

galileogirl's avatar

MIB came 1st and I recognized D’Onofrio right away in L&O but I was fascinated by his fully formed character from the getgo. CI became my favorite and I found myself doing that “bend over and look in the eye” move when I was talking to inattentive students. It works!

Mr_M's avatar

By now everyone knows about the small part Harrison Ford plays in the beginning of “Apocalypse Now”?

galileogirl's avatar

And EVERYONE in American Graiffiti

mee_ouch's avatar

He creeped me out in this role….
As he did during the ‘latrine’ scene in Full Metal Jacket.
Great actor!

AstroChuck's avatar

I found out that Debta Wingsr was the voice of E.T. Not exactly what your question was about.
Also, the guy who played Wedge (from the original Star Wars) is the uncle to young Obi-Wan actor Ewan McGregor.

lefteh's avatar

Also, the RA in Veronica Mars looks oddly familiar….

Mr_M's avatar

Debra WInger was the voice of E.T.? Wow!

augustlan's avatar

Long before Jim Carrey became “known” from In Living Color, I saw him in a small made-for-tv movie called Doing Time on Maple Drive. It was a completely serious role, playing an angry alcoholic. I caught it again after he was famous as a comedic actor, and before he’d done any serious roles as his famous self, and was stunned. The man could actually act!

AstroChuck's avatar

Also, in Predator, everytime you see the alien jumping or climbing that’s Jean-Claude Van Damme.

mee_ouch's avatar

The Outsiders
The Big Chill
The Breakfast Club/St. Elmo’s Fire.

All rampant with ‘today’s A-listers.

oceansmist's avatar

Hi, Mr_M! Speaking of people in the movie, “Men in Black”—I was surprised to see Tony Shalub in both Men in Black and Men in Black II as the charachter of Jack Jeebs, the Pawn Shop owner who sold weapons to the aliens. Tony Shalub plays the title character of “Monk” in the same named TV show on USA Network and he also played the cab driver, Antonio Scarpacci, in the long-running TV show “Wings”. Pretty interesting on all of the posts!

AstroChuck's avatar

Johnny Depp played ill-fated Glen in the original Nightmare on Elm Street.

galileogirl's avatar

Jim Carrey absolutely STOLE Dong Time on Maple Drive. The problem with the entertainment industry, to be a leading dramatic actor you have to be very handsome. If not you get relegated to secondary rolls. Good looks are not necessary for starring comedic roles.

We have spread this nonsense around the world, how else do you explain the cute Chinese kid being switched for the “pretty” one?

mee_ouch's avatar

Brava…AC…..
I heard that, or should I say, I was reminded of that a short while ago.

Here’s a jaw-dropper…...
Benecio Del toro in…...drum roll please…..“Big Top PeeWee” as “Duke the Dog-Faced Boy”....
What a legacy..

galileogirl's avatar

Sylvestor Stallone in the Italian Stallion, and his ‘acting’ in that one wasn’t any better than his later movies.

mee_ouch's avatar

…I heard it was a rather ‘diminutive’ role…lol
And took a ‘sizeable’ effort.

I’m sooo nasty.

Mr_M's avatar

oceanmist, I THOUGHT it looked like him!!!

Eureka's avatar

Lawrence Fishburne played “Cowboy Curtis” on PeeWee’s playhouse. Vincent D’Onofrio played that weird character in the movie The Cell – Carl Stargher .

http://www.imdb.com/media/rm2320931072/ch0010741

mee_ouch's avatar

Eureka….suitable username if ever there was one! Kudos

syz's avatar

I saw on a wesite that talked about actors losing drmatic amounts of weight for roles that Mark Walberg was the pyschotic patient in The Sixth Sense, but I haven’t rewatched it yet (I have my doubts).

Eureka's avatar

@mee ouch – thanks!!
@ syz – I think it was Donny Wahlberg – either way, that character creeped me out.

syz's avatar

Ah, that makes much more sense!

AstroChuck's avatar

@syz- It was actually his brother Donnie Wahlberg, formerly of New Kids On The Block, that played the murderous former patient of Bruce Willis’ character.

stratman37's avatar

speaking of Harrison Ford, he was even less known six years before “Apocalypse Now”, when he starred in American Graffiti!

shrubbery's avatar

The young Elijah Wood makes an appearance in Back to the Future 2.

Mr_M's avatar

Not to mention that the guy who played the weird, evil crazed killer in “No Country for Old Men” is now playing a handsome leading man in a new movie that just came out! Who would have known (sorry but I don’t remember the name. It’s the one about one guy with two women)?

jballou's avatar

Hate to burst your bubble, but Vincent D’Onofrio was pretty freakin’ well known when MIB came out.

Mr_M's avatar

Oh yeah. Sure. That’s why he took THAT part! D’Onofrio wasn’t even well known when he first started in Law and Order!

lefteh's avatar

Full Metal Jacket pushed D’Onofrio into the national spotlight….and that was almost ten years before MIB.

jballou's avatar

That part? He was in a movie with Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones! He got as much or more screen time as any secondary character in the entire flick. He didn’t just play the farmer, he played the main antagonist of the story! In a huge big budget summer Will Smith heyday blockbuster! He wasn’t playing some random farmer in an indie movie for Pete’s sake. And even if he was, that wouldn’t make him any less of a famous actor, just cause you didn’t know who he was.

Mr_M's avatar

@jballou, you’ve got “movies” and “film” and “screen writing” on your profile. SURE, you might know every role he ever played. But ask the “average joe” about him when Law and Order came out, and no one even remembered he was in Full Metal Jacket. I’m not putting down the guy’s acting. I’m talking about his popularity. He could have given an epic performance in “FMJ” for all I know or care. I’m just saying he was NOT well known to the general public when Law and Order began.

lefteh's avatar

Eh. Yeah he was.
Wikipedia.
tv.com.

Just google biographies on him…Full Metal Jacket propelled him into fame in the late 80s.

Mr_M's avatar

Fame? What fame? Don’t tell me what the documentation says. He could have been a Shakespearean trained actor for that matter. Fame and acting ability are not the same. STILL, the public didn’t know who he was when he first appeared on Law and Order. Ask people who watch the show if they ever heard of him before that show and see what they say.

lefteh's avatar

“Oh yeah, from Full Metal Jacket”

AstroChuck's avatar

Robert Redford played Death in an old Twilight Zone episode called “Nothing in the Dark.” Also, Burt Reynolds played a Marlon Brando type actor on an episode of Twilight Zone called “The Bard.”

Mr_M's avatar

@lefteh, only if they’re one of the two remaining members of the Vincent D’Onofrio fan club. :)

Judi's avatar

I know I came in late and didn’t read all the posts but was Vincent D’Onofrio the one who shot himself in Full Metal Jacket? That would just ugg….. (the air leaves her lungs)

AstroChuck's avatar

“Hello, Jo-ker.”

jballou's avatar

@Mr M, Hey man- I hope you don’t take anything I said as a personal attack- I can only speak from my own personal experience. Obviously, I’m a film geek and I knew who Vincent D’Onofrio was before Law and Order: Criminal Intent.

However- I remember the NBC promos from right when the show was announced, and he was leveraged as star power, which means that the powers that be at NBC thought he was famous enough to base their marketing around that assumption. People would have to know who he was in order for them to pour marketing dollars into that. I work in entertainment marketing, and trust me when I say those guys do their research before they spend one red cent.

I agree that D’Onofrio was (and still isn’t) on the level of someone like Brad Pitt or Tom Cruise, but that being said he was still fairly well known for his film work. That’s not to say 100% of people know who he was, but he was certainly more well known then you assume he was.

Judi's avatar

so iballou, (the film expert) was he the guy who shot himself on full metal jacket? tell me it ain’t so!!!

AstroChuck's avatar

He’s the one they called Private Pyle and yes, he’s the one who shot the Drill Seargent and.then himself.

Mr_M's avatar

@iballou, absolutely no attack perceived. Apparently D’Onofrio WAS more well known than I thought. Thanks for setting me straight. I SAW Full Metal Jacket, AND Men In Black MANY times, AND am a big fan of Law and Order CI, and I NEVER recognized him to be the same guy. In fact, when I was watching Men In Black the other day, myself, along with the people I was with, kept saying “IS it him? Is it not him? Looks like it COULD be him”.

And @Judi reinforces my point I think! Thanks, Judi!

Judi's avatar

Im shattered :-(

kruger_d's avatar

If you love MST3K you must watch the Hamlet episode and listen for Ricardo Montilban.

BunnyPreston's avatar

Everytime I watched Spongebob Square Pants I knew I had seen him before turns out he’s my neighbor!

Answer this question

Login

or

Join

to answer.

This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.

Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
or
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther