GRAMERCY PARK, New York — After the recent passing of actor and military icon R. Lee Ermey, Full Metal Jacket co-star Vincent D’Onofrio has announced that he actually slept for eight continuous hours, a feat he has not achieved since filming with him in 1987.
D’Onofrio, famous for playing the pathetic Marine recruit nicknamed Private Pyle, has long been impacted by Ermey’s historic portrayal of the brutal Gunnery Sgt. Hartman in the film.
“I developed a bad case of Hollywood PTSD,” D’Onofrio told reporters while cleaning the prop rifle he acquired over three decades ago. “To make matters worse, the Hollywood VA Hospital has refused to treat my condition.”
D’Onofrio, who has gone on to play his own intimidating characters such as Wilson Fisk in Daredevil, has never outgrown his breakout role as the object of most of Hartman's anger in the film.
“I wasn’t sure Ermey ever forgave me for, you know, killing him in the movie," he said. "Just to be sure, I was waking up every thirty minutes or so to check he wasn’t coming for me.”
D’Onofrio admitted that, while Ermey was an honorable Marine, an advocate for troops and veterans, and maybe not a threat to his well being, he is doing his best to move on.
“I suppose it could have been anyone whose intense and realistic acting haunted me for years on end,” D’Onofrio conceded. "Ermey wasn’t even originally cast for the role of Gunny Hartman, but he was so good as a consultant that they gave it to him."
Matthew Modine, who played Private Joker alongside D'Onofrio, summed up the entire cast's sentiments on Ermy's passing.
"Since the movie came out, countless real drill instructors have strived to live up to his legacy," Modine said. "There are many drill instructors like him, but this one was mine.”