Matthew Modine, one of Kubrick’s least exciting leading men, wrote an account of his time working on “Full Metal Jacket.” This book is treasure trove for any Kubrick fan, let me tell you. I don’t even think I ever bought this book. I think I read it at Book Soup on Sunset Blvd. in one sitting (or standing). I could not put it down. Let me think of the best anecdotes. It’s been years.
1. This was also Vincent Donofrio’s first film (who played the psychotic Gomer Pile). He was a bouncer at a club and if I remember correctly, Modine reccomended that Donofrio send a tape to Kubrick (because he was watching all of them, at a time when no one was watching tapes). Malcolm McDowell confirms that a common Kubrickian practice was casting actors through other actors. This film launched Donofiro’s career.
2. Modine’s then girlfriend was very pregnant. When she went into labor, Modine was in the middle of a crazy shooting day. Kubrick said everything he could to keep Modine from going to the hospital to witness the birth of his kid. He simply thought the shooting day was more important.
3. Kubrick could not figure out how to shoot a violent scene, asking everyone what they thought. Modine finally suggested he watch a scene from Friedkin’s “To Live and Die in LA.” Kubrick projected the movie and stole the scene almost directly.
There’s lots more goodies. Such as the exhausted actors playing the Marines and how the actor playing the Marines trainer was let go for the man who was consulting how to play the role, Lee Emery. If you love Kurbick, this book will be your full metal buffet.
Written by: Norith Soth