Vincent D’Onofrio Remembers How Hugh Jackman Encouraged Him to be a Marvel Villain

Vincent D’Onofrio reprised his role as Kingpin in Hawkeye, and recently revealed it was Hugh Jackman who encouraged him to be a Marvel villain.

Vincent D’Onofrio’s return as Daredevil villain Wilson “Kingpin” Fisk in the finale of the Disney+ series Hawkeye proved that once certain actors take on a role it is hard to imagine anyone else taking over that part as long as the original actor is still willing to play it. While fans were delighted to see D’Onofrio reprising his role after years of uncertainty following the cancellation of the Netflix Daredevil series, the actor himself revealed in a new interview that he originally was encouraged into the role by a long-serving Marvel icon: Hugh Jackman.

D’Onofrio recently dropped in on the Marvel News Desk and shared an anecdote about how Jackman was responsible for encouraging him to take on a villain role in the MCU, which ultimately led to where he is now. According to the Kingpin actor, his first interest was stirred just after Iron Man was released, and he felt there was something about the superhero genre was worth pursuing. In a seeming casual conversation, Jackman offered some encouragement to pursue a role in future. He remembered:


“The only thing that was on my radar at that point when it came to superhero stuff was Robert [Downey Jr.]’s performance in Iron Man, which I thought was extremely impressive. I think I was actually with Hugh Jackman — he was over at my house ’cause our kids went to the same school, and we were sitting at my patio . . . and I said, ‘This superhero stuff is really turning out to be interesting,’ and he goes, ‘Yeah!’ And I’m like, ‘You know, I think one day I’m gonna get the chance to play one of those bad guys, and I think I could tear it up.’ He goes, ‘Yeah, I think you could too.'”

Vincent D’Onofrio Proved Fans Occasionally Do Get What They Want With Kingpin Return

Weeks before the Hawkeye series premiered on Disney+, a seemingly innocent post by D’Onofrio was enough to have fans asking whether the star was about to bring his villain back to screens as part of the MCU. Despite spending over a month denying any involvement in the series or that there were any plans to reprise his role in the future, Kingpin did indeed appear in the series, and he was played by D’Onofrio despite the actor’s previous protestations.

Wilson Fisk was introduced as a rising crime lord who built his empire in the wake of The Avengers Battle of New York, who came to blows with Charlie Cox’s Matt Murdock/Daredevil in the Netflix based series of Daredevil. When Marvel Studios began to pull the plug on many non-MCU projects, it was doubtful whether Fisk would appear again in a Marvel project. Now we are in a position where both Fisk and Matt Murdock have been introduced into the MCU quietly but effectively, and while Kingpin’s fate at the end of Hawkeye was left uncertain, the popularity of D’Onofrio’s villain makes it almost certain that we will be seeing him again in the future, most likely in the Hawkeye spin-off series, Echo.

When you stop to consider how much of an impact Hugh Jackman made on the superhero genre in his time spent playing Wolverine across numerous X-Men movies, it is interesting to know that just a few words from him ultimately helped create one of the most popular and critically praised villain characterizations ever to grace the superhero genre.

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Anthony Lund
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Anthony Lund is an author, songwriter and puppeteer from a small village in the U.K. with an avid love of all genres of TV and film. As well as keeping up with the lastest entertainment news and writing about it for MovieWeb, he works as a video editor, voice over artist and production designer. A child of the 80s, he is the owner of almost 2000 books, more toys than his children, three Warner Bros. Store Gremlins and a production used Howard The Duck movie script.

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