When Law and Order: Criminal Intent debuted, I watched each episode with a good deal of fervor. I enjoyed the different take on the L&O universe and the performances put in by the cast, in particular Vincent D’Onofrio.
However, as the show has continued its run, D’Onofrio’s character has become increasingly grating. The “troubled-super-genius-detective-that-out-quirks-everyone-to-solve-the-case” schtick has been getting old rather quickly, and so my viewership of the show has dropped off. It looks like it was none too soon, too:
VINCENT D’Onofrio, the star of “Law & Order: Criminal Intent,” passed out while shooting the hit TV series yesterday morning â€” prompting insiders to gossip that the actor is “losing it.”
“Ever since John Kerry lost the election, [D’Onofrio] has lost his [bleep,]” said our on-set insider.
“He has been getting into fistfights with people, and when he passed out today, we all thought he was faking it. But then he insisted they call 911.”
An ambulance raced to the Queens studio, where paramedics found nothing wrong with the gifted actor, who became a star in 1987 with his searing performance as a misfit Marine in “Full Metal Jacket.”
Tensions on the “Criminal Intent” set are running high. “No one thinks Vincent will last for much longer,” the insider said.
“He is so hard to work with â€” a total freak. He constantly complains about the scripts and has held up production a lot.”
D’Onofrio, a big Kerry supporter, was said to be devastated over President Bush’s re-election. “When PAGE SIX [last week] wrote about ‘Law & Order’ putting up signs forbidding political discussions on set, it was funny,” our source said. “Those signs were put up because of [D’Onofrio].”
About a month before the election, D’Onofrio “insisted” on putting up anti-Bush posters and fliers, “and would attack anyone who disagreed with him,” the spy added.
In response, “Law & Order” producers posted signs banning political discussions or anything else that would impede work on set, implying that D’Onofrio had held up taping of the show with his political zealotry.
D’Onofrio’s co-stars, Kathryn Erbe, Jamey Sheridan and Courtney B. Vance, are said to be fed up with his antics.
“No one â€” and I do mean no one â€” talks to him anymore,” the insider added.
A rep for the show insisted there had been no “fistfights.”
D’Onofrio does not have a rep. But show creator Dick Wolf said via a rep: “The stress of being the first among equals on a one-hour television drama is the most exhausting job in show business. Hours are long and stress levels are high.
“Any actor who has been in Vincent’s position knows how tough it is. It is unfortunate that Vincent’s health has become the topic of gossip and speculation under these circumstances.”
Sounds like Vinny really needs to get over himself, and quickly, if the show is to be in a position to continue. How much of a sore loser can you be? I don’t envy Kathryn Erbe her job at this moment.
An alert reader took exception with this post and thought I was making fun of D’Onofrio. That wasn’t my intent – I’ve rather liked him in the roles I’ve seen him in before. I was trying to express disappointment in his conduct.