In 1986, D’Onofrio took on the role often considered the defining moment in his acting career, as Pvt. Leonard Lawrence, an overweight and mentally unstable Marine recruit in the movie Full Metal Jacket. On a tip from friend Matthew Modine, D’Onofrio was urged to send audition tapes to director Stanley Kubrick, in England. Four tapes later D’Onofrio landed the role. Originally, the character of Pvt. Lawrence had been written as a ‘skinny ignorant redneck’; however, Kubrick believed the role would have more impact if the character was big and clumsy. D’Onofrio gained 70 lb (32 kg) for the role, bringing his weight to 280 lb (130 kg).[14] This remains the record for most weight gained by an actor for a movie, surpassing Robert De Niro’s accumulation of 60 lb (27 kg) for the filming of Raging Bull. While filming an obstacle course scene for the movie, D’Onofrio injured his left knee, compounded by the excessive weight, which required surgical reconstruction.[15]

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