‘Hawkeye’ Star Vincent D’Onofrio on Kingpin’s Return and Two-Hour Calls With Charlie Cox

‘Hawkeye’ Star Vincent D’Onofrio on Kingpin’s Return and Two-Hour Calls With Charlie Cox

The ‘Daredevil’ actors remain friends and have had long conversations about returning to the Marvel fold: “We do it very carefully and in an appropriate way.”

Hawkeye

Hawkeye
Courtesy of Chuck Zlotnick/Marvel Studios

[The following interview contains spoilers for Hawkeyes finale and Spider-Man: No Way Home.]

On Wednesday, Christmas came early for fans of the Marvel Netflix series Daredevil as Vincent D’Onofrio’s Wilson “Kingpin” Fisk made his long-awaited MCU debut on Hawkeye. Fisk’s appearance has been teased the entire season, culminating in a photographic cliff-hanger on last week’s episode. Oddly enough, just 24 hours later, D’Onofrio’s counterpart on Daredevil, Charlie Cox (Matt “Daredevil” Murdock), made his own grand entrance into the Marvel Cinematic Universe by way of Spider-Man: No Way Home. Earlier this month, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige said that Cox would reprise his role as Murdock at some point.

“As soon as Kevin revealed the fact that Charlie was going to participate, Charlie called me immediately and we had a huge conversation about it, which didn’t include anything about Hawkeye,” D’Onofrio tells The Hollywood Reporter. “But when they showed the phone shot of Kingpin in [last week’s] episode of Hawkeye, I immediately called Charlie and we had another two-hour conversation. So we are friends and we do talk about this stuff, but we do it very carefully and in an appropriate way.”

D’Onofrio is also making it clear that he treated Hawkeye‘s Fisk as the same character from Daredevil. And even though the character appeared to meet his end at the hand of Maya “Echo” Lopez (Alaqua Cox), there’s comic book precedent for Kingpin surviving their violent encounter. D’Onofrio has since added that he wants to keep playing this role and talks as if there’s a future ahead of him.

“In Hawkeye, the thing that will continue to ground him is that he’s based in an emotional foundation,” D’Onofrio says. “That’s what I think is the key to my portrayal of Fisk. You can do anything you want with him, but his inner self is that of a child and a monster.”

In a recent chat with THR, D’Onofrio also discusses the impact of the blip on Fisk’s empire.

Congratulations on your second bite of the apple.

Thanks, dude!

So how long have you kept this card close to your vest?

Kevin [Feige] called me earlier this year. Very early in the year.

Last week, you and Charlie Cox debuted in the MCU proper on back-to-back days, which is quite poetic. Have the two of you exchanged any messages about this yet?

Yeah, well, Charlie and I are friends, but we don’t really talk about Marvel stuff together because we know about all of the complications with reveals and stuff like that and what we’re contracted to say and not say. But as soon as Kevin revealed the fact that Charlie was going to participate, Charlie called me immediately and we had a huge conversation about it, which didn’t include anything about Hawkeye. But when they showed the phone shot of Kingpin in [last week’s] episode of Hawkeye, I immediately called Charlie and we had another two-hour conversation. (Laughs.) So we are friends and we do talk about this stuff, but we do it very carefully and in an appropriate way.

So the common question is whether you’re playing a new Fisk or the same Fisk, but in my mind, you can put the character on a new trajectory without erasing what the fans love about the past. You can vaguely reference that past whenever it’s necessary. So how did you play him in this regard?

Well, that’s a very intelligent thing you just said because it’s spot-on. That’s the way we approached it — or the way I definitely approached it. Story-wise, the blip has happened. Kingpin has lost his city a bit, not completely, but he’s lost some of his kingdom. And in Hawkeye, the idea was that he wants his city back. He considers it his. So as the actor playing the character, I approached it exactly the same way I developed the character that I portrayed on Daredevil. He has the same emotional life. Everything that he does, everything that he says, every confrontation that he has, every emotion that he shows, comes through the events and the pain of his childhood. So that’s still Fisk, to me. He’s a bit physically stronger than he was. He has more strength and he can take a lot more physical abuse. But in Hawkeye, the thing that will continue to ground him is that he’s based in an emotional foundation. That’s what I think is the key to my portrayal of Fisk. You can do anything you want with him, but his inner self is that of a child and a monster.

Well, congratulations once again and please give my best to Vanessa [Wilson Fisk’s wife].

(Laughs.) I will!

Hawkeye is now streaming on Disney+.

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