Vincent D'Onofrio Interview

The Unforgivable Interview: Vincent D’Onofrio Praises Sandra Bullock’s Transformation in Netflix Drama

The Unforgivable is streaming now on Netflix. The drama features an all-star cast including Sandra Bullock in the lead role. She’s joined by Vincent D’Onofrio, Jon Bernthal, Richard Thomas, Linda Emond, Aisling Franciosi, Rob Morgan, and Viola Davis.

“Released from prison after serving a sentence for a violent crime, Ruth Slater (Bullock) re-enters a society that refuses to forgive her past,” reads the logline. “Facing severe judgment from the place she once called home, her only hope for redemption is finding the estranged younger sister she was forced to leave behind.”

ComingSoon Editor-in-Chief Tyler Treese spoke with The Unforgivable star Vincent D’Onofrio to discuss the drama, the challenges of filming during COVID, and more.

Tyler Treese: Your character, John Ingram, is very forgiving and he truly believes in second chances. What do you think really instilled this belief in him?

Vincent D’Onofrio: What I did, as the actor, I sort of made a kind of biography for myself. Invented his life in a way. I put him as a veteran and in the midst from the military and that his education was in the military as well. That he had experienced people that had PTSD, that were suffering from trauma.

When Sandra’s character comes to our house, to Viola and my house, that she’s in a traumatic state. Just for acting purposes, I wanted him to be able to recognize that in somebody. So for me, that’s how he knows that something’s up. He doesn’t know what, but he knows that something’s up and that lets this kind of empathy that he has for her form.

Viola Davis wonderfully plays your wife in the film. I was curious just because this was filmed during early COVID protocols and face shields were in play, was it more difficult to create bonds onset due to that? Or how was that?

It sure was. I worked all the way through the pandemic, after a couple of the studios, like Disney, Netflix, and, and others behind them figured out how to do it safely. They figured it out and it was safe. It was different for sure. We only rehearsed with masks and shields early on. We weren’t really sure how much touching we could actually do, and how close we were allowed to be together. There were no vaccinations yet. There was no vaccination-only zones. There was just people that had been tested negative zones. So it was tough. It was very different than anybody had ever experienced before, and camera crews felt the same way. The whole crew of every movie and every television show that we got there was trying to figure out how to get it right.

It was odd for sure, but I was lucky to have Viola and she’s a very experienced actress. I have a few years under my belt too, and so does Sandra. We were able to figure out ways where we could talk about things and connect in other ways, not only physical, but we would be thinking in ways that we would construct the scenes so that they worked with an intimacy without ever really be becoming intimate.

You share some great scenes with Sandra Bullock and she really shows another side of herself in this film. Can you speak to that transformation and just the commitment she had to that role?

She was totally committed, it’s for sure. I mean, she came every day very ready to go, and she was really informed and she knew where she was, where she had come from, where she was going. I mean, she’s quite an actress. It’s very impressive to work with her. Prep is everything and commitment is everything. When it comes to servicing a story and doing what we do for a living and yeah, she was heavy-duty, man. She really knows what she’s doing that lady.

Obviously, the ensemble cast had to be appealing, but what about the script really sold you on this and got you onboard?

I think it was because the script had substance. It was like a human experience when you were reading it. I think that with that kind of substance, and now on top of the fact that it was written in the kind of thriller-esque kind of way with the twist, I think the combination of those two things, made it a good story.

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