In the first part of the movie Full Metal Jacket, the recruits graduate and receive their Military Occupational Specialty assignments. Pyle is assigned to Infantry. During the platoon’s final night on Parris Island, Joker discovers Pyle in the head loading his rifle and executing drill commands, and loudly recites the Rifleman’s Creed. This awakens the platoon and drill sergeant Hartman, who confronts Pyle and orders him to surrender the rifle. Pyle shoots Hartman dead and then commits suicide, while Joker helplessly watches in horror. The figure above is an Empress miniature cast for a different story line. Empress assume Pyle doesn’t shoot Hartman and doesn’t commit suicide and in doing so reaches the NAM as an M60 gunner.
Pyle was played by Vincent D’Onofrio. D’Onofrio heard of the auditions for the film from Modine. Using a rented video camera and dressed in army fatigues, D’Onofrio recorded his audition. Despite Kubrick’s saying that Pyle was “the hardest part to cast in the whole movie”, he quickly responded to D’Onofrio, telling the actor that he had won the part.D’Onofrio was required to gain 70 pounds (32 kg).
2 thoughts on “Private Leonard “Gomer Pyle” Lawrence”
Such a memorable character and a great job by D’Onofrio.