Vincent D’Onofrio’s portrayal of Marvel’s Kingpin became a hit when Netflix’s Daredevil series premiered. Now, after some time away, D’Onofrio is back as Kingpin, reappearing in the Disney+ series Hawkeye and bringing his terrifying character back into the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Speaking to Yahoo! Entertainment regarding the return, D’Onofrio spoke about how he prepared for the role, and how exactly his Kingpin from the past fits into the new world that the Marvel Cinematic Universe is attempting to connect.
“It’s absolutely the same guy,” D’Onofrio said of his character making the return, before noting that the MCU canon is a bit different than when he was a part of it. “One of the things that was clear between the collaboration of everyone involved is that I was going to play him emotionally like I played him on Daredevil. Not all the dots are easy to connect to MCU canon, in the same way they build off the comic book runs when they turn them into movies, but even though the dots don’t always connect perfectly, they do connect in a lot of ways.”
When discussing the main differences between the worlds of the MCU and the Netflix series Daredevil, D’Onofrio mentioned how he knew from the very start that things wouldn’t be as dark and gritty as they were on Netflix.
“I knew this was going to be lighter,” said D’Onofrio. “It’s just naturally like that. My sons and I are fans of the Marvel movies like everybody else in the world. But all I really need is the interior life of the character, and then I can do anything they need me to do. Just as long as I can ground him as a human being first, and then turn him into this iconic villain. He’s like all the villains I’ve played in that they’re good guys — just misunderstood.”
D’Onofrio ended things by discussing how the events of Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame have affected not only the larger MCU but Kingpin and his grip on New York City as well. “After the Blip, he lost some of his power, and he wants it back.”