An Oral History of Vincent D’Onofrio’s Perfect Men in Black ‘Sugar Water’ Scene


An Oral History of Vincent D’Onofrio’s Perfect Men in Black ‘Sugar Water’ Scene 4




An Oral History of Vincent D’Onofrio’s Perfect Men in Black ‘Sugar Water’ Scene

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29 Comments

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  1. “I feel comedy works best when the audience finds where the joke is, as opposed to the director or actors telling them where the joke is. I never want the actor to be funny in a comedy; I want the audience to find him funny. He was so funny because he wasn’t trying to be.”

    I wish more directors knew this..

  2. Great read! I think about this scene often because of an experience I had working at a hotel in my 20’s.

    A strange man came into our hotel, and sat down at the bar. He was wearing an inappropriate amount of clothing for an Oklahoma summer day, and had a thick chain around his neck from which hung what appeared to be a wallet. We called him “Wallet Necklace Guy.” (clever I know) Anyway, he sat at the bar and made small talk with us about how he needed to get up to the roof to “check our fiber optics.” Obviously he was ‘not quite right,’ but the extra weird part was that as he was trying to convince us to let him have free reign of the building, he had a glass of water that he kept dumping packets of sugar into.

    We all decided he was a cockroach alien in disguise. Or a junkie.

  3. This whole article does drive home the point how unique the movie was. People look at the cast and the most memorable moments – the flashy guns, the big cockroach at the end, etc. and think of it as an action/comedy. Whereas in reality its more of a character study and satire. The central premise is that many of the wackos we see around us are actually aliens.

    If they really wanted to recapitulate the spirit of the first film, they should have built the latest movie around something like “Florida Man” and had Thompson and Hemsworth wandering around Miami and poked fun at some of the more surreal headlines surrounding modern day politics.

  4. Shout out to his scene partner, Siobhan Fallon, who is one of those actresses who always has really standout small roles. This, the bus driver in Forrest Gump, the prison guard in Dancer in the Dark, etc.

  5. I read that article and thought to myself how I never appreciated his performance before, how I just took it for granted in some action blockbuster but it really was amazing wasn’t it.

  6. Right after this was The Cell with Jenny from the Block and I fucking loved him in that movie. Trippy ass dude, trippy ass show. Sugar water and MIB and Stargur (The Cell) was another awesome stone for the Kingpin

  7. One of the most underrated performances ever. The [Pest Problem](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IkegDMwDo7k) scene is pure comedic gold

  8. A personal fave. What a weird performance in a regular summer movie.

    A PET CAT, means wooorlds to me”.

  9. D’Onofrio’s grunt and stumble as he runs into the screen door makes me laugh every time I see it.

  10. I loved reading this. When I first saw the title of the post, I parsed(?) it as

    An Oral History
    of Vincent D’Onofrio’s Perfect Men
    in Black ‘Sugar Water’ Scene

    and I thought “What fucking movie is this?”

  11. Such a classic scene done but a great fuckin actor. Dudes kingpin portrayal is legendary and will always stand out in the superhero genre

  12. >D’Onofrio’s performance throughout the film is a work of unsound comedic genius

    I’m thinking they meant “unsung.”

  13. I always thought he should have at least been nominated for an academy award for Edgar. He’s so good in that movie.

  14. That was Vincent D’Onofrio?! I’ve seen the movie a dozen times and I never realized that was him.

  15. Every time I hear sugar water, I can’t help but think that [Trick loves the kids](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pEENQznXjq8).

  16. I loved the part about how it was satire, about how it’s feasible that aliens are all around us, especially in New York. I feel like thats probably missing in the new film, which is too much what Sonnenfeld said it should be, that is an action comedy.

  17. > How did they cast D’Onofrio, who at the time had yet to appear in either The Cell or Law & Order: Criminal Intent?

    Is this supposed to suggest that D’Onofrio was relatively unknown at the time?

    Full Metal Jacket, numbnuts! You write like old people fuck!

    D’Onofrio’s a goddamn legend.

  18. .. few weeks ago with my daughter, we had a conversation about the exact same character and scenes. Thanks, so grateful for your post TGHB!!!
    ..Oh reddit! Your gray matter smoothie it’s delish

  19. I was probably 4 when I first saw this movie. My mom still laughs when telling the story of how I screamed and ran down the hallway, flailing my arms in the air when he pulled his face back.

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