Stuff To Read (Look At): Pictures From Matthew Modine’s ‘Full Metal Jacket Diary’

Just thought I’d post 3 of my favorite ‘Full Metal Jacket Diary’ images taken by Matthew Modine

This is a beautiful shot on its own, but the story behind it is even more heart warming. Matthew Modine is preparing to take VDO’s head shot for Stanley Kubrick for what will become breakout roles for both. But rather than seeing two stars or celebrities in the making, I see two good friends, one of whom is doing the other a favor, hoping that they’ll both share in some good fortune if the photograph turns out well. I don’t think they recommend actors do their head shots this way anymore (unless your friend is a gifted photographer). Nowadays even the greenest of actors has a pro take the shots. But I wonder what that deprives casting directors of seeing?

There is some wonderful elusive quality to this black & white shot of VDO from the ‘Full Metal Jacket Diary” that I can’t quite put my finger on. VDO isn’t at his obviously handsomest in an old grey sweatshirt, a fatigue cap turned to the back, horn-rimmed glasses and a grass stalk clenched between his teeth. But he fits the ‘phony tough’ and ‘crazy brave’ description of any of the recruits from the first third of ‘Full Metal Jacket’. I seriously doubt any entertainment journalist or photographer who barely knows VDO could get as intriguing a shot as this one.

You can tell VDO’s not doing a take, but it’s clear he’s deep in thought, probably working on his portrayal of Private Pyle. A gorgeous shot if you ask me, but then I’ve always been more intrigued by thinkers and doers than pretty boys. That’s Lee Ermey in the background, ready to harass and harangue some actors.


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