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Do R. Lee Ermey's "antics" undermine the integrity of Full Metal Jacket?

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Do R. Lee Ermey's "antics" undermine the integrity of Full Metal Jacket?

Old 12-22-10, 06:35 PM
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Do R. Lee Ermey's "antics" undermine the integrity of Full Metal Jacket?

By "antics" I'm refering to his use of the drill instructor character/persona over the last 15+ years. He's had two military hardware shows on the History Channel, he's played the green army men in Toy Story, he did a parody of the role in The Frighteners, and most recently (and egregiously) he did a Gaico insurance ad on television.

Now I know the guy was a genuine Marine DI, and I know the insults that he spews came, at least partly, from his own repartee, but what he and Stanley Kubrick created together was real art; an incredible, inscrutable, and unforgetable character. Doing it over and over on TV devalues the role and reduces the impact of the film. Someone watching the film for the first time should not say "Hey it's the guy from the Gaico ads!"

Discuss.
Old 12-22-10, 06:46 PM
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Re: Do R. Lee Ermey's "antics" undermine the integrity of Full Metal Jacket?

The one movie I can think of that I never watch the second half of anymore. I don't know how you can take your two most interesting characters, kill them and then limp home to the finish. I think it is truly unique in that respect. As for Ermey milking the same character over and over again, if those are the only roles he can get, then I guess he will continue to take them. I'm sure it's all about the money.
Old 12-22-10, 06:53 PM
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Re: Do R. Lee Ermey's "antics" undermine the integrity of Full Metal Jacket?

Perhaps, but that's one of the risks of having such a quotable, notable role.

I remember seeing Mel Gibson's Hamlet in the theater at the height of his popularity, which drew in a lot of teens and folks that otherwise hadn't experienced Shakespeare before. At several points, the audience inappropriately giggled and snickered because of the use of familiar phrases such as "To be or not to be" or "The lady doth protest too much, methinks" or "Get thee to a nunnery", not realizing that Hamlet was the origin of the quotes and they weren't just thrown in to be hip.
Old 12-22-10, 07:12 PM
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Re: Do R. Lee Ermey's "antics" undermine the integrity of Full Metal Jacket?

On the contrary, I think the consistency of his projected image lends credibility. Younger viewers may initially think of him as being from the Geico commercial or recognize his voice from Toy Story, but I think while watching the film they piece together that this guy was the real deal. That's credibility, and it extends to the rest of the film--which is why Kubrick wanted him there in the first place.

In fact, I wouldn't be surprised to learn that Kubrick required him to agree to never again appear in a public performance that deviated from that image!
Old 12-22-10, 07:30 PM
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Re: Do R. Lee Ermey's "antics" undermine the integrity of Full Metal Jacket?

Originally Posted by MinLShaw View Post
In fact, I wouldn't be surprised to learn that Kubrick required him to agree to never again appear in a public performance that deviated from that image!
Well, his character in Dead Man Walking deviated rather well.
Old 12-22-10, 07:52 PM
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Re: Do R. Lee Ermey's "antics" undermine the integrity of Full Metal Jacket?

The dude's just trying to have a career, damn!
Old 12-22-10, 08:02 PM
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Re: Do R. Lee Ermey's "antics" undermine the integrity of Full Metal Jacket?

Yeah, the moment he wasn't in the film, it started to suck. So no to this question.
Old 12-22-10, 08:11 PM
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Re: Do R. Lee Ermey's "antics" undermine the integrity of Full Metal Jacket?

No. One has nothing to do with the other. Would be the same as saying a remake hurts the original film.
Old 12-22-10, 08:13 PM
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Re: Do R. Lee Ermey's "antics" undermine the integrity of Full Metal Jacket?

No. The character Ermey played in FMJ....was himself. He is that character in some strong form.
Old 12-22-10, 08:27 PM
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Re: Do R. Lee Ermey's "antics" undermine the integrity of Full Metal Jacket?

I don't think it tarnishes anything from Full Metal Jacket. Maybe even the opposite. It seems to show that his acting is simply a true extension of himself.
Old 12-22-10, 08:34 PM
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Re: Do R. Lee Ermey's "antics" undermine the integrity of Full Metal Jacket?

No, it does not undermine the integrity of Full Metal Jacket.

For those who don't know, Ermey is a retired marine and served as a drill instructor. I don't know at what point he turned to acting. Or how he got into it. But the dude was a dedicated marine and is heavy into all of the military stuff. He's not 'just an actor who like military shit'.
Old 12-22-10, 09:18 PM
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Re: Do R. Lee Ermey's "antics" undermine the integrity of Full Metal Jacket?

I agree with all the no's. On a related note, I've always come away impressed in roles where Ermey does not play a military figure...he's a great actor.
Old 12-22-10, 09:19 PM
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Re: Do R. Lee Ermey's "antics" undermine the integrity of Full Metal Jacket?

To answer OP's question...no.

I also happen to think the 2nd half of FMJ is just as good as the first.
Old 12-22-10, 09:33 PM
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Re: Do R. Lee Ermey's "antics" undermine the integrity of Full Metal Jacket?

People always rag on the second half of FMJ but the sniper sequence is the best part of the movie, imo.
Old 12-22-10, 09:34 PM
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Re: Do R. Lee Ermey's "antics" undermine the integrity of Full Metal Jacket?

Originally Posted by Suprmallet View Post
the sniper sequence is the best part of the movie, imo.
Old 12-22-10, 09:44 PM
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Re: Do R. Lee Ermey's "antics" undermine the integrity of Full Metal Jacket?

Originally Posted by troystiffler View Post
No, it does not undermine the integrity of Full Metal Jacket.

For those who don't know, Ermey is a retired marine and served as a drill instructor. I don't know at what point he turned to acting. Or how he got into it. But the dude was a dedicated marine and is heavy into all of the military stuff. He's not 'just an actor who like military shit'.
QFT. He also served a 14-month tour in Vietnam.
Old 12-22-10, 10:11 PM
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Re: Do R. Lee Ermey's "antics" undermine the integrity of Full Metal Jacket?

Originally Posted by MinLShaw View Post
which is why Kubrick wanted him there in the first place.
Wasn't it that Kubrick only had him as a consultant and was getting pissed off at Ermey who kept telling him the actor they originally had in the role was doing it wrong? As I recall it was in a moment of frustration that Kubrick just told Ermey to do it himself.
Old 12-22-10, 10:28 PM
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Re: Do R. Lee Ermey's "antics" undermine the integrity of Full Metal Jacket?

I don't think anything could undermine the integrity of Full Metal Jacket. -kd5-
Old 12-23-10, 01:51 AM
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Re: Do R. Lee Ermey's "antics" undermine the integrity of Full Metal Jacket?

Originally Posted by RocShemp View Post
Wasn't it that Kubrick only had him as a consultant and was getting pissed off at Ermey who kept telling him the actor they originally had in the role was doing it wrong? As I recall it was in a moment of frustration that Kubrick just told Ermey to do it himself.
Here's what's listed on IMDb's trivia page:

Former US Marine Corps Drill Instructor R. Lee Ermey was not originally hired to play Gunnery Sgt. Hartman but as a consultant for the Marine Corps boot camp portion of the film. He performed a demonstration on videotape in which he yelled obscene insults and abuse for 15 minutes without stopping, repeating himself or even flinching - despite being continuously pelted with tennis balls and oranges. Stanley Kubrick was so impressed that he cast Ermey as Hartman.
Old 12-23-10, 01:55 AM
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Re: Do R. Lee Ermey's "antics" undermine the integrity of Full Metal Jacket?

Him outside the movie...has no impact, in my mind, on the movie itself.

That being said...is he supposed to pass up an entire career to preserve some nebulous idea of preserving art, one I imagine many people involved in the movie don't even have? I don't really think so myself.

I can't blame him, particularly since I don't think it has any negative impact.
Old 12-23-10, 02:15 AM
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Re: Do R. Lee Ermey's "antics" undermine the integrity of Full Metal Jacket?

Originally Posted by jaeufraser View Post
Him outside the movie...has no impact, in my mind, on the movie itself.
I agree. Whatever an actor does after a great performance doesn't affect said performance at all to me.

(And I don't begrudge an actor picking up a paycheck. That's what we all do.)
Old 12-23-10, 02:22 AM
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Re: Do R. Lee Ermey's "antics" undermine the integrity of Full Metal Jacket?

First of all, I don't think the examples cited constitute "antics." When he dangles a baby over a balcony or has obscenities painted into his fingernails during a court appearance, we'll talk. Second, I think a performance does stand on its own, but I would say that in a case like this--where there's clearly authenticity involved--if a viewer carries Ermey's post-movie persona into the movie with him or her, it can affect his or her perception of the performance, but in this case it's a positive thing.

Lastly, I'm pretty good at confining my viewing of a performance to just that performance. I can still watch Braveheart without dwelling on how crazed and vile Mel Gibson has revealed himself to be. I can't however, seem to be able to watch a Travola performance without thinking the entire time, "You let your own son die on principle." I know I should be able to get past that, but I can't.
Old 12-23-10, 03:21 AM
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Re: Do R. Lee Ermey's "antics" undermine the integrity of Full Metal Jacket?

Originally Posted by MinLShaw View Post
When he dangles a baby over a balcony


I see what you did there!

Old 12-23-10, 07:58 AM
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Re: Do R. Lee Ermey's "antics" undermine the integrity of Full Metal Jacket?

I see the GEICO commercial and I'm sad because I know he's "holding back".

I wish he could do these other things uncensored because that stuff in FMJ is hilarious. I know its pretty realistic, but its still funny the stuff he yells at the guys.
Old 12-23-10, 08:21 AM
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Re: Do R. Lee Ermey's "antics" undermine the integrity of Full Metal Jacket?

Originally Posted by Dr. DVD View Post
Well, his character in Dead Man Walking deviated rather well.
As did his role in Se7en, a strong usage of his look and demeanor in a different, low-key part.

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