Vincent D’Onofrio shares a glimpse inside his mind in new book of musings

If you missed Vincent D’Onofrio reading from his journals while being accompanied by the music of Dana Lyn at Joe’s Pub in New York City, there’s an alternative.

The beloved actor in roles like Pvt. Leonard (Gomer Pyle) Lawrence in the classic Stanley Kubrick 1987 film, “Full Metal Jacket” and Detective Robert Goren in “Law & Order: Criminal Intent” has a new book of his musings.

“Mutha: Stuff + Things,” featuring a forward from actor Ethan Hawke and photography by Carin van der Donk, is billed as “a collection of irreverent and poetic short works.”

D’Onofrio told CNN the book came about after he met a publisher he liked while working on something else.

“I write it because it’s what my brain does when I’m idle,” he said. “I try to use out-of-the-box content to express what I’m really trying to say. You can’t take them all literal, but you can take them as if they have sometimes deep meaning, sometimes just completely absurd meaning and sometimes I just want to tell a little story.”

D’Onofrio has spent his career telling stories.

Be it his early work like “Mystic Pizza,” or his more recent role in the drama “Godfather of Harlem,” the actor said he’s been fortunate professionally.

And while he came up in the era of the “Brat Pack,” D’Onofrio said he intentionally took a different path.

“I don’t know if I would have succeeded, by the way, but I could have tried to be a leading man,” he said. “It just never felt right. I had friends that were incredible leading men and women. And I just knew instinctively or intuitively that it didn’t match my personality type and that it would just be trouble for me.”

Not that he has trouble with the attention his work has brought him.

Such recognition allows for things like his book — the sales of which he plans to donate to help communities hurting from the pandemic — as well as a planned forthcoming children’s book.

He said that during the pandemic he’s written more poetry, much of which is Twitter length, and there are plans to publish more of his work.

And there’s always the acting.

D’Onofrio said he’s thrilled to see his profession make strides to becoming more inclusive. (D’Onofrio is actually in the minority of the mostly people of color cast of “Godfather of Harlem,” which stars Forest Whitaker.

“To be on stage or to be on a set with people who weren’t getting jobs previous to this movement is extraordinary,” he added. “It’s an extraordinary thing.”