#10 The Detective from Law & Order: Criminal Intent (2001–2011)
Detective Bobby Goren has a strained relationship with his mother, experiences existential crisis when identifying his biological father, and people often view him as “an acquired taste” when not outright questioning his sanity. All things considered, he is the male version of myself and this makes me worry that I am a self-sexual.
#9 The Priest from The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys (2002)
Forgive me Lord, for I don’t remember an iota of the storyline because I was hyper-focused on D’Onofrio donning a priest’s cassock. Context: my preadolescent years were spent re-watching the 1999 movie Stigmata where Gabriel Byrne plays a priest struggling to control his attraction to Patricia Arquette. By the time I happened upon this movie, I was in dire need of fresh priest content.
Present day, I often imagine D’Onofrio, Byrne, and myself in a divinely cozy “priest sandwich.” I’m perplexed because I’ve never considered myself a religious person.
#8 The Time Traveler from Happy Accidents (2000)
D’Onofrio plays a sweet-seeming guy from the year 2470, which conveniently explains away his lack of a permanent residence or any familial connections. In my youth this plot seemed incredibly romantic. Now in my mid-30s, the “is he gaslighting me or not?” storyline hits a little too close to home. I numb away uncomfortable feelings by rewinding D’Onofrio’s polka music dance scene, making me question how I came to consider this to qualify as erotic dancing.
#7 The Crime Lord from Daredevil/Hawkeye (2015–2018, 2021)
I haven’t actually watched any of this because I suspect my D’Onofrio needs will be life-long and, well, the man is thirty years older than me. I strategically withhold D’Onofrio roles from myself to avoid the high likelihood of spending my golden years in prison due to digging up his grave for a midnight, post-menopausal tryst. The intensity of my lust is criminal and this makes me feel really, really dirty.
#6 The Banker from Chlorine (2013)
D’Onofrio portrays a desperate banker with questionable ethics and this role doesn’t offer much romantically. Except that his hair is incredible. I can tell D’Onofrio let it grow ¾ of an inch. God, just imagine how running your fingers through those soft curls would feel. I’m frustrated with myself for being so willing to overlook my misgivings of a person after seeing their fantastic hair blow in the wind.
#5 The Mechanic from Adventures in Babysitting (1987)
Not until recently did I realize the grumpy yet alluring golden-haired mechanic in a tight tank top was him. My yearning for D’Onofrio in this role was startling because I consistently yearn for brunettes.
#4 The Pastor from The Eyes of Tammy Faye (2021)
As a Unitarian Universalist Pagan, I will never date a Christian. Which made D’Onofrio’s portrayal of Jerry Falwell unsettling. Falwell was a man with views polar opposite of mine, so I kind of hate D’Onofrio for playing him. How dare he inspire me to concoct shameful fantasies where I’m his church secretary and we frantically pray away our fleshly urges. I assumed the priest sandwich fantasy was all I’d need in terms of religious ecstasy. How wrong I was.
#3 The Mountain Man from The Magnificent Seven (2016)
Post viewing, I imagine myself and an outdoorsy version of D’Onofrio snuggling in our log cabin. Its old timey days, so affectionately calling each other “Ma” and “Pa” is considered a normal endearment. Except, D’Onofrio was born the same year as my mother. You would think I’d immediately sever that rugged wood-chopping fantasy of him in nothing but a raccoon hat. You would be wrong.
#2 The Serial Killer from The Cell (2000)
Men have dark sides, but D’Onofrio’s comes with nipple rings and couture capes. You can understand why my moral compass hits south again, and again, and again (you know what south I mean). I’m not proud that I wish to body-swap with Jennifer Lopez’s character, especially since she’s placed in a cage and forced to wear a dog collar. Yet I remain at a deadlock with myself. A sexy, sexy deadlock.
#1 The Bug from Men in Black (1997)
Let me set the record straight: I do not lust over the verbally abusive, pre-Bug farmer character. I lust over the “man” who appreciates the simple pleasures of life, such as drinking sugar water. I want a “man” with a plan, but also a “man” who isn’t so single-minded on stealing the galaxy that he forgets to protect the well-being of his cockroach relatives. The Bug has become the template for what I search for in a mate. I’m only baffled that others don’t see what I see.