Matthew Modine’s Full Metal Jacket Diary

Matthew ModineMatthew Modine, a Golden Globe awardee known for his role as Private Joker in Full Metal Jacket, published a limited edition book of his diary and photos of FMJ back in 2005. This diary has now been updated as an iPad app and it will soon be an audiobook. Modine’s Full Metal Jacket Diary Ipad App won the 2013 “Best App” Award at the New Media Film Festival in Los Angeles. The App takes the fans on a behind-the-scenes journey through the making of the 1987 magnum opus Vietnam War movie. Modine’s diary presents hundreds of never-before-seen photographs taken by him on location.

In this Q and A, you’ll discover Modine’s experience working on the set and working with Kubrick and what inspired him to create an iPad App and an audiobook.

Popbuff: You were in your 20’s when you starred in Full Metal Jacket. What did you discover about yourself while making the movie and what was it like working with director Stanley Kubrick? Would you consider him a genius?
MM: It was an extraordinary experience working with Kubrick. Unlike any other production I have been involved with. Was he a genius? How would I know? It takes a genius to know a genius, right? The most important thing I discovered, and continue to discover, is that the journey of an artist is never an easy one. Discovering your own inner truth is a solitary passage. Most people are comfortable being a part of a mass culture, a mob mentality.

Popbuff: My dad is a Vietnam vet and he died during the war in 1969. How would you describe the film to children that were left by their soldier dads? What makes this film different from other Vietnam movies?
MM: First, let me say thank you to your father for his service. Service men and women are sent to places with the understanding that our government is sending them for good cause, justification, and with strong moral reason. After all, we are asking them to represent, protect, and defend the justice and human rights of others. This responsibility of the government is sometimes abused. The causality of this abuse of power is never at the cost of the officials in government who send our sons and daughters to battle. With a stroke of a pen, our nations young adults are deployed to areas of conflict and ordered to obey the commands of a president. Vietnam is one such war that is shrouded in confusion and misunderstanding that led to the death of nearly 60,000 Americans and an untold number of Vietnamese. I think Kubrick’s film does a remarkable job of detailing the Vietnam War without detailing it with facts or blame. Full Metal Jacket just presents images and situations that unfold before the audience. By not explaining or having an objective opinion about the Marines or the war, FMJ allows the audience to determine – for themselves – how they want to interpret the film.

Popbuff: I understand Kubrick encouraged you to write a diary during filming and that you also took photos and published a book about this. The book was a limited edition of 20,000 copies. What can fans expect from the Full Metal Jacket diary audiobook and iPad app?
MM: Yes, it is true. I kept a diary and took photos during the nearly 18 months of production. I wanted my book to be a collector’s item. It is a metal “jacketed” limited edition of only 20,000. Each laser-etched with a serial number on the back. I promised I’d never republish the book. As a result, the book I released for $29.99 has been seen for sale on sites like eBay for as high as $1,800. That is quite remarkable.
The Full Metal Jacket Diary iPad app is a deeply immersive experience. It has much more content than the book. It also has sound effects, original score, additional photos, and more. It has even coined a new word, the Full Metal Jacket Diary “Appumentary.” The new audiobook has been remastered and will come with a cool photo booklet with forwards by longtime Kubrick collaborator, Leon Vitali, as well as the composer of FMJ’s musical soundtrack – and daughter of Stanley – Vivian Kubrick.

Popbuff: Have any of your kids seen FMJ?
MM: Yes, of course. FMJ has become a part of our culture. So many phrases have become a part of our vernacular. FMJ is one of Warner Brothers, and Kubrick’s most successful (financially speaking) films. It would be weird if my kids weren’t familiar with the film.

Popbuff: What encouraged you to create audiobook?
MM: There are so many people that wanted the book. As I mentioned, I promised not to republish a physical book. The FMJ Dairy iPad app is very successful, but there are a lot of people that don’t have an iPad. So making the audiobook was a convenient way to share the book with people who love audiobooks, and don’t have iPads!

Popbuff: What experience stood out while recording the audiobook?
MM: The entire process was fun. It was weird to go back and read the musings of a 25 year-old young man. I am thrilled with the excellent audio production and appreciate the team that put it together.

Popbuff: Where can we get the audio book?
MM: The audiobook’s producer, Adam Rackoff, just completed a successful Kickstarter campaign ( to complete the audiobook. Backers of the campaign will be the first to receive the audiobook when it’s finished. Everyone else can now pre-order the audiobook on the Spectra Music Group website ( It will be available as a limited edition 4-disc CD set with photo booklet or as a digital download.

Popbuff: Any last words for the fans?
MM: Thank you for all your support over the years. I always do my best and I hope that I can continue to entertain you for years to come! I have the best fans in the world!!
Matthew Modine at the recording studio for Full Metal Jacket


Matthew Modine's Full Metal Jacket Diary iPad app and audiobook

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  1. Thanks for this article, this looks priceless….I never would have known it existed without your article.


  1. […] Matthew Modine On Turning “Full Metal Jacket Diary” Into An Evolving App […]

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