Before They Were Stars: R. Lee Ermey in “The Boys in Company C”

We all know that R. Lee Ermey made the successful transition from former drill instructor to full-time Hollywood actor after his iconic performance as Gunnery Sergeant Hartman in Full Metal Jacket, but believe it or not, this was the not the first time Ermey played such a role onscreen. In 1978, a war movie called The Boys in Company C was released, which followed a similar structure to Full Metal Jacket, telling the story of a bunch of Marine recruits who go through boot camp before being shipped over to Vietnam. Of course, Ermey played their drill instructor and wound catching the eye of Stanley Kubrick, who eventually decided to use him in Full Metal Jacket nine years later.

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