Friday, January 31, 2014

I Can’t Handicap The Super Bowl.

But in the Puppy Bowl, take the Pit and the points.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Devious.

Turning water into wine is pretty cool, but turning mac and cheese into 12 bucks is a miracle.

Hyperion Public, Silverlake.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Having A Great Morning?

 
…or the greatest morning?

Much respect, Jeep guy.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

I Rely On The Kindness Of Friends.

If you ever leave the office on time, and a coworker asks if you’re “taking a half day?”, come back with “Yeah, and tomorrow I’m bringing a gun to the office.”

I don’t have office hours per se, but I was at work before the sun came up yesterday, in my friend Ariel’s garage, where we run lines and coach each other before auditions.

5:45 a.m. was the only time we could find, and I can’t thank Ariel enough. He’d been away all weekend and flew back into town late Sunday night, and still got up after only a few hours of sleep and helped me before a big pilot audition. Who does that?

Actors – that’s who.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Shit Got Real.

On Saturday, just after I captured Santa powering through his off-season workout…

I turned the corner and I swear one of his elves walked past me. Proof, once again, that my life is like a really broad sitcom in which no one would believe the premises.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Like A Cinematic Escher Sketch.

Lionsgate announced that, following The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, there will be a third film, The Hunger Games: Assignment Miami Beach.

Meanwhile, I wasn’t thrilled that my favorite movie of all time, About Last Night, was being remade, until I saw the poster, featuring Kevin Hart’s character Bernie sporting a Kevin Hart tattoo. And now I will never stop watching this film.

Friday, January 24, 2014

They Say There Are No Quality Men In LA…

Yet the guy with the rag jammed in his nose is available TONIGHT.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

I’m In A Comedy Short.

Question: is asking a father for his daughter’s hand in marriage the most respectful thing ever, or just seeing if he minds you banging his little girl for the rest of your life? Either way, a daunting task. This past year, I was cast in a series of comedy shorts called Claire and Greg, and above, I’ve posted one entitled “Permission.” It was written by a very talented young couple named Matthew Giegrich and Chelsea Mize, and stars Katie Von Till (who also produced it), Jeff Harlan and me. Give it a gander.

*Note: I had to pull the video because a newer version has been created and won’t be made public until next month. It happens. If you saw the previous version, I hope you liked it. If you didn’t, stay posted. 
-Matthew

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Faith In Humanity Restoring.

Posting inspirational quotes online is the first sign of depression.

Posting “found” notices on telephone poles is downright inspiring. There’s been a sudden rash of this here in LA. (That’s if you define a “rash” as two. I do.) First, it was the enigmatic yet magnanimous “Anyone Know This Guy?” civilian, and last night, I came across the above flier. Who takes the time to print and post this around the neighborhood, let alone put their phone number on it? A very good person, indeed.

What’s going on? Is it tied to the legalization of pot in Cali ? Because if this city breaks into one big Dead show parking lot, I am in.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Once Again, Out-Of-Context Thank-You Notes I’ve Recently Written To Casting Directors.

• Jacqueline Bisset sounds like her handlers feed her peanut butter to make it look like she’s talking.

• I always dress up when I go dairy shopping. It’s why I keep a sombrero in the trunk.

• Three decades of playing Tetris have apparently not improved our nation’s ability to stow overhead luggage.

• As an actor, I feel obligated to hang up pictures of famous dry cleaners in my house.

• Stir and heat an additional minute? Come on, Lean Cuisine, I thought we both knew what this was.

• In 4.5 billion years the sun will burn out. But on the plus side, no more sunset Instagrams.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Weekend Recap.

I swear, just as my friend Larkin and I approached the counter at Amandine CafĂ©, an employee stuck this sign on her register. Blatant Irish racism… The scene in “True Detective,” in which Matthew McConaughey stopped breathing for a few seconds, made me stop breathing with him. So good… My temporary living arrangements had been going swimmingly until I opened my front door Saturday night and came face to face with a giant possum. It was fight or flight, and I chose fight, screaming at him to run down the stairs and scoot, and when he wasn’t moving fast enough, I told him to hurry it up. He understood and motored out of there, with no clue that I almost crapped my pants. I got acting chops.

Friday, January 17, 2014

I Voted.

I know talent when I see it. I just endorsed Andy Murray on LinkedIn for tennis.

And this week, when I voted for the SAG Awards, I was really happy to cast my ballot for June Squibb for Outstanding Performance By a Female Actor in a Supporting Role. In Nebraska, she steals nearly every scene as a mom who tells it like it is.

She’s the complete definition of a supporting actor. She also got an Oscar nomination – her first – at the age of 84. I kinda want to be her when I grow up.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Restoration Software.

I put my pants on like everyone else: with difficulty, blaming the dryer for shrinking them.

My life ain’t perfect. But my acting reels are getting there. My friend Bru, the best acting reel editor I’ve ever met, took it upon himself to color correct both my comedy and drama reels, with phenomenal results. The pic above is a new frame from my movie, The Beneficiary.

And below is pre and post from my comedy reel. It’s like a reverse before and after effects of meth.

Old:
New:

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

My Ten Favorite Movies Of 2013.

My personality is 30% the last movie I watched.

That said, the Oscar nominations will be announced tomorrow morning, and I like to beat the Academy to the punch by offering up what I think were the ten best films of this past year. I always preface this by saying I’ve seen most, but not all, of the big ones. (I haven’t seen Rush or Her or Frances Ha yet.) Here they are, in order:

1) Mud. In the best year of Matthew McConaughey’s career, this is the best role he’s ever played. Proof: he still does the obligatory shirtless bit, and yet it’s by far my favorite movie of this year.

2) Fruitvale Station. It starts off with actual cell-phone footage of the real guy who was killed by a transit cop in San Francisco on New Year’s Eve, and builds the tension from there.

3) Short Term 12. My friend Jenn didn’t know a thing about this film, but heard amazing things about it. (Including winning Sundance.) I avoided knowing all trailers and reviews and saw it and was blown away. I’ll do you the same, spoil-free favor.

4) The Way, Way Back. Best comedy of the year. Sam Rockwell deserves a nomination for doing Bill Murray in Meatballs even better than Bill Murray in Meatballs.

5) Philomena. Tragic. Based on a true story. Makes you hate religion more you thought possible. Co-written and starring Steve Coogan, one of my favorite comic actors, only this time he’s doing drama and he’s just as talented.

6) The Spectacular Now. If John Hughes were still alive and wanted to make a comedy with real poignancy, this is the film he’d make.

7) Saving Mr. Banks. Much more heartbreaking than I anticipated. Super well cast. Meryl Streep was asked to play the lead, but was already working on another film, so Emma Thompson took the opportunity and ran with it.

8) Gravity. Clooney is by far my favorite actor, but I worried about seeing a film starring only two people. Worry unwarranted – this is a tense action-adventure shot with groundbreaking technology.

9) The Wolf of Wall Street. Roger Ebert once said, “No good film is too long; no bad film is short enough.” This clocks in at two hours and 59 minutes, and I wish it were longer.

10) Blue Jasmine. My little brother didn’t like it because it rang too true for him it. That’s the best kind of review you can get.

Also absolutely worth seeing: 
10 b) Captain Phillips 
10 c) In a World 
10 d) 20 Feet From Stardom

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Inside The Temporarily-Relocated Actor’s Studio Apartment.

Forget packing, hauling and unpacking – the thing that sucks most about moving is having to find a new drug dealer.

So I keep my moves minimal, and brief. My landlord is doing work on my place, and it’ll take a few weeks, so I had to find short-term living arrangements. As I searched the web, it became a trickier task than I anticipated, mainly because I have a big dog.

My friends Jenn and Michelle call me Mr. Lucky, because things always seem to go my way (parking spots magically open up for me), but this was pushing it. That is, until I found out that my next door neighbor, TL, had to leave town for work, and needed someone to sublet her dog-friendly apartment. Her place is eight feet from mine. Mr. Luckiest.

That squared away, a marathon move ensued. I was able to store my things in my garage, but because it wasn’t a regular long-term move, I had to do a lot of math, figuring out what to take with me, and what would be stored in my garage and inaccessible, crammed into one space. With the exception of my big brother stopping by to help me with my couch and armoire, I did everything myself, and it was stressful as shit. I felt like a day laborer, only I wasn’t getting paid and the guy who hired me was a real dick.

But now I’m all squared away, living next door. Ricky got comfortable quickly (he’s been finding TL’s dog’s toys in every nook of the place.) It’s tight quarters, but super convenient. (And check out TL’s Emmy, which she won for sports production.) I still have my mail and newspaper delivered to my place and park in my driveway. We’ll enjoy it until it’s time to move back, and the festivities begin all over again. But it’s okay – I owe myself a favor for helping myself move on Sunday.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Weekend Recap.

Every time I get a haircut, and check in on Facebook at Umberto Salon in Beverly Hills, my friend Barry leaves one simple comment: “Gay.” I always love that, because Barry himself is gay. Though on Saturday, as I was getting my hair washed at Umberto, on the TV up in the corner was the Saints/Seahawks game, which is plenty hetero, even if I was the only straight guy in the place… Speaking of Umberto, the place was buzzing with people getting their hair did for the Golden Globes… And speaking of the Golden Globes, check out the scene behind the Beverly Hilton the day before the Golden Globes. It’s serious shit when we actors give ourselves awards:

Friday, January 10, 2014

The Newest, Bestest Thing On TV.

“True Detective” premieres this weekend, and I presume it’s about two cops out to prove Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson aren’t actually the same person.

I’ve read a bunch about the show, and I’m super excited. It’s only eight episodes, and if it gets picked up for a second season, it’ll feature an entirely new cast and setting. That puts a lot of pressure on the writer, a novelist and college professor who decided to try scriptwriting just a few years ago. If the show continues, he’ll have the massive pressure of essentially inventing a new show.

Because it’s only eight episodes per season, “True Detective” can attract big-time stars who are hesitant to commit long-term. And because of all the episodes feature one director (rare in TV), actors will like not having to acquaint themselves with a new working/shooting/performance style every week. HBO is the shit.

It seems all you have to do nowadays is watch the pilot of any show on premium cable and you’ll be hooked. I’m ready to become obsessed.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Get Your Butt To LA, Part 62: In Which I Dislocate My Elbow Patting Myself On The Back.

The casting director handed out our scenes, and gave me one the most difficult ones I’ve ever been asked to play. I took a deep breath and set about conquering it. Everyone who signed my middle school yearbook will be happy to hear that I have, in fact, stayed cool.

Well, not at first. At first I didn’t think I had it in me. I’d been back from New York for all of four days, and my brain was still mush. Why had I signed up for this type of workshop so early on a Saturday morning?

Related thought: if I die in my sleep you can actually say that I died doing what I loved.

Ramping up the stakes: while everyone else received lighter sitcom scenes, I was given the closing scene of Interview With The Vampire. I had to play Tom Cruise’s character, now 200 years old, rotting and dying, lamenting his past. I’d never seen the film, and I had fifteen minutes to learn the scene. A big casting director and 22 factors were going to see me really shit the bed.

However, my scene partner was my friend Clayton, and he looked me right in the eye and told me I had this, and we made the most of our fifteen minutes and then I quickly read it over and over and over trying to memorize as much dialogue as possible.

And then our turn came up, and I focused and locked in. And the casting director loved it. I emailed the casting director yesterday, thanking him for challenging me. And he wrote back: “You did the scene beautifully. Thank you. Talk soon.”

Soon is good. I can do soon.

A question I often ask myself is: am I putting enough effort into having a career in the world’s most competitive profession in the world's most competitive market? Kinda, yeah.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

2013 Deaths That Sucked.

I’ve often said I’d like to die by assassination. But how about my funeral arrangements? Easy: just crank “Highway to Hell.” Which I’d also like played at my wedding.

Here are last year’s losses that saddened me most:

Conrad Bain. He was last generation’s Angelina Jolie.

Bonnie Franklin. She starred in “One Day At A Time,” and now she’s gone. So much for living in the moment.

Roger Ebert. His review of North etched in his tombstone.

Jonathan Winters. Responsible for one of my favorite quotes: “I couldn’t wait for success, so I went ahead without it.”

Jean Stapleton. She rolled the dice – turning down the roll of Mike Teevee’s mom in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory to shoot the pilot of “All in the Family” – and won.

James Gandolfini. Losing a fellow Jets fan hurts more than anything.

Gary David Goldberg. From a story I read about him: Gary created “Family Ties and “Spin City,” and was so thankful that someone had mentored him when he was a young writer that at the 2001 Austin Film Festival “he offered the audience – chock full of hungry writers desperate for an opportunity to be recognized – his personal telephone number. He instructed everyone to write it down so that they would have someone to encourage them not to quit in those hours of solitude and doubt so common to our constituency.”

Dennis Farina. Saw him in an LAX bathroom once, and got serious stage fright.

Hal Needham. He directed Smokey and the Bandit, Hooper, Death Car on the Freeway, Smokey and the Bandit II, The Cannonball Run, Stroker Ace and Cannonball Run II, which makes him the Scorsese of white trash.

Marcia Wallace. When her character, Mrs. Krabapple, the teacher on “The Simpsons,” was asked to control Bart, she replied: “I tried, but he’s uncontrollable. Frowny stickers mean nothing to him.”

Paul Walker. I always root extra hard for charitable celebrities to do well so they can keep giving their money away. (Keanu Reeves is amazing at this.) He’ll be extra missed.

Peter O’Toole. If Lindsay Lohan’s liver could speak, it would sound like Peter O’Toole in the 70s.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Weekend Recap.

At Black Market Liquor Bar on Friday night, I shook my head over the gluten-free beer options. But hey, I understand – for people with a gluten allergy, it’s kind of like Kryptonite, except Superman didn’t find a way to mention it in every conversation… Also went to the Den of Hollywood, which isn’t as masochistic as it sounds, seeing as I had a yummy grilled cheese whose secret ingredient was squash puree… It was the fourth day of the New Year, and already I was up early on a Saturday at a casting workshop. When I’m not anxious, I’m anxious about it… Fighting a cold, and I got carded buying Sudafed yesterday. Super flattered that I look smart and mature enough to be a meth cook.

Friday, January 3, 2014

The 13th Great Film Of 2013.

If you think money doesn’t buy happiness, you are dead wrong. Jordan Belfort not only purchased a yacht with a helicopter on top of it, he achieved the ultimate happiness by trading up to a non-Jewish wife.

He had the best of everything: drugs, hookers, cars, a staff of servants. He was downright giddy. Meanwhile, I’m just hoping to someday become happy enough to hold my coffee with both hands.

The Wolf of Wall Street is Scorsese through and through. I love that he doesn’t do things the easy way, and he had to have worked his ass off to make this film. It’s two hours and 59 minutes long. And Leonardo Dicaprio is in almost every scene, amped up, addicted, exhausted. He’s amazing.

The fact that it’s a true story makes it all the more riveting. People lived like this! They did coke and banged chicks and didn’t hesitate for a second to take you for a ride. And if you think they’re really bad, just wait until Scorsese and DiCarprio get through with you.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Day-Old Thoughts About My Flight Back.

Best way to make a flight seem twice as fast? Four episodes of “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” the best new show on TV. If you don’t access to a TV, a fistful of beta blockers will do in a pinch… It takes me about 25 minutes to pack a suitcase, but I still always block out four hours for it… I was reading in the in-flight magazine that some airlines are banning babies from first class. This is great, because I hate when babies give me that smug look as I walk through to coach.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

RIP 2013. 2013-2013.

I only have one New Year’s resolution: to find myself a woman who has a great sense of humor about being a supermodel.

Actually, I have a lot of great stuff in the works, and I’m excited to shoot and post a whole bunch of new things. Yeah, it’s gonna be a kickass year.

I gotta give a lot of credit to 2013 – it was my second favorite year ever (2012 edged it out only because I got a new puppy and took a trip to the Philippines.) But I’m on a streak that I don’t plan on interrupting.

Enjoy the day off. Starting tomorrow, let’s get after it.