In an early morning interview with actor Matthew Lillard, it was refreshing to discuss the ever-evolving landscape of entertainment and films with one of our favorite actors of all-time.
From his Pasadena California home, Lillard candidly opened up about the strike, his latest projects Faster Purple Worm! Kill! Kill!, career milestones, and the unique challenges of being an actor. I assumed, he would be thrilled about the ending of the SAG strike and the studios finally agreeing on new terms so everyone could return to work. He surely was.
“I am. But I’ve also had so much going on lately that I’ve thankfully been blessed that way. I’ve had stuff to work on, but I’m thrilled now for the men and women of this industry that had been decimated. Right? You’ve got people- You’ve got people that are outside the industry. You’ve got union workers who are carpenters and hair and makeup and everyone else around film production. They’re the ones that are really suffering. We’re ( as actors) built to be lean and mean, and we’re built to go years without work. They’re not. So I’m really happy it’s over because of that,” Lillard said.
The comment he made about actors having to be built to potentially “go years without work” was so interesting. I had never thought of it that way, and hearing someone of Matthew Lillard’s Hollywood status explain that to me was pretty mind-blowing. Lillard’s portrayal of “Brock” in the 1999 teen classic SHE’S ALL THAT is where he truly stole my millennial heart. I told him about my love for Brock, and he laughed, almost surprised. “Thank you. Yeah, no, that one doesn’t come up that often,” he chuckled. “Listen, whatever’s your jam … Here’s my thing. I’ve been around for so long, I have no idea how people find me, and I no longer question why they like me. I’m just happy they still like me.”
Being a child of the 80s and growing up in the 90s, today’s society is truly missing films like SHE’S ALL THAT, CAN’T HARDLY WAIT, and JAWBREAKER, to name a few, from the film docket. When they re-made SCREAM in 2022, I was disappointed; it wasn’t the same without Ulrich and Lillard. “Yeah, listen, I am not ever going to question somebody in the film-making world, ” he explained. “It’s hard to make a movie. I think it’s hard to write good films. I think that … specifically with Scream, I think that you are trying to continually capture the magic of a movie that was made whatever, 25 years ago… now. And I think it’s hard. I think you have to continually try to find your own iteration of that film instead of trying to recapture that same magic. That said, look, they don’t make movies anymore like “She’s All That” because they don’t make small movies, because, I mean, everyone’s making $100 million, $200 million dollar films where they’re trying to hit worldwide home runs every time. And they’re leaving a lot of movies on the table.”
He does have a point. Lillard’s new-ish horror flick (released October 2023) Five Nights at Freddy’s is currently in theaters and also streaming on Peacock. I’m a huge fan of seeing films in the theaters, you can’t recreate the magic of cinema in your bedroom. He agreed but went one step further. “You should go see it in the theaters, which is the thing I say to every FIVE NIGHT fan. And, a hundred percent watch it on Peacock. But the reality is that what changes the trajectory of a film is seeing it in the theaters because that really sends a message. It’s easy to turn on a streaming service. It takes effort to go see a movie in the theater. If we want movies like that (to be made), we’ve got to support them like that.” Amen! Plus, going to movie theaters make it much harder for one to be distracted on instagram and X .
Matthew Lillard also has a new “dungeons and dragon-esque” television show streaming on Amazon that he was very excited to discuss. “It’s called FASTER PURPLE WORM! KILL KILL. It’s on Amazon Premium Plex. Basically, the idea is it’s a Dungeons and Dragons show. It’s a 48-minute Dungeons and Dragons show. It’s “Whose Line is it Anyways”, meets Dungeons and Dragons. It’s super fun. It’s got great cast like Seth Green and Patton Oswald, Skeet Ulrich. It’s got this ongoing rotation of tables and it’s hilarious. It’s super fun. It’s heartfelt. And if you’ve ever been “DD” curious, this is a great onboarding moment because it’s played, it’s very rule fight, very improv heavy, and it’s a blast.”
Matthew Lillard will be forever etched in our minds, singing’ “Give it to me baby,”by Rick James in SHE’S ALL THAT. Yes, we know that’s our problem. Hey, at least my children know him for SCOOBY DOO. However, the fact that almost 25 years later he is still kind and successful speaks volumes.