Matthew Lillard: Click Here For Matthew's Filmography
Matthew Lillard is one of these actors who is just waiting to hit the right note. He's come close several times what with movies like She's All That and SLC Punk...but I'm talking about the hitting the right note, in the right movie, with him in the leading role and having a huge chunk of the population sitting up and taking notice. It's bound to happen...just hasn't happen yet. I also don't expect Scooby Doo to be the film, even though it pulled 54 million in it's opening weekend is it Scooby that the kids went to see, not Lillard as Shaggy.
Born on January 24, 1970 in Lansing, Michigan, Lillard was actually raised in California, always a nice healthy step for anyone on the road to being an actor in films. The truth is he lived in Tustin, California from the day he hit first grade right up until high school graduation. When high school wound up he landed a part as an extra in the feature film Ghoulies 3: Ghoulies Go To College. Check carefully in the credits as his name reads Matthew Lynn...not Lillard.
That same year he landed a pretty solid job as host on the Nickelodeon show SK8 TV. However, hosting a kids program was not what Matthew had in mind when he graduated high school so he kept working at his craft, studying at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in Pasadena, California. It was during this time that, with a friend, Matthew started the Mean Street Ensemble theatre company.
The company would run until 1991, the time Matthew headed off for New York to attend theatre school at the Circle in the Square. It would be another three years of auditions, acting gigs and more auditions before his manager (Bill Treusch) landed Matthew an audition for a John Waters film called Serial Mom. The audition landed Matthew the role of Chip.
The role of Chip, a young teenager relatively obsessed with horror and gore films, was a fun whacky role....something Lillard would prove to be so adept at that it almost becomes a staple of his career at points. Other films followed with him in minor roles like Hackers with Angelina Jolie and Mad Love with Drew Barrymore but it would be a horror film that Chip would have loved that put Lillard into the spotlight.
In 1996 Wes Craven's Scream, both a parody of the genre and a comedy proved to be successful enough to spawn two sequels and revive the entire realm of horror. It also helped establish David Arquette, Skeet Ulrich,, Jamie Kennedy and Matthew Lillard as up and comers in Hollywood.
After Scream Lillard hit a rough patch and turned out films like Dish Dogs and The Curve, none of which stoked the box-office or the fans. Although he had a part in Without Limits, an under seen story about the life of Olympic runner Steve Prefontaine, the movie also came and went at the theatres with little attention. Then came the biggest injustice in his career so far. An indie film called SLC Punk.
Stevo (Lillard): "To be an anarchist in Salt Lake City was certainly no easy task, especially in 1985. And having no money, no job, no plans for the future, the true anarchist position, was in itself a strenuous job."
SLC Punk! received some pretty good reviews, Lillard himself was constantly singled out as one of the high points of the film but again, the film disappeared.
The next film would be different and would begin a chain of events I personally have viewed as harmful to Lillard's career, but hell he seems happy, so what can I do? She's All That with Freddie Prinze Jr. and Rachael Leigh Cook. The teen comedy was a huge hit and sparked a friendship between Lillard and Freddie Prinze Jr. that has since seen them teamed up in three other films. Wing Commander...atrocious. Summer Catch...better (it would be hard pressed to reach the level of horrible that Wing Commander does) and now Scooby Doo which despite my misgivings has performed well and maybe the effect will be to elevate Lillard to the film project I know is just waiting for him in the wings.
However, it wasn't all Lillard and Prinze Jr. movies. Lillard took time to produce and star in a nice, slick little con movie with Vincent D'Onfrio called Spanish Judges. Except for a annoying little tag on to the ending, Lillard gives a great performance and the film is worth checking out. More recently he also starred in the horror film 13 Ghosts, however the movie was more about the special effects and as a result both Lillard and co-star Tony Shalhoub spent most of their time running and/or screaming.
But that movie, that one big movie Lillard needs...it's just around the corner, I can feel it.
Copyright© Staffwriter: Rob Paul
Matthew Lillard Filmography
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