Adding An App To His Credits
One of the most prolific and respected actors in Hollywood (this author’s favorites - Vision Quest and Full Metal Jacket), as of this writing Matthew Modine already has some 79 credits as an actor, 16 as a producer, 13 as a director, and a slew more as writer, cinematographer, and in other categories. Nominated and winner of countless awards including a Golden Globe. His place as an entertainment industry hall of famer is secure.
He can currently be seen in the Edward Zwick-produced Family Weekend with Kristin Chenoweth and will star as former Apple CEO John Sculley in Jobs, the forthcoming Steve Jobs biopic alongside Ashton Kutcher as Jobs.
If that weren’t enough, he is now adding App developer to his credits based upon the detailed diary he kept during the filming of Stanley Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket. His diary and behind-the-scenes notes were originally published as a limited-addition book and now has been adapted as an iPad App Full Metal Jacket Diary and has been accepted as an official entry in the New Media Film Festival coming up Los Angeles in mid-June 2013.
Editor's Note: I have been viewing the App over the past few days and it is hard to put it on pause as it is so engrossing. It is truly a ground breaking use of new media to tell a story that would previously only have been appropriate as a printed book or as a documentary. If you love filmmaking, Kubrick, or just a wonderful story told in the voice of Matthew, I recommend you go to iTunes and purchase it now and then go to the New Media Film Festival to see it presented there as well. In some ways this is also a love story. It clearly reveals Matthew’s love of his family, his craft, Kubrick, and his fellow actors.
SOCAL So much has been written about you and your professional career but I can’t seem to find a reference to an aha! moment when you knew that acting, and in a broader sense, entertainment, was what you would dedicate your life to. Was there such a moment and as the youngest of seven did you have anyone else in your family who had gone into acting?
Matthew I’ve always thought my dad would have loved to have been an actor. His sister was a Broadway star and when they were children they participated in dance and singing classes. Knowing this, and always wanting to please one’s parents, as we all do, the seed may have sprouted from that desire. But as the idea grows, you can no longer pursue something for someone else. You have to find your own happiness. Luckily, I chose a profession that makes me very happy.
SOCAL While you were born in California and attended high school here before going to New York to study acting, you lived in Utah for awhile. Do you consider one or the other your childhood roots?
Matthew I love both Utah and California. I was born in California, but my informative years were spent in Utah. I’ve lived in NYC for three decades now and feel that this is really my home.
SOCAL There are many charities that you support. What are some of the more important charities you are working with now?
Matthew They are all important. Improving the environment is my top priority. Our health, and the health of all the life we share this planet with, depends on our immediate action to repair the damage caused by human behavior. It is going to be a monumental task to repair the damage caused to the earth from our pollution and environmental degradation.
SOCAL You’ve worked with so many amazing professionals of all disciplines. Would you please share with us one or two special experiences you’ve shared with other actors.
Matthew The first and most important relationship I had was with my teachers. Not one, but many. The teachers I most appreciate taught me love and forgiveness. They taught me the responsibility of standing on a stage and speaking to an audience. They told me that people would be affected positively or negatively by the things I said and did. They told me that being an artist carried with it a responsibility. I try never to forget that.
SOCAL OK, now turning to the App. Publishing the diary you kept during the filming of Full Metal Jacket was obviously a labor of love. How did the possibility of turning it into an App come about? Did you have any second thoughts about moving into a new arena that didn’t have a stage or camera associated with it?
Matthew Turning the Full Metal Jacket Diary into an interactive iPad app was really the idea of my friend, Adam Rackoff. Adam is an artist and great thinker. He loved my book, but knew that it was a limited edition book. That I had no plans to republish the book beyond its 20,000 numbered copies. So, he asked me about turning it into an app. With my narration, original music, sound effects, and all-new high resolution scans of my photos and personal documents from the two years of filming. He was so passionate and eager to create something he and I, and especially Stanley Kubrick, would be proud of. There was no way I couldn’t go on that journey with him!
SOCAL Please tell us about some of the projects you have coming up that you would like us to keep on our radar.
Matthew A collection of my short films will be released on iTunes in early June and are currently playing on the ShortsHD television network (available with DirectTV). Some of my shorts will also be available on the Film Annex platform soon (www.filmannex.com). I have two feature films coming out this fall - JOBS and CAT 8. And I’m working on a couple of animated film projects - Ralph Bakshi’s LAST DAYS OF CONEY ISLAND and THE BAG MAN. I’m happy to keep busy.
SOCAL Do you have any advice you would like to share with young people entering the entertainment business today?
Matthew DO. Acting means doing. What are you doing and how you are doing what you need to do to accomplish your goal. Your talent is in your choices. Find good actors and artists that are passionate about doing, working, and find places where you can do. Practice. Practice. Practice.