Friday, 29 April 2011

Another Interview with Matthew Stephen Herrick

Hey Matt! Since we last spoke you’ve been kept very busy, hustling with your modelling and acting. But I noticed you’re still going by ‘Matthew Stephen Herrick’? What gives!! Are you not worried your name makes you sound a bit like a medieval wizard?

Ha Ha! That's hilarious. First time I've heard that one. My best friend Ryan always says my name sounds like a serial killer. I remember this Australian director telling me my name was obnoxious. That was right before I even auditioned for him. So that was a good way to start off. LOL The truth about it is there's actually an actor in NYC that does Broadway. We spoke once years ago and he had asked me if I registered as SAG under 'Matthew Herrick' because he was just about to register. At the time, I was just starting out and he had a much larger body of work. I wanted something to separate myself. I had quickly booked a Honda Commercial which automatically allowed me to become a SAG member so I needed create my own likeness. Over time, I just rolled with it. The funny thing about it is most blogs and even films I do, the people just take it upon themselves to drop the middle name and just refer to me as 'Matthew Herrick' instead. It makes no difference to me now. And I never wanted to make up a fake name because I found that to be a bit cheesy. I like my name. You can drop the Stephen if you so desire.

No I like it Matt, why have two names when you can have three! So anyways, let’s focus on your acting first…. I want to hear more about The Bold and the Beautiful!!! Details please?

I need details! The Bold and The Beautiful was a really fun opportunity to be a part of. I've appeared on the show twice now. Being on that show I think meant more to my mom than anything else. As a kid I remember going to Kindergarten in the afternoon and my mom would always watch that as I sat with her in the morning eating my cereal and playing with my G.I. Joes. So when I got to set I knew almost all the characters right away. Even though I don't watch soaps I kind of geeked out because these people who I remembered so well from growing up, I was working with. The cast is really charming and funny. They are like one big family. Soaps move super fast and there's about 4 or five cameras set up to catch everything from all angels so they can get it in one or two takes. You look around in this huge room at CBS studios and see all the different sets built, some that haven't changed in 10 years and it's really an awesome experience. Now I have to spend an hour on the phone telling my mom about everyone in great detail and helping her plot ways to marry Rig - who I must say looks the same as he did 20 years ago.

Jealousy fills me - sounds great! You also have a film out at the moment, is that right?

Yes, I have a film called 'Who Leads?' that is getting ready to premiere at some of the biggest film festivals in the United States. It was accepted into both the Atlanta and Seattle Film festivals. There's more to come but the director, Bryan Darling likes to keep everything hush hush until he releases the information on the fan page. I think this film really will impact people. I had the opportunity to work with a really talented group of actors up in San Francisco - along with a production team that worked their asses off to make this film come to life. It's a story about two sets of people going through the motions of life, dealing with the ending of one relationship and the possible beginning of another within 24 hours. They are all intertwined and connected in some fashion. What's most important about this film, I think is the fact that these characters although gay men, are never depicted as just that. In the time we live in now, with the gay community fighting for equal rights, it's really important to show the community as much more, human beings that are relatable to anyone. Strip away all these stereotypes and negative stigmas that have been attached to the gay community for so long and show a film that gives people an inside perspective to the lives of 20 something young men trying to carve a path and find themselves. We have heartbreak, confusion, and our insecurities. We all try to find our ways and connections with other people in life. The gay community doesn't need to rely solely on just sex, nudity and stereotypes of what others perceive them to be. There's so much more to be discovered and shown. This is the type of work that will push people forward. I always say 'A Single Man' was the most gay non-gay film that showed exactly what Who Leads film does in my opinion. Yes, it's about gay characters but that's just something that is, not something that needs to be exploited and emphasized in such a blatant way.

And what’s this about a tv pilot? You’re just showing off now but go on…

Well, I can't talk too much in depth about it. I hate talking about something that isn't running and isn't a sure thing - especially in this industry where something big today can be gone tomorrow. We filmed the pilot episode and now it's going through the ringer and getting all pretty. They are editing and doing all that jazz. Hopefully in the coming weeks I can actually really expose this project. It's a huge departure from most work I have done in my career. It's a show that is sometimes funny and sometimes intense, dark and dramatic. What I will say is that it hits my actor list of roles I would like to play - a drug addict, a villain in a superhero film, and a badass action star kinda guy. I get to be one of those in this show. ;-)

Can I guess 'shirtless drug addict'? Am I close? So can you describe a typical acting audition/casting to my readers? I’m pretty sure it’s not a walk in the park.

The casting process is fucking long and torturous for an actor. LOL. But I really do love going to castings because each time it's a job interview that has possibilities. Casting really depends on the project you are going in for - commercial, print, film, tv, or theater. It's all so different and you need to be able to recognize the technicalities of what's involved in that particular moment. Casting directors have alot of people to see in a short amount of time. In general you walk into any casting room with a camera, some lights, a few people looking at you judging every single word, movement smile or frown and you come prepared and ready to give everything and anything you have to impress these people. Most of the time we have just about 5 minutes to make someone think we could be the perfect person for that role. When I get nervous, I talk ALOT, say inappropriate jokes and giggle. Something that either works in my favor or really pisses people off. So I try to kind of judge from the reactions if I should just shut the fuck up and do my thing or if I can be a little bit chatty with them. Sometimes you walk in there and they just say thank you and you leave, other times they will give you direction and you need to mold yourself into what the vision they are trying to achieve with this particular part. You make sure that your movements and actions with the words have a purpose. You don't just move to move. Being aware of the room around you is really important also. As an actor, I personally think if you make a commitment to a particular way you are going to play a part, hold on to that and follow through. Make a definite choice and if it's wrong, it's wrong. The way you interpret something may be a way to open the casting directors eyes to a different option for the part, or you might have just fucked yourself. Ha Ha

Where would you like to see yourself in a year from now with the acting?

I just got to keep on moving up that ladder. I hate to feel stuck or feel like I'm plateauing. I need to keep the momentum and stay busy. If I could work on an acting job 7 days a week 365 days of the year and my social life became non existent, I would be ok with that. This right now, is my first priority.


Away from all that ‘drama’ that is acting, you have also shot two very different series of photos recently, one of them by photographer Chris Hyver that I’ve already featured on the site. What about the other? Are you still focusing on not wearing any clothes? It’s a good look I guess.

LOL. I actually shot two series with Chris Hyver. One is more retro based and the other is very, what I like to call, personality. I think the series is sexy in a much more subtle way and it definitely shows a different style and side of me that most don't get to see. Nudity is one of the most beautiful ways to show a man or woman in photography in my opinion. It strips away all the props and distractions that we hide behind and lean on and completely exposes a person. Nudity is so touchy here in America, but we continue to use sex as a tool to sell products. In some people's minds if you pose nude, you are basically doing something pornographic or you got those 'OMG I would never do that!' I'm like well okay cool don't do it. Some people are fucking idiots. I have worked with some of the most amazingly talented and known photographers who shoot the most beautiful series of people in their most natural form. At the end of the day if I'm proud of the work and the people that matter to me are proud of me. I'm happy as a pig in shit. But also I think at this point I have done enough of that. People get so caught up picturing you a particular way. They kind of put me in a box and I have become this one thing that I get identified with. Sometimes I feel like people are thinking that I only have one side to me that they associate as my overall being and it seems to over shadow any other work you do. Nobody wants to be looked at as just this one dimensional person. Don't get me wrong, I love the work and will have future opportunities whether they are clothed or not but I need to hang up the lack of clothes for a while and focus on something different.

You’ll put your shirt back on when we tell you to ‘product’! What else can we expect from Matt the Wizard over the next few months?

You need to buy me a wizard hat if you are going to keep referring to me as Matt the Wizard. I just signed on for a stage production called The Infection Monologues which is a really powerful and thought provoking play about HIV and it's affects on people’s lives. It's not so heavy and mundane as it sounds. It has bits of comedy and a very insightful look into people's minds when faced with the most difficult obstacles. Obviously it will tug at the heart strings but it's not supposed to be all about doom and gloom. Life isn’t over, just another obstacle to weather. That starts in June. I'll have rehearsals 3 days a week for that so it will keep me busy on top of everything else I am working on. I know me and Chris have a really awesome concept shoot we are planning that we are both really excited about. I'm trying to work into my schedule my attendance at the premieres of my film in all these festivals, which is hard to manage with so little time. I will also begin filming in June for a new feature called Saltwater which I'm excited about. Besides that I think I need to just keep filling up my time with more and more work. If there's nothing going on, I create work for myself.


Would you like to ask me a question?

What's the deal with the Portis Wasp name since we are talking shit about names? You sound more like a wizard than I do. :)

Ha. Well, before I started my blog I was writing poetry and I used to sign each poem by my four names which I thought was different at first but then after a while I used to receive these really creepy fan-mail letters from ‘wizard’ fetishists. I don’t really want to go into details it upsets me.

Nah, really - so when I got around to starting my blog I wanted something suitably pretentious. I liked the sound of the band Portishead so I borrowed the ‘Portis’ from them. Then for my second name I caught a stage production of The Wasp Factory (based on the novel by Iain Banks) one night, totally loved it and borrowed the ‘Wasp’ from that. If you haven’t read The Wasp Factory I highly recommend it, and it definitely gives more of an insight into me when I really sit down to ‘write’, I'm not all soft lighting with Rihanna on in the background.

How would one go about getting Matthew Stephen Herrick into bed?

I don't jump into bed easily with people. I'm kind of a prude in certain ways. There are so many attractive people in Los Angeles with such unattractive personalities. That kind of eliminates alot of who I would jump into bed with. I think the attributes that get me moving in that direction range from a smile that brightens up the room, to sarcasm and wit. Being very motivated and secure with yourself and who you are is always a huge turn on. I've always been attracted to the quirky artistic types. They tend to be a bit bizarre and march to the beat of their own drum. It fascinates and disturbs me.


And to close, tell me something about you I don’t already know?

I still check under my bed sometimes before I go to sleep. Ya know, just in case there's a monster or a serial killer under there. :)
Aw, kind of embarrassed for you man, but that's cute. Cheers wiz - hat in the post to you!


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