Matthew Fox sat down with the Mail on Sunday for an extensive interview. Fox is in London to do a play – he’s made his “West End debut” in Neil LaBute’s A Forest, Dark and Deep. He’s doing the play with Olivia Williams, an actress I actually like a great deal. Anyway, part of the interview took place in Matthew’s home turf, his remote, adopted hometown of Bend, Oregon, and part of it took place in London. Two continents, two different sitdowns, and both times, Matthew Fox comes across as an egotistical jackass. He compares himself to Matt Damon, complaining that Damon gets all of the good parts that he (Fox) is up for, and Fox describes his current career thusly: “Some Hollywood studios see me becoming a leading man on the big budget vehicles, playing the kind of roles that Steve McQueen used to excel at.” For real? Dude, you were on Lost. And Jack was nobody’s favorite character. You are not Steve McQueen. You are not even a budget version of that. And you are definitely not at Matt Damon’s level. The full Mail piece is here, and here are the highlights:
Fox bitching about 3D and M. Night Shyamalan: ‘Look at 3D,’ he says. ‘That’s a major setback to good storytelling. I took my little boy to see The Last Airbender. It was an awful film. The director M Night Shyalaman [sic] hasn’t directed a decent movie since The Sixth Sense.’
He and Matt Damon are at the same level: ‘I’m disillusioned with the drift towards gratuitous entertainment, which so much of Hollywood is now. Because of the state of the economy people seem to want pure escapism. But if the roles I fight to get all go to Matt Damon, then I won’t work. I turn a lot of stuff down – big, big movies, the kind I wouldn’t want to go to the cinema to see.’
On romantic comedies sucking: ‘I’m sorry, but I can’t make a movie with the blonde from ER who is starring in every single bad romantic comedy. Unless they reinvent the wheel in terms of romantic comedies – in other words, they start making them funny and romantic again – I’m not going to be starring in any of those movies.’ [Editor’s note: who is he talking about? Is he thinking about Katherine Heigl on Grey’s Anatomy?]
On not needing any of this: ‘After Lost, I never need to take a job for the money again. I could just stay in Bend and fly my plane. A lot of the time I hate acting. It has a lot to do with the way I was brought up in a world where showing your emotions is frowned upon. It’s just not manly. I don’t do anything in life because I love doing it. It’s because I want to be good at it. It doesn’t make for an easy life.’
On London versus Bend, Oregon: ‘Central London has taken a bit of getting used to. I haven’t lived in an intensely urban environment like this for a long time, so it took a few days to get used to the 24/7 hum of people and traffic. It’s not easy for me to live in a busy city for too long as after a few days I begin to crave those wide open spaces. Bend is a town of 80,000 people. But I can drive out of town for a few minutes and I’m in the middle of nowhere, not a soul to be found for miles. There’s something special for me about the feeling of being completely alone in a space like that with those great big horizons. I grew up with that solitude and I love the fact that I’m still able to find it.’
On his childhood: ‘We didn’t have neighbours when I was young. The nearest shops were 80 miles away. I had to travel 45 miles to school. In the summer I’d go months without speaking to anyone outside my immediate family. In that part of the world, manhood is defined by how much punishment you can take in terms of alcohol consumption, fighting, chasing girls, general wild living. For me and my two brothers, it was a matter of daring each other to do more and more crazy stuff. We had no TV or anything like that so we made our own entertainment. We were a family of pyromaniacs. There was always dynamite and gunpowder around the farm and I loved setting things on fire or blowing them up. But there was a dark side to all this recklessness. By the time I was 16, ten of my close friends had died. Some were suicides. Others got into brawls and had the life beaten out of them. Others went out and got roaring drunk, drove home and fell asleep at the wheel. It’s what happens in places like Wyoming. It’s the most beautiful country imaginable; at the same time it lends itself to hopelessness. For some people the place becomes a trap. I could easily have gone that way myself. But my dad stepped in. He’d caught me growing dope in one of his farm buildings. Up to that point there was a part of him that was amused by the hell-raising his kids got up to. But it got to a point where he felt he had to nudge me in the right direction. He sent me to boarding school and that saved my life.’
Once again, he doesn’t need any of this: ‘The fact is that I’m far more comfortable sitting on a horse and herding cattle than walking up a red carpet. People think I’m being disingenuous when I say I don’t like the glitz and glamour of Hollywood. But truthfully, I can’t stand it. There are very few situations I’d less like to be in than a Hollywood premiere or an awards ceremony. They’re not what my life is about.’
Seriously, HE DOESN’T NEED THIS: ‘My passions lie elsewhere. There’s flying my plane, cruising in my car, and lots of other things that keep me occupied. If I’m going to party I prefer to do it outdoors. I love climbing on top of my custom-built Indian Bobber motorcycle and zooming off to the edge of the horizon. I love to fish. Few things beat the feeling of standing chest-deep in very cold, clear mountain water and waiting for the brown trout to take the dry fly. The beauty of catching a trout lies in how long you’ve had to work and how much of a challenge that trout has been; how many patterns you’ve had to put over him without spooking him, then getting him to take the fly and seeing the fish break water and perform somersaults as he tries to shake you off. I also love to hunt. I’m a pretty good shot with a rifle or a bow. I go bird-hunting. I shoot pheasants and then I eat them. A fine way to pass the day.’
He‘s Steve McQueen: ‘I don’t really see any difference between my job and my pastimes. They’re things I’m interested in. I know some Hollywood studios see me becoming a leading man on the big budget vehicles, playing the kind of roles that Steve McQueen used to excel at. But I’m not in any hurry. I’d be just as happy sitting back and watching the seasons change. There’s a possibility I’ll give up acting and do something altogether different. Become an astronomer, maybe. I can think of worse ways to spend the rest of my days.’
[From The Mail]
Seriously, we get it. You get offered tons of movies, but the only scripts you really like go to Matt Damon, but still you feel the pressure from all of these Hollywood studios to be Steve McQueen, but you would rather be doing anything else. You would be rather be hunting, or flying a plane, or fishing, or bitching about other people in your industry. Look, I don’t really have a problem with an actor who prefers to be outside of Hollywood, and doesn’t want to be part of the machine. I don’t have a problem with an actor turning down work, either, or not doing films that he thinks will suck. That’s fine. But in this particular case, it just feels like Matthew is an unprofessional, egotistical ass with a huge chip on his shoulder.
Oh, and one of the last times we even cared enough to cover Matthew Fox was about a year ago when the story broke that he was cheating on his wife with some stripper. The stripper he banged gave an interview to the tabloids about how he didn’t even want to use protection. Because he’s a genius.
Photos courtesy of WENN & The Mail.