Vanity Fair has published a great interview with Matt, in which they talk Fitzgerald, Amazon, Texas, and the pros and cons of being ridiculously good-looking. Check some excerpts below:
How do you latch on to a part like this?
Well, a big part of it was researching Irving Thalberg, and of course revisiting the novel. The character was largely based on Mr. Thalberg, because Mr. Fitzgerald used to work for him. He wrote underneath him at the studio system for a brief period, and was really inspired by this man who had a complete understanding of the [studio] system, and how that operated, and the fact that he was this young wunderkind, this genius at what he did.
Then, a lot of it was taking this incredible world that Billy Ray, who’s phenomenally talented, had opened up in a way that you’re allowed to do when you have 10 episodes or so; to really open up a world, and bring in new storylines and amp up other storylines, and lose some of the ones that don’t serve the medium.
I lost about 25 pounds to play the role, because Monroe, in the novel, is described as a very ascetic, very hyper-disciplined individual who doesn’t eat, really, during the week, and looks as though he just might be on the verge of being incredibly ill. That was something that I took really seriously. I think, at a certain point, they were like, “O.K. Stop. We want you to look nice in your double-breasted suits.”
Can I ask you about the Montgomery Clift biopic? Is that something that’s happening?
It’s in development. We’re working on a new draft at this particular moment in time. It should be ready, I’m being told, by September. It’s really just a matter of getting the story right and not just rushing it out there. I think if Monty’s story were an easy one to tell in a very universal, palatable, and easy way, then it would have been done a long time ago. It is a tricky story to parse out in terms of introducing a new generation to who he was and paying homage to a generation, who already has a good deal of understanding of who he was, and what he meant in the industry.
Do you find that your looks have limited you in a way? Have you had to overcome that because you are just gorgeous, and no one’s going to argue with that?
Well, it’s very hard for me to weigh in on it completely objectively because I don’t think of myself in that light. I don’t say that just to be faux humble. I really don’t. Maybe because I was raised in a very conservative Christian household, where you were never really allowed to be sort of egotistical in that way. I don’t really perceive myself that way, so it has definitely been frustrating when I’ve gotten that feedback, or it’s limited an opportunity, or whatever I’m hearing through the grapevine.
It isn’t something I’ve experienced in theater. I think people in theater are pretty open minded and objective about the talent and what they can bring to the story they want to tell.
There’s much more being discussed so please, check the full interview at Vanity Fair website.