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Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Deeper Dish with Matt Riddlehoover

Matt Riddlehoover is only 24 years old and already he's a film director, screenwriter, actor, producer and editor. And besides these many creative achievements, he's also a cute guy. Don't you just hate him? Actually I admire this talented young man, who has a very bright future ahead of him.

Matt first received attention in 2006 when his feature directorial debut, To a Tee, won a MySpace Film User's Choice Award. Since then he's written and directed the dark comedy, Bookends; starred in Steve Balderson's movie, Watch Out, as a man who literally falls in love with himself; produced and cut the trailer for Return to Babylon (a film starring Jennifer Tilly and Tippi Hedren); and now he's back behind the camera for his upcoming documentary, Gaze, which explores the work of twenty contemporary artists, including Adam Bouska and Bruce LaBruce. Fortunately, Matt found some time from his busy schedule to discuss his career and answer a few pop culture questions here on the Dish:

When did you first know that you wanted to become a filmmaker?
When I was in the first grade. Kids from school would come over on weekends, and I'd have my mom videotape us acting out silly scenarios.

Tell us about your new documentary, Gaze.
It's about artists and an artist's need to create. It's also about the work and why we're attracted to it.

What inspired you to make Gaze?
The need to create, I guess. I'm inspired by people and behavior, and I wanted to spend some time exploring the hows and whys of others. I think it's something any type of artist can relate to.

How did you prepare for your role in Watch Out?
After I read the screenplay, I read the book. And after I read the book, I spent a lot of time practicing certain bits of dialogue. The character is ridiculously intelligent and has an inhumanly extensive vocabulary. It's sick. He's also literally in love with himself, so I tried spending some time in front of the mirror naked, but that didn't really help me out too much.

How did you become involved with the film, Return to Babylon?
I was handed the film and asked to cut the trailer.

When will Return to Babylon be released?
I'm not sure. Soon, I hope! It's a lovely film, and the cast is incredible.

Since the following directors have influenced your own work (according to your website), what's your favorite Woody Allen film?
Another Woman is fantastic, arguably his most underrated work. I also really loved Match Point.

What's your favorite Pedro Almodóvar film?
Talk to Her, I think. Or All About My Mother.

What's your favorite John Waters film?
Serial Mom.

What advice would you give to an aspiring young filmmaker?
Go for it, but always have a back-up plan.

In high school I was:
A lot like that guy with the video camera in American Beauty.

If I had to gain 30 pounds for a role, I would eat:
Nothing but cream cheese wontons, french fries, brownies and spoonfuls of Nutella. If that doesn't spell disaster, I don't know what does.

The last good book I read was:
A collection of Dostoevsky writings.

When I was growing up, I never missed a television episode of:
Clarissa Explains It All, Hey Dude, Salute Your Shorts--yeah, total Nickelodeon junkie. I also loved The Rosie O'Donnell Show. Remember that? When Rosie wasn't a lesbian, but admittedly in love with Tom Cruise? I later graduated to Dawson's Creek, but only made it midway through the second season before I stopped caring. In high school, I rarely watched television; I was busy renting movies. In college, I discovered Curb Your Enthusiasm and Sex and the City via HBO on Demand, which I thoroughly enjoyed!

Today I never miss a television episode of:
Big Love. I'm hooked on polygamy!

The very first CD that I purchased with my own money was:
Mariah Carey, Daydream. An allowance counts, right? I was ten.

The very first concert that I ever attended was:
ELO! Seriously! I think it was the summer of 1999. Best concert though, hands down, goes to the Scissor Sisters.

If I was stranded on a deserted island for a year, I would want to listen to:
Arcade Fire, I Monster, Lily Allen, Pink Martini, N.E.R.D., Tom Waits.

If I could give an Oscar for any neglected film performance of the past, I would give one to:
Ellen Burstyn for Requiem for a Dream! I had a conniption fit when Julia Roberts got it for Erin Brockovich.

If I could have dinner with anyone in the world--living or dead--I would choose the following three people:
Julia Child, Wolfgang Puck and Chef Boyardee. If anything, the food would make up for what the conversation might lack.

What's next for Matt Riddlehoover?
Watch Out hits DVD nationwide November 24. Makes for a nice stocking stuffer!

Thank you, Matt, for getting Deeper with us here on the Dish. To learn more about the man and his movies, check out his website. You can also become a Facebook fan by clicking here.

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