Matt Dillon may have been honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award in Locarno on Thursday, but he still has “stuff to do.” And he wants you to know him.
“The first thing I thought was: ‘Oh wow, this is really cool.’ And then: ‘I don’t think I’m done yet!’,” Dillon tells Variety before the ceremony. But he’s been around a long time, he admitted, making his first film, Jonathan Kaplan’s “Over the Edge,” back in 1979.
“We were a group of actors playing juvenile offenders, living at a Holiday Inn in Colorado where McDonald’s slaughterhouses are located. One day we met the old man, a handsome painter who had worked on ‘The Wizard of Oz’. It was like running into Mozart. ,
Keen on everything, he was fascinated by the idea of making characters come to life and reflect human nature from the very beginning.
“Someone was suggesting I was a ‘child artist.’ I wasn’t! I didn’t become an actor because I felt like: ‘Mom, I want to sing,’” he says.
“My family had no background in show business. But as soon as I started, I didn’t feel like it wouldn’t happen again. It was so natural. Many actors will tell you the same thing. I think it’s because we don’t know what else to do.”
Dylan — who received an Oscar for his performance in “Crash” — will ask acting legends Marlon Brando, Montgomery Clift or James Dean to do their research and try to “find a character.”
“Improvement, spontaneity and vulnerability were important to us early on,” he says. He was later attracted to the spontaneity of another artist, the Cuban singer Francisco Fellowes. In 2020, he completed a documentary about his life, “El Gran Fellowe,” his second feature as a director after “City of Ghosts” made 18 years earlier.
“I’m very proud of that film. I think I’m a good director, I must say. I really believe so. But it’s never easy, because I don’t like to compromise. It doesn’t mean that That I’m not resilient, I am, but I don’t want to compromise my faith.”
He believes that he will be shooting for another film in the future, he says.
“I love working with actors. I like to play with others, as they say, and you learn things about yourself too. Somebody said it was the best work and the worst work, but it’s actually the most prominent work in the film. More than a writer, more than an actor. We are just department heads in the end. ,
Still, new acting projects are also coming, from the Apple series “High Desert” with Patricia Arquette to Wes Anderson’s “Asteroid City” about an astronomy convention held in a fictional desert town. Margot Robbie, Scarlett Johansson and Tom Hanks also star.
“The nice thing about working with Wes is that I admire him and I like him as a person. It makes it easier for you, because you can trust this filmmaker’s point of view. You know he’s paying attention.”
Despite Anderson’s characteristic, one-of-a-kind visual style, Dylan wasn’t afraid to disappear into the background, he says. Or rather, he has enjoyed it.
“I like to disappear into a character, in a movie. That’s what I want to do. I’m not a showy person by nature, so I don’t have to be front and center,” he mentions another famous collaborator. Having said.
“When I Worked With Lars Von Trier” [on ‘The House That Jack Built’]The process was also very enlightening. He makes the rules and then breaks them, because they need to be broken. Plus, Lars has a great sense of humor – he fired me twice on that movie.”
That being said, he would still choose Gus Van Sant as the filmmaker who made the biggest impression on him, he says. In addition to “City of Ghosts”, Dillon presented his film “Drugstore Cowboy” at the Swiss festival.
“I really respected Coppola, but he was this patriarchal person to me. When I worked with Van Sant, we were very close. I was able to really absorb things from the way he worked ,” he calls himself an artistic “sponge” whose creativity is fertile but not structured.
“I have a lot of ideas and that’s one of my strengths, but I learned a lot while making that documentary. My curiosity about Cuban music is huge, but the audience can’t absorb all this data. There has to be an emotional connection first.”