What the Hell Happened to Matt Dillon?

matt dillon - 2014

Matt Dillon was “discovered” while cutting class as a teen.  Not surprisingly, he made a career in the 80’s playing the kind of kids who got into trouble.  In the late 80’s and early 90’s Dillon successfully transitioned to adult roles with some critically acclaimed performances in smaller, independent films.  He also appeared in several popular, mainstream Hollywood movies.  In spite of all of this success, Dillon never established himself as an A-list box office draw.

What the hell happened?

 dillon - over the edge

Dillon was discovered while cutting class at the age of 14.  He was cast as a juvenile delinquent in the violent 1979 cult movie, Over the Edge.

Dillon played a teen living in a seemingly idyllic suburb.  But the teens are restless and are not receiving the proper oversight.  Eventually, an incident leads the parents to hold a town meeting at the school to discuss what is to be done.  While the meeting is taking place, the kids lock their parents in the school and go crazy destroying everything in their path.

Talent Scout, Jane Bernstein, was tasked with finding teens who could play the film’s out-of-control youth.  At first, they asked school administrators for their suggestions.  But they quickly realized that the kids they wanted weren’t spending time at school.  Bernstein described discovering Dillon:

“On our last day in Westchester, we were walking through the crowded halls of this one school, and the bell rang and everyone ran back to class. But there was this one kid—and he really was a kid, like 12 or 13—who was soft and young but who had a toughness about him. He was skipping class, just wandering the hallways. He had this chipped tooth, and he was presenting himself as a tough guy from the wrong side of the tracks. Which was ridiculous. As we later learned, he was from a lovely family in a beautiful section of the suburbs of New York. He was as middle-class as they came.”

Director, Jonathan Kaplan, recounted directing the film’s young actors:

“You had to be creative with how you directed these kids. It was great in a way, because there was no baggage. But I had to invent ways of directing that weren’t by-the-book.  In Matt Dillon’s case, he would often look in the wrong direction. I would tell him that on the screen he would be looking in the right direction, even though it felt wrong when he was shooting it. Trying to explain this to a 14-year-old kid who was already suspicious about the whole thing wasn’t easy. So I’d put a $20 bill on my forehead, and I’d say, ‘Matt, if you look at this $20 bill, it’s yours when the shot is finished.’Over the course of the movie he made about $200.”

Around the time the film was set to be released, a few other violent movies made headlines for incidents of gang violence.  Most notably, the film The Warriors was linked to a couple of violent headlines.  Orion, the studio who owned Over the Edge, didn’t want to run the risk of bad press.  So they barely released the film in theaters.  According to producer, George Litto:

“The real problem with the film was that it dealt with suburban white kids who cause a bit of violence—never against people, mind you, but against objects. If these kids had been urban and black, I think it would have scared Orion less.”

Over the Edge showed in only a handful of theaters before Orion pulled it.  But two years later, it started showing to great reviews in New York.  Once again, the film didn’t make waves at the box office.  But the good reviews lead to it being shown frequently on HBO in the 80s.  Gradually, the film achieved cult status.  In the 90’s, singer Kurt Cobain claimed, “Over the Edge pretty much defined my whole personality. It was really cool. Total anarchy.”   It served as an inspiration for the Smells Like Teen Spirit music video:


In 1980, Dillon appeared opposite Tatum O’Neal and Kristy McNichol in the teen sex comedy, Little Darlings.

The film’s plot is familiar to fans of the genre.  Two teens at camp make a bet over who can lose their virginity the fastest.  (Note to self: Don’t ever send kids to camp.)  What separates Little Darlings from other teen sex comedies is that the protagonists are girls.  McNichol’s character views sex as no big deal and sets her sites on Dillon’s character as a way to win the bet.  However, as the trailer makes clear, everyone grows up a little by the end of the movie:

Reviews were mixed.  O’Neal and McNichol who were rising stars at the time, were both singled out for criticism for giving wooden performances.  Although Roger Ebert commented that Little Darlings “somehow does succeed in treating the awesome and scary subject of sexual initiation with some of the dignity it deserves.”


Later that year, Dillon appeared in the teen drama, My Bodyguard.

Dillon played a school bully who terrorizes that kid from Meatballs (Chris Makepeace).  Without Bill Murray’s camp counselor around to look out for him, Makepeace’s character resorts to hiring a bodyguard played by a young Adam Baldwin (who would later go on to play the gruff renegade, Jayne, on Firefly.)

Reviews were mostly positive and My Bodyguard was a modest hit at the box office.

Next: Tex and The Outsiders


Posted on August 18, 2013, in Movies, What the Hell Happened?, WTHH Actor and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 126 Comments.

  1. Like you say, I never really got the impression that anyone was pushing for Dillon to be a really big star, Dillon included, but he was always a reliable presence who never appeared to bother anybody. Need a big handsome lunk who can actually act? How about Matt Dillon?

    some stray thoughts:

    – Never send girls to camp. Most of the hi-jinx at all-boys camps are relatively harmless. As a former Boy Scout, I can tell you that we were always asking where the girls camp was, but there never was one. At least that’s what we were told. Stupid movies were stupid liars. humph.

    – Mickey Rourke is still a very interesting actor to watch, but it’s hard not to feel remorse for what he became when you look back at movies like Rumble Fish and Diner.

    – That gorgeous song you see Illeana Douglas singing (actually lip-synching a very well cast Kristen Vigard) is “God Give Me Strength,” written for the movie by greats Burt Bacharach and Elvis Costello. This musical pairing eventually resulted in the fantastically interesting and beautiful team-up album “Painted From Memory.” As a huge Elvis Costello fan, I far prefer his version of the song, but some people have trouble with his broken vibrato voice.
    Here: decide for yourself-

    I think that’s fantastic.

    – On the other hand, I found In & Out to be reductionist and insulting (yes, I felt that way in 1997). Oh well, baby steps, I guess.

    – I much prefer to be insulted in the way Wild Things does it.

    – Dillon appears to be the one who took the fall for You, Me and Dupree. Why Kate Hudson got off the hook is a mystery. She got to star in 3 more flops over the next 2 years before people stopped casting her in leads.


    • I think there were several points in Dillon’s career where people expected that he would become a big movie star. During the early 80’s, everyone involved in The Outsiders was seen as potentially the next big thing. If you had been asked at the time to predict who would be the next big star, odds are you would have picked Dillon over Cruise.

      When Drugstore Cowboy came out, Dillon got so much buzz out of it. I don’t think general audiences had any idea the movie even existed. But critics were making Dillon out to be their next golden boy.

      With To Die For, there was a lot of talk that Dillon was launching a comeback. I don’t know if anyone thought he’d propel himself to the A-list, but anything was possible.

      Then with There ‘s Something About Mary, people were talking about Dillon having a whole new career as a comedic actor. I think a lot of people assumed he’d stay in the mainstream.

      But Dillon always seemed to retreat back to those little crime dramas. I do think it was a choice. There were times when he had some momentum and he could have gotten bigger roles. He could have made a Hollywood action movie or even a rom com, but he stayed away from movies that could have made him a more bankable star.

      On the other hand, I think Tom Cruise probably woke up every morning with a to-do list to make himself the biggest movie star in the world. Dillon could have been comparable if he had prioritized being a movie star. But I don’t think that the idea ever crossed his mind.


    • On your stray thoughts:

      – I only went to camp once and it made Meatballs seem very glamorous by comparisson. One of many times the movies lied to me.

      – Remember when Rourke was lucky to be cast in Sin City? And that was really only allowed because he was unrecognizable under the make-up. I’m glad he’s back. But, yeah, lost years of greatness.

      – I’ve told you about my unsophisticated musical tastes, right? I wore the heck out of my Abba Gold CD. Just sayin’. That said, I enjoyed the Costello/Bacharach performance quite well.

      – I had a similar reaction to In & Out. There was potential there. And early on it had a few good laughs. But it became so preachy. Much like Bruce Almighty, it lost me. Still, looking back I appreciate that an effort was made. There wasn’t a lot of that in ’97 and in some small way it probably helped pave the way for things like Will & Grace.

      – When I first saw Wild Things, I wondered what Bill Murray was doing wasting his time in such a stupid movie. Sure, I appreciated the fact that Denise Richards was built like a brick house. But beyond that, the movie didn’t do much for me. I watched it again years later and clued into the satire. It’s hard to know if it’s so bad it’s good or just plain good.

      – I can see blaming Dillon for You, Me and Dupree. Wilson and Hudson had proven track records in the genre. Dillon was there on propbation. He still had to prove that There Something About Mary wasn’t a fluke. It’s not fair, but I can see why studios decided not to bank on him as a comedic lead anymore. Didn’t keep him from being in Old Dogs though.


    I could try to write something halfway intelligent later, but for now…
    Matt Dillon…. Matt Dillon…. Matt Dillon!
    could’ve would’ve should’ve been A++ list for all these years!

    to Daffy: Burt Bacharach is a living god.


    • I love Bacharach. Many people were surprised by his collaboration with Costello. Those people hadn’t been paying attention to Costello’s career very closely. They still thought of him as the angry young man from 1978 and had apparently never heard “Almost Blue” or “Shipbuilding” or “Baby Plays Around” or any number of other beautiful ballads.
      While Costello is more consistently up my alley musically, a person would have to have a closed mind or limited musical knowledge to deny Bacharach’s brilliance.


    • lol – glad you liked it.

      Back in the day, most of the girls in school had movie crushes on the Brat Pack guys or Tom Cruise. But the girls who liked soulful bad boys all liked Dillon.


  3. Matt Dillon Career Assessment | Touch Me, I’m Dick – Pajiba:

    Subject: Matthew Raymond Dillon, 46-year old American actor and occasional director

    Date of Assessment: August 27, 2010

    Positive Buzzwords: Underrated, adaptable, resilient

    Negative Buzzwords: Stagnant, B-lister, old dog

    The Case: In the 1980s, teen heartthrob Matt Dillon lingered on the (hopeful) lips of teen girls, who passionately plastered their bedroom walls with his hunky photo spreads from BOP and Tiger Beat magazines, everwhere. It was at this time that Dillon regularly portrayed hunky hoodlums and banging bullies in film like Over the Edge and My Bodyguard. It was also a decade during which Dillon rose to stardom as an S.E. Hinton darling who hailed from the wrong side of the tracks (quite literally, relative to Tulsa terminology) in Tex, The Outsiders, and Rumble Fish. While these movies led to a career breakthrough, they were all very similar stories with very similar characters as well. Although Dillon managed the occasional change of pace with the dramedy Little Darlings (famously taking the cherry of Kristy McNichols’ character), most of his performances to date were one-note reprisals of his usual adolescent, charismatic, quasi-gangbanger character, which obviously wasn’t a career pattern that he could carry into adulthood.

    In the 1990s, Dillon began to stretch himself as an actor and escaped the confines of his previous teen-idol appeal. Quite notably, he convincingly carved out a heartbreaking drug addict in Drugstore Cowboy (for which he won critical acclaim and was recognized with an Independent Spirit Award). From there, Dillon became a standout eccentric of sorts with several memorable roles, including a thick-skulled Seattle grunge rocker in Singles and a slimy, cartoonish private investigator in There’s Something About Mary. He also participated in darker films with diverse characters, such as the high-school guidance counselor gone bad in Wild Things and the hapless, doomed husband in To Die For. Further development arrived with standout performances as a homeless schizophrenic in The Saint of Fort Washington and a former high school jock reliving his glory days in Beautiful Girls. Unfortunately, the next decade was another story altogether.

    Dillon began the aughts with a misguided bang in One NIght at McCool’s, which bombed both critically and commercially but has since found a bit of a cult audience. His next project, which was seven years in the making, found Dillon making a rather unimpressive directorial debut with City of Ghosts, an unevenly paced demonstration of his inability to focus on the larger cinematic picture. Afterwards, it seemed his acting career would take an upswing following an Oscar nomination for his crooked cop in Crash (which I shan’t discuss further due to this site’s informal moratorium), but Dillon has failed to mimic the post-Academy trend of his similarly nominated peers. Instead, he’s gone on to turkeys like You, Me and Dupree and Disney crap like Herbie Fully Loaded and the much less commercially successful Old Dogs. Most recently, Dillon has taken roles as the white guy amongst black guys in Armored and this weekend’s Takers. While the latter two entries have drawn praise for his performances, Dillion could really use a bit of a refresher to return to his old movie mojo.

    In conclusion, Dillon has long-since proven himself capable of self-resurrection, and he’s in dire need of another such positive surge. While the nebulous Gunsmoke project remains on the horizon, it’s unclear how successful it shall be or whether it even has a viable target audience. Perhaps losing the somewhat douchey reputation wouldn’t hurt, but — hey — if that planned fourth installment in the Evil Dead franchise ever becomes a reboot instead, Dillon would make an excellent Ash Williams. Hail to the king, baby!

    Prognosis: Unfortunately, Matt Dillon’s former box-office prowess may never return. If anything, he should follow his previous method of career revitalization and box office appeal, and another stint of Broadway work (as he did in the mid 80s) would refresh his abilities as a performer along with, once again, bringing him to the attention of prominent directors. And in an entirely off-topic suggestion, Dillon should never ever again lend his scissors to Marilyn Manson because nothing good could ever come of that.

    The Hunk As Actor When Matt Dillon’s Career Hit The Skids, So Did He – By Accepting A Risky Role As A Junkie In “Drugstore Cowboy.” The Film, Now Available On Video, Has Erased His Image As Just Another Pretty Face:

    By Hans Kellner, Special to The Inquirer
    POSTED: May 10, 1990
    “My career is always falling off a cliff, but I like that.” That’s how Matt Dillon described his erratic course as a movie actor after his unlikely climb back to professional respectability in last year’s hit Drugstore Cowboy.

    For Dillon, whose early promise was dimmed by a series of disastrous career moves and increasingly lazy performances, Gus Van Sant’s low-budget character study of a drug user couldn’t have come at a better time. Before Cowboy’s success last fall – it eventually was named best film of 1989 by the National Society of Film Critics – Dillon was on the fast track to commercial oblivion, a might-have-been in the crowded annals of screen hunks.

    A writer for the British weekly Time Out once described Dillon as “a high- cheekboned, pretty-lipped, hazel-eyed, living, breathing tribute to the American gene pool.” However apt that characterization is, it’s an image that has dogged the 25-year-old actor for a decade, since he was plucked from a school hallway in 1979 to play a troubled teen in his first movie, Over the Edge.

    Throughout the ’80s, Dillon rarely escaped his adolescent punk persona, as he was cast in roles more for his brooding good looks and swaggering attitude than his acting ability.

    But Drugstore Cowboy, released on video today, may change all that, and provide Dillon with the stability and momentum he needs to permanently escape the grade-B vehicles that stalled his career and pegged him as a no-talent pretty boy. In the role of Bob Hughes, the leader of Cowboy’s motley band of dope fiends and small-time thieves, Dillon is a revelation.

    As Kelly Lynch, Dillon’s Drugstore Cowboy co-star, told Rolling Stone last year, “Cowboy gives him a chance to show that he is something other than beautiful.”

    In The Outsiders, Francis Ford Coppola’s memorable teen angst extravaganza

    from 1983, a character sums up Matt Dillon’s early magnetism when she says of the youth he plays, “I hope I never see Dallas Winston again . . . . If I do I’ll probably fall in love with him.”

    Clad in a T-shirt and black leather jacket, a cigarette dangling from his perpetually curled lips, Dillon was a ready-made Hollywood antihero, a slightly threatening punk with equal measures of adolescent bravado, vulnerability and raw sex appeal. By the time he starred in The Outsiders, Dillon was already a teen idol, his snarling mug plastered on magazine covers

    from Interview to Teen Beat. The undisputed leader of the newly crowned brat pack, he was widely hailed as another James Dean or Montgomery Clift, a sensitive rebel for a new generation.

    Dillon’s discovery at 14 in his Larchmont, N.Y., junior high school is already the stuff of movie legends. “I remember I was walking down the hall,” he told Interview magazine. “I was supposed to be in class and I was cutting, and these two men approached me and asked me if I wanted to do an audition. At first I thought it was a joke. I was trying to figure out where the rest of the party was. Then they said no, it’s legitimate. So I said sure.

    “When I first went in to read, I felt everything out, and I said to myself, I’m not going to let this pass me by. I saw the scene they were auditioning people for, and I said, ‘This is me.’ ”

    Dillon’s subtle, naturalistic acting in Over the Edge seemed effortless, a snapshot of teen alienation drawn straight from life. The phones started ringing.

    He followed his debut with a supporting role in Little Darlings, a moralistic summer camp comedy starring Kristy McNichol and Tatum O’Neal. Against the advice of his manager, Vic Ramos, he challenged – and kept – his growing momentum by playing an unsympathetic high-school bully in My Bodyguard, an insightful and touching teen comedy. He also had a lead role in Liar’s Moon, a coming-of-age quickie.

    By this time, Dillon was a sensation, receiving up to 7,000 pieces of fan mail a week. He eventually quit high school to devote himself to acting full- time. “I think I was better off making movies, don’t you?” he asked one interviewer. “I mean, it took discipline. It’s no wild time getting up at 5 a.m. and being on the set and waiting around all day to say a few lines. I mean these kids back in high school probably had more fun than I did, but then there were the girls . . . there were girls everywhere.”

    Dillon’s next three films, Tex, The Outsiders and Rumble Fish, were all adapted from novels by S.E. Hinton, a writer whose troubled teen characters closely mirrored Dillon’s screen persona. Of his performance in Tex, critic Richard Schickel wrote: “No one has more accurately captured the mercurial quality of adolescence than he has . . . to create a wholly believable vulnerability.”

    The Hinton films, though not particularly successful at the box office, established Dillon as an actor with natural screen charisma. If they solidified his standing as an angry young hunk, they also provided him with a chance to break out of the mold. His next movie – The Flamingo Kid, a predictable coming-of-age comedy set in Brooklyn in the 1960s – not only gave Dillon his biggest hit to date, but was the general-audience, high-visibility role he needed to break through to legitimate stardom. After four fast years in the business, Dillon seemed ready to escape his punk notoriety and ease into screen adulthood.

    It didn’t happen. Instead, Matt Dillon’s career fell off a cliff – six times in a row.

    Between 1985 and 1989, Dillon made six movies – Rebel, Target, Native Son, The Big Town, Kansas and The Bloodhounds of Broadway. Most of them are terrible. All of them bombed. Dillon even appeared in a Broadway play about

    Vietnam, The Boys of Winter, that closed quickly despite some good acting notices. In just a few years, Dillon had forfeited virtually all of the Hollywood clout he’d spent the early ’80s building. Even if he had wanted it, he was too old for a Teen Beat cover.

    For The Outsiders, Dillon reportedly had been paid twice the salary of his lesser-known co-stars: Tom Cruise, Patrick Swayze and Rob Lowe. A few years later, Cruise was Hollywood’s top gun, Swayze was dancing dirty, and Lowe was at least a good joke. By the time he bottomed out with Kansas in 1988, Matt Dillon was a caricature of macho cliches, a mannered parody of himself.

    “You do these things,” he told Time Out last year. “You’re an actor, you gotta work.”

    The Big Town, the story of a small-town gambler who hits it big in Chicago, is one of Dillon’s better efforts from this bleak period. Native Son, another bright spot, is an earnest reworking of Richard Wright’s landmark novel of racial prejudice. In a rare opportunity to work against type, Dillon plays a bookish intellectual with redoubtable conviction.

    But the rest of the movies are best forgotten. They are misconceived, boring or simply ludicrous, and the least of their problems are Dillon’s increasingly disconnected performances.

    When Gus Van Sant offered him the role of Bob Hughes, Drugstore Cowboy’s star junkie, Dillon hesitated. “Drugs are taboo now; drugs just are not hip,” he said last September. “That’s why I was nervous about doing this movie. But it’s always going to come up, won’t it? People love that, man, people love running around with scum.”

    Van Sant has said “the character in Cowboy is a real maniac, but a likable maniac – a cute maniac. And I thought Matt was perfect, because he’s not as crazy or scary as Dennis (Hopper, the original choice for the part of Bob Hughes). He has a gentle side – and a real knack for comedy – that I thought would be perfect for the role.”

    Dillon has always responded well to good directors, and for Van Sant he delivers a beautifully shaded performance that is the best of his career. There are scenes in Cowboy where Dillon is simply astonishing, his readings and movement in perfect, jittery sync with Van Sant’s exhilarating visual style. At the same time, he deftly avoids a star turn, never grabbing the spotlight or stealing a scene from the movie’s strong ensemble of co-stars, Kelly Lynch, James Remar, James Le Gros and Heather Graham.

    “I don’t think I would have wanted to do it if it was like your typical story about a junkie and his trials and tribulations,” Dillon told Time Out. ”The thing I liked about it was there was a lot of humor in it – not gag humor, not knee-slapping, but dark humor. With Bob, I didn’t want to play him as such a mean guy – the guy was so articulate and had such a philosophy and code, and you never usually see that in characters.”

    Dillon usually researches his roles. He hung out in rough-and-tumble gambling joints for The Big Town; for Kansas, he visited Midwestern penitentiaries. For Cowboy, he cruised the drug “shooting galleries” of

    Harlem. He also attended meetings of Narcotics Anonymous and Alcoholics Anonymous, discovering the desperation of addiction that lies at the heart of the movie’s often hilarious dark humor.

    He told Spin, “It’s like your soul gets so stained that you can’t ever really cleanse it. You can probably be a better and more intelligent and wiser person because of it, but you’ll never have that purity again.

    “I saw one guy at an AA meeting, this one kid, just off the street, he was homeless. He was young. He was strung out. He was just trying to talk it out and share it. Tears in his eyes. Afterwards people make coffee, volunteer to clean up. And I saw this guy, he wanted so much to be able to clean up the room but it was too much for him. He didn’t have it in his heart to pick a piece of paper off the floor. In that way, I realized how sad it really is and I reinterpreted the script.”

    The commercial and critical success of Drugstore Cowboy has given Matt Dillon a new beginning, a chance to finally abandon his pinup image and break his long string of flops. But even if his career again falls off a cliff, Dillon seems comfortably resigned to the ups and downs.

    “If something doesn’t work out,” he told the Los Angeles Times, “you try to be honest with yourself and figure out what went wrong. I’ve never questioned my abilities, but there’s not a lot of imagination in this business. If they see you play one type, they always try to cast you in that type.

    “I really want to play a professional. You know, a guy who wears a suit, has a job. I mean, the last three characters I played were a gambler, a drifter and a dope fiend. Pretty fringe guys, huh?”

    What happend to Matt Dillon? – DataLounge:

    Matt Dillon : His career has fizzzled out:

    Tue Sep 23 2008 01:58:18

    He specialized mostly in independent movies, like Singles, Grace of My Heart, Beautiful Girls, etc. He’s similar to Kevin Bacon in that he alternates between character roles and lighter comedy. I think he gets overlooked because his style is fairly subtle.

    Mon Jun 13 2011 08:27:10

    Matt Dillon was never really a brat pack member. He just did a few S.E. Hinton movies with Emilio Estevez and Rob Lowe. Dillon focused specifically on movies that were more character driven, (like “Drugstore Cowboy) and more indie movies. He was never a mainstream star like some of his co-stars and one could argue that he never wanted to be.

    Tue Jun 14 2011 02:26:46

    I guess, after being a teenage pin-up in his own teens, he never wanted to be a mainstream star and worked hard to get away from his image as a heartthrob.

    Matt Dillon : What Happened to Matt Dillon’s Career?

    Sat Jan 22 2011 10:14:06

    It’s as if he’s dated, a B-lister of sorts. It’s the same Matt Dillon you remember in his teen movies, just 30 years later.
    Could this be the core of the problem, that he was a teenage heartthrob (and sex symbol)? Is it possible that (too many) people refused to see anything else in him, no matter what kind of roles he chose?

    We know he delivered very good performances, just think of Drugstore Cowboy. Nonetheless his career never took off the same way as Tom Cruise’s did, who was also in The Outsiders (and did not leave a memorable impression – unlike Dillon as Dallas Winston). Cruise isn’t the better actor, doesn’t have the better looks and surely has a scr*wed up mind – so why does he make more money?

    Thu Feb 3 2011 10:07:16

    Cruise played to the crowds. He made films that were aimed at the masses, either boys who wanted to root for the cool guy, or girls who fell in love with his looks.

    Dillon went the more artsy root I think. I mean, he did make “Something about Mary” but he was busier with smaller productions that demanded real acting (like “Drugstore Cowboy” for example).

    I dunno, I guess he’s just picking roles that suit him or roles that pay the bills.

    Fri Feb 18 2011 03:37:03

    I think maybe in the last few years, his films and not done well, he is having a career that he wants, mixing serious with the popular and more incontrol of what he wants to do.

    Its been the case since he wanted out of the teenage bad boy/heartthrob days.


    • The consensus seems to be it’s a lot of personal choice. As Lebeau was saying, Matt Dillon could have outdone Tom Cruise easily in Tom Cruise roles. Where I don’t see him being utilized to the best of his ability is in Dupree type roles. Dillon’s persona is such that he doesn’t quite fit as the put upon husband in a romcom. That role would be more Paul Rudd, Matthew Broderick or Ben Stiller. I’m dying to see someone cast Dillon as the lead in a worthwhile dramatic project that will get him the Best Actor Oscar that he deserves. But maybe he doesn’t care about that aspect of the Hollywood machine.


      • I don’t get the impression that it really motivates him. But I could see it happening some day. If I were a gambling man, I’d wager that Dillon is more likely to win Best Supporting Actor. He’s got a lot of years left in him. The Academy likes to give those out as Lifetime Achievement awards. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Dillon win one in his golden years.

        I’m also really intrigued by the idea of Dillon on TV. I’m anything but a fan of Shyamalan. But Dillon in a modern day Twin Peaks appeals to me if it is executed properly.


      • I’m not a big fan of Crash, but I’ll take it over How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days. I guess I’m not the target demo for the MTV Movie Awards anymore.

        The stories of horseplay while filming The Outsiders are the stuff of legend. Cruise did an interview in which the interviewer stated that he worked at the hotel where the Outsiders actors were staying. Cruise immediately apologized.

        Cruise had actually agreed to be in Rumble Fish as a follow-up to Outsiders. But he was reading the script for Risky Business while he was filming. He showed the script to Diane Lane whose father forbid her to play the female lead because she was a prostitute. As soon as Cruise landed the RB role, he dropped out of RF. Can’t blame him.

        But Cruise is a special case. I don’t think it’s necessarily healthy to be as ambitious as a young Tom Cruise. I certainly don’t fault Dillon for taking a different path.


      • Svein Tore Kleven

        The best film with Matt Dillon with him is FACTOMUM (2005). Best ever!
        Greetings from Norway.


  4. I almost commented on Tilly in the article. But I figured no one else remembered her post-Jennifer. I was always surprised Meg didn’t work more after The Big Chill.


  5. “While there are similarities and Singles may have influenced the TV show, Friends was actually based on a hit British show called Coupling.”

    Sorry- but the UK version of Coupling first appeared in 2000- and was based on Steven Moffat’s mid nineties relationship with his now wife.

    He probably was aware of Friends as well.


    • I’m going to have to fix that. I haven’t been able to directly link Singles to Friends though.


      • I don’t think there IS a direct link- otherwise there would be a lawsuit.

        I read somewhere that they talked about turning Singles into a TV show- it fizzled – then “coincidentally” Friends was created about a year later.


        • It’s certainly possible that Friends was inspired at least in part by Singles. There are some undeniable similarities. Especially early on when the show was more directly targeted at the youth demo. But I’m always reluctant to buy into internet rumors no matter how convenient. For years, I had people telling me Michael Keaton got his last name after reading an interview with Diane Keaton while on a plane. It was a very specific story that made perfect sense. But it wasn’t true at all. I knew this from an interview with Keaton I read back in the 80s. But it took me forever to track down a source. And the Diane Keaton story was everywhere on the internet. Someone added it to his Wikipedia article and everyone just cited that as a source.

          I find it likely that Singles at least played a role in the development of Friends. But given that the movie flopped, I doubt it was a very strong influence beyond six young single friends who live in close proximity to one another.


  6. “So he gave Matt the script,” Simpson said, “and he read it and said, ‘I love it. Let me sleep on it.’ Quentin then called me and said, ‘He’s out. If he can’t tell me face-to-face that he wants to be in the movie — after he read the script — he’s out.’” ”

    Funny- I just saw an interview with Bryan Cranston that as soon as he read Breaking Bad- he made sure he got an audition ASAP- before another actor snapped it up-

    Good roles are rare- and other actors might be more decisive than you.


    • I found this story funny because at the time, Tarantino want’s a big name director yet. He was still an up-and-coming guy whereas Dillon was established. I assume Dillon thought a guy like Tarantino would be happy to have him sign on to his movie. Happy enough to wait 24 hours. I don’t think that was an unreasonable request at all. But Tarantino’s ego was clearly hurt and he had a bigger name waiting in the wings that helped him navigate studio politics. So, sure. Why not dump Dillon? Even though Dillon lost out, I don’t think he can be faulted for that one. Tarantino’s decision to replace him could not have been foreseen based on the circumstances.


      • Oh- I agree- Dillon’s request was reasonable-

        he just had the bad luck that a big star jumped in-

        That was my point with the Bryan Cranston story. Cranston feared a bigger fish jumping in-


        • Cranston made the right call. I’m loving these final episodes of BB!

          I actually think if they had gone with the original Pulp Fiction casting choices, the movie wouldn’t have been the juggernaut it turned out to be. I’m sure it would have given Dillon a boost. But I don’t think it would have catapulted him or Tarantino to the A-list.

          Still, he’s gotta kick himself over that one.


  7. There are some comical parts in this review. Love it.

    I’ve always loved Matt Dillon. I feel that his earlier work is his best, namely:

    Drugstore Cowboy
    The Flamingo Kid
    Rumble Fish
    The Outsiders
    My Bodyguard
    Little Darlings
    Over the Edge

    I even liked “The Big Town”.

    I think one of his issues was picking bad scripts. He gave good performances, but that wasn’t enough. For example, “A Kiss Before Dying” wasn’t the best, but he was pretty believable as a psychopath. So we know he has what it takes. He just needs to pick and choose better

    I also think that he’s going through the same thing now that he went through back then, where he made a string of good movies and then a bunch of questionable ones. You could say that “Crash” was basically like “Drugstore Cowboy” for him all over again, except with an Oscar nomination this time. People probably thought “Matt Dillon is back on track again,” but now look where he is.

    I hope “Wayward Pines” is good. I really feel that he’s great when given the right role. Maybe it will be the role that brings him back to the top and if it does, I hope he makes decisions that will keep him up

    And I think you should do one on C. Thomas Howell. I think he’d be perfect because he was basically the lead in “The Outsiders” and was pretty much the only one who didn’t have much success in his older years (some say that his role in “Soul Man” did his career in.)


    • 10 Awesome Actors Who Fell Hard From The Spotlight:

      All started well for C. Thomas. In 1983 he landed a coveted role in Francis Ford Coppola’s The Outsiders, alongside the likes of Patrick Swayze, Matt Dillon and Tom Cruise, followed that up with Red Dawn (again with Swayze) and was one of two actors in the running to play Marty McFly in Back to the Future. By this point he’d won a Young Artist Award and was a bonafide teen pin-up.

      Most people know him most through The Hitcher – where he gives a commanding performance as the terrified and tortured Jim Halsey, leading many to think a new star had landed. However, after that it all went down hill. His follow up, Soul Man, was poorly received (not because he ‘blacked up’ but because it was rubbish) and from there he watched his career sink down the crapper.

      A string of never-to-be-heard-of-again films went straight to video, including Kid, Curiosity Kills, Side Out and A Tiger’s Tale, and so he began the 90′s in a slump. This slump soon became the norm with more bargain bin fodder such as Treacherous, That Night, Jailbait, To Protect and Serve and Acting on Impulse.

      To date he’s more renowned for starring in and directing the mockbuster The Day The Earth Stopped – a film designed to cash in on the blockbuster remake The Day The Earth Stood Still (earning a mega-threat of legal action from 20th Century Fox). The sad thing is he’s unrecognisable from the chiselled hero of the 80′s. Time, fame (or something more sinister) has seemingly taken its toll.


    • I’m glad you enjoyed it. I try to entertain rather than just run through a summary of Rotten Tomatoes, Box Office Mojo, Wikipedia, etc. If nothing else, the jokes keep me entertained.

      I definitely agree about A Kiss Before Dying. Great performance. Not a very good movie. And it was really hampered by his co-star. It seemed like Dillon would take any crime drama that was offered him. That probably wasn’t the best career choice.

      C. Thomas Howell will happen. Just a matter of time.


      • It’s crazy how he had two big opportunities to go after better films & kind of blew them, but he’s had an interesting career. One can’t ever say that he played the same characters over & over again. And yeah, Sean Young isn’t the best actress, but it seems her career was mostly overshadowed by her antics. She seems to have cooled down over the years though.

        I’ll be waiting on the C. Thomas Howell one.


        • It just seems to me like Dillon did whatever suited him at the time and wasn’t worried about some big career path. I can certainly respect that.

          I don’t want to imply Young was a bad actress. She gave some good performances in some good movies. I would say she was talented. But she looks like she’s high in Kiss Before Dying. Given her substance abuse issues, I wouldn’t be surprised if she was drunk or something. That or she was just phoning that one in.


  8. When I posted this article on this Facebook group:

    somebody responded by saying that perhaps Matt Dillon’s main problem is that he’s one of those actors who can very good at a certain type of role but ultimately more than often, winds up choosing ones that are just straight wrong for him.


    • I would need to see examples of which roles were wrong for him before I could agree or disagree. Off the top of my head, I can’t think of any roles where I thought he was miscast. I can think of plenty of movies that weren’t the best choices. But he stayed in the crime drama genre more often than not.


      • Looking back on the movie landscape of the last few years, it seems so many leading man roles go to actors who exude “sensitive”, i.e., the Ryan Reynolds or Bradley Cooper school of acting. Beyond Matt Dillon’s amazing looks, he has an authoritative, confident presence that in my opinion, doesn’t easily lend itself to such fare. At this stage he needs a different project, not geared to the PG/MTV audience. And not the familiar villain or crime drama either. Some ideas:

        -a good Las Vegas character movie. Have we had one since Leaving Las Vegas? I don’t mean dumbed down garbage like the Hangover series. (Yes, I’m ordering the Oceans series from Amazon. So many movies, so little time)
        something in the style of 1974’s California Split?

        -the attorney protagonist in a John Grisham type of story. Attorneys tend to have confidence bordering on arrogance and Dillon would be the natural. I’m surprised this has not occurred to casting directors already.

        -Road trip! OK the concept is done to death. Again, just my opinion, but the genre will never be exhausted because of the limitless possibilities. The thing is, there are so many road trip movies that the bad ones outnumber the good. For someone like Matt Dillon, I am thinking a quirky, well made indie, for example, 5$ A Day.

        And, really, the bottom line is, there is obviously no way I would be thinking of something that hasn’t been thought of already. So I’m left with the conclusion that he’s working as much as he wants to.


        • I definitely agree with your last point. Dillon seems to be doing what he wants to. He has no shortage of work even if it’s not necessarily in the public eye.

          I’m excited to see him on TV. If the show were coming from David Lynch instead of Shyamalan, I’d be thrilled. But I think it is a good career move. Hopefully he picked the right show.


      • Well- Something About Mary could be considered against type- or not- if you just consider it a comedy version of the weasels he’s played over the years-


    • Re: What happened to Matt Dillon?,11929910,3

      I just happened onto this site and found this thread so I don’t know how to respond to a specific post but to answer post 41. I’m not in the industry. So I can’t tell you why Matt hasn’t been in much the last few years. And how do you ask an actor that question? Most actors are neurotic about their career and he’s an Aquarian so double that.

      I can only guess from things I know. He was not represented by a big time agency in the beginning and for many years after. His manager only represented Matt and Vinny Spano (yes, they were friends). And Matt always remained NY based so he didn’t really network as much in LA. Like everyone else who starts young he tired of the teen films (even if they were Francis Ford Coppola) and went Indy with Gus Van Sant. Movies like Drugstore Cowboy seemed to appeal more to him than mainstream. Maybe he should’ve milked his fame more then. After Crash he dedicated a lot of time to the movie he eventually starred in and directed.

      It doesn’t seem like he’s hurting for money. HIS parents didn’t rake him over and they invested well. Again, I don’t know his financial details but he’s hasn’t been kicked out of a trailer park. He has a lovely apt in the City, he dines out frequently. He’s never had an entourage to support. So it’s not like he has to take any job (although he did make that Herbie film) but yeah, I think he’d like to work more. He still auditions.

      He was pigeonholed early on as a teen idol and he kind of fell into the industry so he wasn’t great when he started. But he’s done some very good work, Drugstore, Crash and I thought he was very good in What Happened to Mary. He has expanded his range but maybe some still remember the early Matt.

      by: Anonymous reply 45 10/03/2012 @ 11:57AM



        Careers are very hard to maintain, and luck plays a huge part in someone’s survival at or near the top. He hasn’t done badly at all but even when I saw him a while ago he was frustrated about what he was being offered and about how hard is was to be seriously considered for what he wanted to do.


        reply 82 04/03/2013

        I think he’s an asset to movies. Even though my sister was addicted to him in the ’80’s, my brothers and I still liked him on a cool level, which is rare. Drugstore Cowboy is a classic. As long as he doesn’t fuck up his face with fillers, he could be getting another lap. He just needs to stay dry and take over for now-flaming out douchebag boozers like Josh Brolin, Sean Penn et al.


        reply 87 12/01/2013

        There’s Something About Mary is the correct title.


        He’s loaded–I mean financially set forever loaded.

        He takes funky parts, calculates his career based on what he wants to do, including lowbrow comedy and and is great in it. Healy in Farrelly brothers ‘Mary? Wacky, funny, memorable. Lots of ensemble films where he co-stars, like Beautiful Girls. Many independent where he’s further up in the credits, but he knows it’s tough to transition from leading man to character roles, that’s the way it is. He’s been smart, wishes to remain a working actor and takes all kinds of parts, though none are desperation jobs. At all. What are you going to do at 50 years old? Play 30? It’s the twilight zone for actors as they hit his age–he’s done very well by transitioning long before he was forced to by Hollywood.


        reply 88 12/01/2013

        He aged out of roles.

        If he wanted to keep working, he should have initiated roles with a passion, it’s the only way to keep working past the 30s.

        He’s probably the typical actor who just relied on others to call him instead of having an agenda.


        reply 96 04/03/2017

        As for his career– it’s very hard for guys who are known as young heartthrob types to make the transition to a more mature actor.

        Especially someone like Dillon who in his youth looked much younger.

        He also, as someone else noted upthread, was repped by an independent agent not affiliated with a major agency and he avoided LA.

        He might have had a longer career if he’d done action films like Tom Cruise, but things like Drugstore Cowboy or even Flamingo Kid marked him as a more niche actor–even though they were better films than anything Cruise ever did.

        He’s at a point now where he’s got sitcom dad looks but not movie dad– he still looks too handsome to be Miles Teller’s dad even though that’s age appropriate. A conundrum for a lot of actors


        reply 100 04/03/2017


  9. Great Post. I’ve had similar feelings with “Wild Things”. I watched it last year for the first time, at the beginning I was kinda stunned, it seemed a very stupid movie, than I realised its satirycal intent. So it became much more enjoyable.

    Matt Dillon’s carreer seems very interesting. I knew him only because of “There’s Something About Mary” and “Crash”. I’ll try to check out some of the movies you mentioned, since crime movies are usually my favourite and it seems he worked a lot in that genre.


    • I’m a big fan of To Die For. But that’s more of a Nicole Kidman movie than a Dillon movie. I have never seen Over the Edge and want to track that one down. Looks interesting. A Kiss Before Dying is pretty interesting.


  10. There’s Something About Mary was a huge blockbuster at the time (4th biggest hit of 1998, having earned $176M domestically). It definitely propelled Cameron Diaz and Ben Stiller’s careers forward in a major way, yet Matt Dillon didn’t do another film for 3 long years. If Dillon had any real desire to become a major movie star, that was his time to pounce, to take advantage of that films’ huge success to move his career to the next level, to be cast in more high-profile films. Instead he took 3 years off. That alone tells me he wasn’t that concerned about becoming a major movie star.


    • Exactly. If he was really concerned with being a big star, he would have been in another gross-out comedy the next year. I think if you look at most of his career choices, he was following his muse rather than trying to build himself up as a movie star.

      Again, aside from Target he never really attempted to be an action star. He was more than cut out for it. And that’s where the big money was. Even Johnny Depp dipped his toe in the action movie genre. But Dillon never went that route. Heck, at one point there was talk he could play Batman. But he never went the super hero route either. There are any number of things Dillon could have done differently if he had wanted to be Tom Cruise. It looks like he wasn’t trying.


      • You, Me and Dupree is a movie I’m only still considering viewing, for the sole purpose of seeing what Matt Dillon does with the role. (Maybe just get a paycheck). I like Owen Wilson but if it’s two hours of his surfer dude schtick it will get old. I already know that Michael Douglas will contribute something and that Kate Hudson will be limited to playing the cute love interest. So Dillon’s appearance is all that holds interest for me. If only the movie itself didn’t sound so awful! What irritates me the most about this Hollywood development, other than the trend seeming to be the more outrageous the comedy, the more unimaginative… other than that, which is annoying enough… then they always have to go for the R rating. Why?? This essentially means that the kids who find these bathroom jokes funny can’t see the movie. Are we kidding here? Don’t bother with the explicit sex scenes, nonstop swearing and anything else that takes these films out of PG land. Then at least we can watch it with our kids!


        • Even if all the language and nudity (very little if I remember)- was removed- its still an adult film about relationships, sex and jealousy.

          I usually think that more movies should be rated R- Hollywood usually does try to stay PG or PG13 to keep a large audience.


        • Totally agree. I miss the days when Hollywood didn’t try to shoehorn everything into a PG-13. There’s a place for R-rated movies made with adults in mind.


        • Yes – i think the word ‘shoehorn’ is instructive here. For whatever reason, that seems to be challenging for Hollywood. Some movies should be R and some should not, and really the twain should not meet. Figure out whether the movie really is PG material or R… and then proceed accordingly. Should not be that hard.


        • An R-rating keeps out teens. Not all teens. Some will sneak in. But they will likely have to buy a ticket for another movie which means the money still goes to the PG-13 movie even if the teen snuck into the R-movie. So the conventional wisdom in Hollywood is that there is a cap on how much money R-rated movies can make. All other things being equal, studios only want to release PG-13 movies. PG is too tame. R is too restrictive. PG-13 is the sweet spot where the maximum grosses can be made.

          As a result, you’ll hear of directors shooting extra footage which can be inserted or deleted in order to placate the ratings board and guarantee a PG-13 rating. There’s a game studios play where they try to fit as much titlating content as possible into a PG-13 movie. That’s why you’ll get movies like The Girl Next Door which is basically Risky Business pared down to PG-13.

          Then the studio will release an unrated version on video where the ratings board isn’t a factor and clean up a second time.


    • If I remember correctly, Matt didn’t make another film until 2001 because he was working on “City of Ghosts” (writing, travelling, etc.), which was released the following year.


  11. Matt Dillon can be seen currently in “Nothing but the Truth”, making an appearance on cable. This seems to be a quality production that does not insult the intelligence of the viewer. Not sure that it would have been a box office movie though…. it deals with gritty political subject matter with no uplifting ending. Good performances, certainly, and the plot has real life overtones and undertones both of which are aptly conveyed in the Kate Beckinsale character. Dillon is perfect as the hardnosed prosecutor here, (other than he is infinitely more good looking than any real life DA you will ever see). He brings his instinctive grasp of authenticity to this role, just as he does to all his movie roles.


  12. Wow, I had no idea Bill Murray was in Wild Things.


  13. OOOOH…. does everyone SEE what is at Redbox this weekend? Just got the email. SUNLIGHT JR and it looks like a limited release, indie gem so I don’t feel bad about not knowing about it earlier! Can’t wait to get my hands on this!!


  14. Now watching “Dupree” and rereading this WTHH and comments. maybe have to revise my opinion somewhat on what Matt Dillon can do on screen. Predictably, Kate Hudson is adorable, Owen Wilson carries the comedy, and Michael Douglas always contributes something interesting. Where I’m looking at Dillon through a fresh lens, is that my lord, he is a fine actor who doesn’t have a “type.” He is not anything approaching the Paul Rudd school of husband/boyfriend, taking nothing away from Rudd et al, it’s just that Dillon combines his persona with the way the character is written and comes up with a portrayal that I find somewhat unique…. and which just blows me away time and time again.



    Matt Dillon is still a beautiful man and will always be to me!
    From the woman in Rupert, Idaho. Sylvia A. Happy New Year for 2014!!


  16. Agreed with the overall POV that Dillon never set out to be a big star. I think in some ways he’s always been happy finding his niche. and in some ways that’s assured him of greater career longevity. Compare him to most of his still living Outsiders co-stars aside from Cruise of course. Most of them have faded away. He’s still getting regular roles and some of them have gotten much attention. So yes he’s not an A-list star. But he’s a damn good actor who can be great at times and in some ways that’s even better..


    • Yeah, I don’t think A-list stardom was ever really his goal. He took a couple grabs at bigger paydays. But his choices reflect an actor looking to satisfy his artistic sensibilities more than a movie star looking for maximum fame.


  17. Did anyone happen to see Sunlight? I have such a lengthy movie to-do list and this latest blizzard doesn’t make me eager to venture out and catch up on it… also, for Dillon fans out there, again you cannot go wrong with Dupree, and in large part that’s due to Dillon’s presence in it. Got a bit of a soft spot for Owen Wilson, but his normal movie schtick NEEDS a sidekick. Michael Douglas did bring additional dimension to his father-in-law role in that it was not always apparent what proportions his character had of geekitude/protective dad/businessman/jerk. Such ambiguity tends to hold my attention in movies, trying to peel back the layers and figure out who that character really is. Overall though, it’s not a movie that would be in my library without Matt Dillon. 2013 saw Dillon in three indie films so he’s definitely working, and for that I am thrilled.


  18. Matt Dillon is another one of my least favorite actors. He just has zero charisma for me. His line readings are always really dull too.


    • Ducks and covers. Don’t insult Matthew Broderick or Chevy Chase or you will have to deal with the wrath of RB. 😉

      While I have your ear, you have any interest in participating in a podcast at some point in the future?


  19. Chevy Chase I’m mostly indifferent about, Matthew Broderick is someone I’m not a fan of, but don’t actively dislike. He just comes off as a 12 year old boy to me.

    And sure. I’ve never done one before, but I’d be up for it. I’ve had friends that wanted to do a movie themed one before


  20. Dang it, I just hate it when people understand me. Lebeau is correct: Chevy Chase is my hero, I adore Matthew Broderick and Matt Dillon can read lines for me anytime. He has more charisma in one fingernail than most actors will ever acquire. Looking forward to the podcast when you guys are ready for it. Sounds cool. There is a different blog that I follow now and then where the blog hosts do a podcast every now and then, once a month at least. The format is kind of loose, like an extension of their blog entries, with them trading point counterpoint, agreeing and disagreeing on times, but basically a live version of the blog subject matter, and enjoyable to listen to. It has too long of a running time last time I listened, but they also split it up into sections so you could skip to the topic of interest.


  21. David…don’t hate on Dillon son…just sit back and continue being an angry spectator…


  22. Matt hits the half-century mark today,BTW!!!!!


  23. i think matt dillion needs to branch out in superhero flicks it worked for downey jr and bale i actually think he could have played older batman instead ben affleck


  24. Star-Derailing Role:

    Matt Dillon was a big star in the ’80s but laid rather low in the ’90s and pretty much did only supporting or bit parts. Then he had a Career Resurrection with Crash, which got him nominated for an Oscar. However his career then fell not soon after when he starred in You Me And Dupree, which, despite being a box office success, got terrible reviews. After the movie, he’s pretty much gone back to doing supporting roles or indie/arthouse films and even some TV work.


  25. he still has potential i saw a trailer for gone girl looks interesting by the way but i saw affleck was in it i thought to myself dillion would be better all of affleck roles i think dillon could do a better job at it. He also needs a better director like quiten scoreasea or call gus van sant he got the best out of him in midnight cowboy he can do it again.


  26. one of the most underrated actors clooney owes dilion an Oscar . crash was better then syrinia he dillion could do clooneys roles better Spielberg if u read this cast dillon in a role in a movie supporting lead dont matter just give him better material crash proved hes still the game


  27. You, me and dupree made $130 on a budget of $54, that doesn’t sound like terrible box office. But yeah, i think dillon is underrated. Now that you mention it, i could see him in the movie gone girl.


  28. you and me depress sucked thought i think he should go back to roots and do amazing indie work like her did in drugstore cowboy .i know i trash affleck alot but dillion can do alot his roles but in the batman vs superman movie since role of batman is taken i can see him doing james gordon role comic book movies are in i can see him doing it it helped costner bit saved downey jr role give michael caine roles younger generation knows him for


  29. watching criminal minds makes me think him and kilmer could do a show like that matt good act playing cops he did turn quitene down for pulp fiction maybe he can make up for it in his next role. You cant blame him for turning quiten down quiten wasnt a established director like he is now resviour dogs was a cult classic but no means a huge sucess so even then turning down pulp fiction was not that stupid he was the best part of something about mary i wish farelly brothers would remember that and make cast him in more movies


  30. had matt been casted instead of bruce travolta would not get the role and his career would be dead the only reason john got the role is because bruce was a huge draw at the time and since he got the role they allowed Quieten to cast john because they have a top draw in the movie but now bruce and johns career are dead while samuel who was at the time a no name is having a better career and bigger box office then both dillion is a great acotor and its sad he never reached a list


  31. Even though Matt never reached the a-list like tom cruise, I would still say he’s had a very successful career for someone who was an 80s heartthrob. Like what’s been said above, I don’t think it was ever his goal to become a massive star.


  32. i dont see a list theres no such as a list to me its just good actors and good movies which matt is good actor picks good movies to much thats more important then hes underrated he should won Oscar for crash he was the funniest part in something about mary he is good like tom cruise i want to see him in more strong indies like drugstore cowboy and occasional comedies


  33. Truthfully, i don’t really think in terms of a-list or b-list either. Matt’s a consistently good actor who can deliver in everything from crash to in and out. I loved him in nothing but the truth, did you see that?


  34. didnt see it whats it about i love in to die for he was better then kidman yet got no credit mr wonderful cute movie i tend to like actors like dillion better then a list cause he dosent let fame get to his head therefore dosent sleepwalk throought performances like will smith ,Bruce. willis or michael douglas


  35. Yeah, I loved him in to die for. You should see nothing but the truth, he’s really good in it as the prosecuting lawyer who’s just trying to do his job. The character could’ve easily been portrayed as a villain, which is what i liked about matt in the movie.


  36. never watched it whats t about he was amazing to die for and mr wonderful cute movie actors that are not considered a list dont get lazy and sleepwalk through performances like will smith Bruce Willis and michael douglas


  37. i like that about dillion he puts an interesting twist in characters he dosent make them 2 diminsel he really does his homework in roles did u ever mr wondserful or outsider


  38. Seen both. Mr. Wonderful was a cute movie (even though i found his ex wife in the movie really annoying), and the outsiders was very sad. Matt was great at showing his character’s underlying fragility.


  39. he is great at expression emotional weakness his monolog in crash to Ryan Phillips was amazing. He was amazing as the naive love struck husband in to die for He was funny in singles too he should get more credit since crash his career has gone downhill not that he cares at this point actors are just happy to work.Its monotone actors like harrison ford get more credit then him


  40. I’ve read it all and am wondering why nobody mentioned Matt in Factotum? I absolutely agree that he is the best actor of his generation and clooneys know that. He did not even want to leave NYC for L.A. for his “career move.” Yes, it looks it never was his intention making it to the A-List or having his star on the L.A. walk. He got an interesting award in Italy, check the list on that award and you will see that Italians know better about acting. Matt is great !


    • Love reading the comments from other Dillon fans 🙂 I think he has incredible range. Even in “There’s Something About Mary” he played a different character yet.


      • Something About Mary was a pretty big departure for him. It suggested he had this untapped potential for comedy that could lead to a huge career in mainstream movies. Unfortunately, as happens so many times in these articles, Dillon never seemed to be able to capitalize on the success of TSAM.


    • From what I hear, Italians know better about a great many things. 😉


  41. i just wish he picked strong character role like he did when he was younger its a shame good actor crappy scripts since crash he picked be bad roles it like he dont care he deserves better i know he dont care for a list but he must at least care quailty movies like he did with drugstore cowboy how he got snubbed is beyond me i dont him end up like kevin dillion or johnny drama


  42. true the only hit he had since tsam was crash farrely brother should cast him again in comedy it would help his career maybe he can develop a second career as a comedy actor like colin.tsam was his highest grossing movie and first mainstream hit . He should caplized on crash but choose to do lame comedies like you me and dupree and old dogs


  43. quienten should give him a call make up for pulp ficton there r so many actors he could revive instead he cast crappy actor like kietel pitt and samuel l jackson costner tuned him twice dumbass


  44. How bout a What The Hell Happened To article on Chris Makepeace?


  45. Dillon is a dick. In 1980 in suburban Houston, Texas, I was 8 and he was 16. I told him he was my favorite actor and asked him for an autograph. He looked at me for a second and then turned to talk to a girl. 20 years later, I saw him crossing St Mark’s Place in New York City, I told him the story and asked if I could finally get that autograph. He threw his cigar at me and told me to fuck off. He deserves the B-list career he’s had. But yeah, Outsiders, My Bodyguard, Flamingo Kid? Classics. ;o)


    • And Over The Edge changed my life. So yeah. He’s a dick. But I ain’t mad at him.


      • That’s the perfect attitude to have. I try to separate the actor from their work. There are plenty of actors I like who I wouldn’t want to spend an afternoon with.


    • This is the kind of story you hate to hear. I tend to try to give the celebrity the benefit of the doubt because you just never know what they are going through. And I’m willing to let 16-year-old Dillon slide because, well, he was 16. But middle-aged Dillon should have known better.

      One thing I have observed writing this series is that actors who treat their fans shabbily tend to pay for it in the long run. These kinds of people probably treat their coworkers poorly too. And it always costs them in the end.


  46. CINEMADONNA: Bloodhounds of Broadway

    Yet another contender for worst Madonna movie yet.


  47. forrestbracket

    i heard matt is good with his fans didnt know he did that to you, sorry to hear it. I guess everyone has off day. Actors owe it to their fans to at least act civil. Flocks of fans seeing actors movies is reason why actors the m oney they do. I am a huge fan of russell crowe and sean penn but i know they are both dicks . +That dosent stop me from enjoying their work


    • Exactly, from a fan’s pov, we should be able to compartmentalize an actor’s three personas: their film work, their celebrity, and who we imagine they are as a person.

      Incidentally, my friend was randomly gigging somewhere in Louisiana a couple years ago, playing jazz bass in a tiny club; and Sean Penn came up to him, they struck up a conversation. Next thing you know, my friend is in Sean Penn’s hotel, just he and Sean Penn, going through 3/5ths of vodka and gin; smoking a carton of cigarettes; and other things–till the sun came up.

      My friend said he was totally cool, but that of course, it was also pretty intense…because of Sean Penn…and also because of the other things. ;o)


  48. forrestbracket

    There are circumstances like if actor is eating dinner with his family he can polity tell fan he will sign autograph but he would privacy with his family. Actors still owe it to their fans to be civil but at the same time they are entitled to there privacy. A coworker of mine buddy was chaufer to bruce willis in a film festival . He was biggest ass he was ever met. He was very rude to fans asking for autograph. Not to mention hes sarcastic with interviewers. Hanks cruise and keanu where at the event no surprise those guys where nice escpecially cruise.


  49. Even Crash’s director thinks it didn’t deserve the Oscar for Best Picture:


    • Top 10 Movies That Experienced Massive Backlash

      Crash, which won Best Picture in 2006, often turns up today on many critics’ lists of the all-time worst Best Picture winners. Not only is it seen as having snubbed Brokeback Mountain (a decision that, even at the time, many felt to have been guided almost purely by fear of backlash from anti-gay Moral Guardians), it was about as subtle as an anvil with its message, and even those critics who liked it said that, in the long run, it was fairly insubstantial. While it still holds a very high score on IMDb, the first thing most people know about it is the controversy over its win.


    • What a horrible film and what an Oscar anomaly. Paul Haggis and Bobby Moresco know deep down that the story they created lacks authenticity. Crash is forced, false fiction.


    • 10 Awful Movies That Somehow Stole An Oscar:


      Crash is the movie that made everyone think they had learned something about race relations, when in actuality, it provided no real insight into much of anything. It was a glossy, gutless look at racial barriers in America that had people leaving the theaters saying, “Boy, I bet after everyone watches that movie racism will be over forever!”

      There was a staggering amount of naivete surrounding the supposed cultural impact of Crash, culminating in a rash of awards and nominations. It somehow managed to beat out Brokeback Mountain, Good Night and Good Luck, Capote, and Munich for Best Picture in 2005.

      Crash in no way holds up as the “gritty” racial drama it proclaimed itself to be. The title isn’t altogether misleading, though, because watching this movie is a lot like watching a real car crash. You might want to look away but Matt Dillon won’t let you.


  50. Category: Hidden Treasures Created on Sunday, 25 March 2012 04:54 Written by George Rother

    Although Target hardly measures up to other movies from director Arthur Penn (Bonnie and Clyde, Little Big Man), it’s really not that bad of a flick! The critics really tore it apart upon its release and audiences didn’t show up, it only made a paltry $9 million. It may have a few flaws, but I like Target on the level of a weekend matinee flick. It stars Gene Hackman (No Way Out) as Walter Lloyd, a lumber yard owner in Dallas, Texas. He lives a quiet life with his wife Donna (Hunnicut) and college-age son Chris (Dillon, The Outsiders). As Donna prepares to leave for a trip to Paris, she asks her husband and son to spend some time together and try to bond with each other.

    Walter and Chris don’t see eye-to-eye on many things, it’s a typical father-son relationship. Walter doesn’t agree with Chris’ decision to fix stock cars at the local racetrack instead of attending college. Chris thinks his father is boring and plays things too safe. Late one night, Walter receives a phone call informing him that Donna has been missing for two days. He and Chris head to Paris to find out what happened to her. Once they arrive, things really start to happen. Somebody tries to kill Walter at the airport, but he manages to successfully dodge the attempt on his life. That’s when he figures out that his wife has been kidnapped. He heads to the American embassy and poses as an office worker to gain entry into the head office. He leaves a message about his wife’s situation and that “Duke is here”. After a brief meeting with his old friend Taber (Sommer, Witness) and another attempt on his life, he comes clean and admits to Chris that he used to work for the CIA. After a particularly dangerous mission, he decided to leave the agency to keep his family safe, so they set them up with new identities and new lives. It seems that Walter’s past has caught up with him and he has to figure out who kidnapped his wife.

    Target is an interesting albeit uneven movie, it’s an odd blend of espionage thriller and father-son drama. I think Penn was trying to make something a bit different from the routine action fare that dominated movie theaters around that time. In the fall of 1985, I recall a decent sized list of action flicks playing in theaters- Commando, Invasion USA, American Ninja, The Annhilators, Remo Williams-The Adventure Begins, To Live and Die in L.A. and Death Wish 3. Target does have a decent amount of action scenes, I liked the chase scene in Hamburg when some bad guys go after Walter and Chris as they set out to meet somebody who might know something about the person or persons who kidnapped his wife. There’s also a great scene in Paris when Chris pulls Walter away from an attempted drive-by shooting. Unfortunately, the movie has its sluggish moments, especially in the moments when Walter and Chris attempt to understand one another. I appreciate that it must be a shock to Chris’ system to discover that his whole life has been a fraud, but this part of the plot stops the movie altogether at times. There’s a sequence where Walter has a long conversation with a woman that used to be his lover back in the day. They talk about what could have been had Walter not chosen a career in the CIA. It doesn’t really serve any purpose other than to remind us of Walter’s previous life of espionage and intrigue. Again, I understand that Penn wanted to do something different, but it’s not 100% successful and it makes me wish that he had gone for a straight-up action flick.

    Gene Hackman always turns in great performances and Target is no exception, he has an Everyman quality that makes him effective in any type of role. Unfortunately, I’m not so wild about Dillon’s performance, he’s a very one-note actor. Of course, this is relatively early in his career, he does get better with later performances, I’m especially fond of his role in the 1989 independent drama Drugstore Cowboy and his comical turn in There’s Something About Mary. I found it hard to believe that his character in this movie didn’t get his ass blown off, he’s not the brightest bulb in the pack. At one point, he hooks up with a girl he met earlier in the movie, doesn’t he find it odd that he meets the same girl more than once? Does it occur to him that she may or may not be who she says she is? This plot twist is a no-brainer, anybody with even a working knowledge of international espionage thrillers will see it coming. Aside from its flaws, I enjoy Target very much. Like I said, it’s a good weekend matinee action movie, just don’t walk in with high expectations. It’s reasonably entertaining and there’s a late addition subplot about the possible existence of a double agent in the CIA. I wish the filmmakers had introduced that sooner, but who says that every movie has to be perfect? Overall, it’s a better movie than its reputation suggests, it’s worth checking out on a rainy Saturday afternoon.


  51. forrestbracket

    Lebeau have you heard any stories about dillion. I heard he was nice but wondering if you know anyone who met him. Similair to harrsion ford story


    • Personally no. But someone in the comments section recently posted a story claiming Dillon was a jerk.



      I met him. I liked him. We were friends for about a week before I moved to D.C. He was my neighbor in NYC, I used to see him around.Funny, I saw him the 1st day I moved to New York, then a lot the last week I left NY.


  52. forrestbracket

    I know but I have buddies who met dillion film festival said he was kind.Everyone one not just actor have their off days no one is perfect. Even hanks who reputation as a nice I am sure can be a jerk at times. This comes no shock to you but I have my off days too lol. I am sure you gather from interviews hes cool guy.


    • Sure.

      I had someone swear up and down that Brendan Fraser was a saint. I have had others tell me horror stories. I take all of these with a grain of salt. The worst person in the world will make a good impression some times and vice versa.


  53. forrestbracket

    Nice some celebs act nice for pr. Better to focus on their work not their persoan life. There here to entertain us. I enjoy sean penn dustin hoffman gene hackman sena connery and russell crowe but i know there jerks in real life.


  54. I heard dillion is nice but everyone has off days. celebs want privacy too. John Malikocah does seem pretentious. i heard Tobeymaguire and cameron diaz are mean with fans,


  55. what kind of person is Matt Dillon what I see in the pictures of him I see that he’s a sarcastic person and he thinks he knows it all if he ever looked at me he’ll probably start laughing


  56. Judging by interview he seems like quiet keep to himself but nice person.


  57. Lebeau you mentioned your buddy met Harrison ford and he was kind of a jerk and high. Has he ever met hanks or costner. Hanks is suppose to be kind. As for costner even though he had an ego on film sets in his heyday he was always kind to fans. He humbled up now


  58. What do you think of deznel. I watched a lot of interviews I seen him snap at the smallest things. He also comes off like he has a chip on his shoulder. One reporter asks why he does not have much famous friends he yells at the reporter. Of course I do not know much about his personal life he could be nice but like a lot of actors he probably hates interviews sitting through same questions . That could be irritating after a while.


  59. Infamous Sphere: In and Out (1997)

    Ah, nothing better than a stupid gay movie. Except when there’s a bitter kernel of uncomfortable truth to it.


  60. Cast Of There’s Something About Mary: How Much Are They Worth Now?

    Matt Dillon

    Estimated Net Worth: $35 million. Matt Dillon has won almost 20 awards for his acting! He started out as a teen idol in the films My Bodyguard, Tex, Rumble Fish, and The Outsiders. To this day, Dillon has appeared in 50 films — his most notable credits have been: Drugstore Cowboy, Singles, The Saint of Fort Washington, To Die For, Beautiful Girls, In & Out, There’s Something About Mary, Wild Things, Crash, Factotum, You, Me and Dupree, Nothing but the Truth, Old Dogs, Herbie: Fully Loaded and Sunlight Jr. In addition to acting, Dillon directed, wrote and starred in the film City of Ghosts. Dillon doesn’t do any television work except for the odd guest cameo. His extensive film work and many, many starring roles have earned him an estimated net worth of $35 million.


    • Where Are They Now? The Cast Of Wild Things


      Lombardo is a lot of things: a boat man, a ladies man, and a concerned Guidance Counselor. Sure, maybe he accidentally overstepped a few teacher/student boundaries, but he’s innocent, goddamnit! Of course, he’s not really innocent, but he is oblivious to the plan’s full scope. He wants to dive into Sandra Van Ryan’s deep pockets, but he doesn’t want anyone to die for it. Then again, he gets over Kelly’s death right quick.

      Equal parts handsome, smarmy, stupid, and conniving, Matt Dillon is the perfect Sam. His line readings are spot on. Lombardo is just one of many signature Matt Dillon roles on a resume that includes The Outsiders, The Flamingo Kid, Singles, and Drugstore Cowboy. In Wayward Pines, Dillon played a Secret Service agent investigating the disappearance of two colleagues. Come 2018, he’ll embody a brilliant serial killer in Lars Von Trier‘s The House That Jack Built. Earlier this year, he had a supporting role alongside feisty seniors Morgan Freeman and Michael Caine in Going in Style.


  61. Matt Dillon

    The actor: Matt Dillon, who was still in high school when a casting director discovered him and invited him to star in 1979’s Over The Edge. Dillon became an instant sensation, and spent much of the early ’80s playing brooding teens with a thuggish charm. As an adult, Dillon has had an eclectic career, appearing in indie dramas, broad comedies, and pulp thrillers, often gravitating to movies where he gets to play troubled outsiders. Dillon can currently be seen in Armored, playing a veteran armed guard who conspires to steal the money in his charge.


  62. Why Matt Dillon Doesn’t Get Many Movie Offers Anymore

    In the 1980s, Matt Dillon made a name for himself playing the bad boy who made it all look good, and there’s a reason he was good at it: that’s what he was. A 14-year-old Dillon was discovered when he was cutting class, and for the next 10 years, The Telegraph says he was worth a salary more than twice his contemporaries, many of whom are on today’s A-list.
    While other 80s heartthrobs like Tom Cruise have held onto their fame over the decades, Dillon’s career has been a little more up-and-down. He’s still out there, he’s still talented, and he’s still acting, so why do we not see him on the big screen much?


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