But he takes a keen interest in his career and the movie business and has learned a great deal about it. He’s living in the past remember what his brother was, but his brother couldn’t care less. DILLON: In Tulsa, but it doesn’t really take place there. DILLON: Sometimes I watch the whole film, but sometimes I just see pieces of it. MOYNIHAN: What kind of obstacles do you come up against when you’re working on a role? DILLON: Basically, I’ve really got to admit that of all the ones I’ve made so far, at different times I didn’t like ’em, at other times I’ve liked ’em, but I would say overall that now I like each one of them. You can do anything with the clothing, with wardrobe. When you’re playing the straight guy it’s hard to be loose, because you have your audience rooting for you the whole time.
He knows other actors, can and does discuss their work; he’s up to date on the details of the distribution and marketing of his pictures too. MOYNIHAN: Do you have a good relationship with Coppola? DILLON: No, he’s not tough, he’s patient, but at the same time he likes to move. He gives you a lot of room to experiment, and he gives you time. DILLON: I’d rather not explain it because if I did I’d probably mess it up. I’ll go to a screening and walk out and see the rest of it later. DILLON: When you’re doing a film you have all these long pauses in between shots and takes, so you have to keep the energy going—stay in character, stay in the scene. MOYNIHAN: Why are you so good at playing tough, angry characters?
Ramos’ original prognostication about Matt’s star quality was confirmed in the next movie, , a low-budget Disney production based off a novel by S. Pauline Kael praised his “mysteriously effortless charm . On a damp Saturday in October, Andy Warhol and I were engaged in making coffee and watching TV in a friend’s townhouse in New York when Matt ambled through the back door in a tweed coat, hair modeled in a 1963 flat-top for his role. MOYNIHAN: They disappointed me because I don’t think the way they’ve politicized their music is particularly sincere. In politics there are so many holes, so many contradictions, you don’t know what’s happening. DILLON: Oh yeah, I was at the Reggae Lounge—WARHOL: What’s the Reggae Lounge?
The Outsiders star, 53, and his brunette flame, looked to be having a whale of a time in the Italian capital.Dressed in casual jeans and a white t-shirt, Matt looked much younger than his years, as he engaged in the typical sightseeing activities with his lady love.On his taut physique clothing falls in loose disorder. He is blessed with dramatic Gaelic coloring: glossy black hair, luminous skin with flushed cheeks and enormous liquid eyes. MOYNIHAN: Would you like some orange juice or spring water? His attention is elusive but, once captured, focuses with great intensity. He explores his thoughts more with instinct than intellect; often his movements convey his meaning more effectively than his words.
The qualities of maturing self-possession and ingenuousness are gracefully commingled. Yet, this emerging self-awareness hasn’t depleted any of his youthful appeal. WARHOL: Well, in your contract you should say, “No more junk food.”DILLON: The film I worked on with Francis (Coppola), , was incredible. It’s not one continuous flow like in a play or something. DILLON: Those are the kinds of roles you can really sink your teeth into. When you’re playing someone who’s sort of seedy, there’s less limitation, there’s so much space you can travel. MOYNIHAN: Why is it harder to play the straight man? MOYNIHAN: I think it’s easier to create someone crazy. The magnetism he radiates is very powerful: it is something tangible. You do a piece here, there, stop, take a long pause and do another piece. Matt has adjusted with remarkable ease and has accomplished a rare feat: he has earned the respect of the serious film establishment without alienating his adoring teen audience. He loves rock music and speaks with jargon comprehensible to any teenager. He has an older brother, played by Mickey Rourke, who is the legend in the neighborhood: really tough, but really intelligent and the leader of everything. DILLON: When I was 14 I didn’t even think about it. 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. I saw the scene they were audition people for, and I said, “This is me.” I went home and I told my mother. He is very close to his family and faithful to his old school friends. My character looks up to his older brother; he’s following in his footsteps, but he can’t cut it. Cause you work so hard on a film, and if it doesn’t work out the way you were hoping it to or the way you expected to, it’s a heavy shock. I didn’t even say, “Mom, I tried out for this movie today.” I said, “Mom, I’m going to be in this movie.” I said it like that. It was sort of a ridiculous statement, saying it out of the blue like that. MOYNIHAN: Of all the films you’ve made, do you have a particular favorite? The projects that followed, (an American Playhouse PBS special) were all quality films, and Matt’s work was singled out by almost every reviewer. to create a wholly believable vulnerability.” The Hinton/Dillon collaboration proved such a success that the writer and actor teamed up for two more films: , a period romance set in 1963. MOYNIHAN: I’ll never stop listening to rock and roll. DILLON: The first music I was ever exposed to was Irish folk music, like the Clancy Brothers.