The Film That Lit My Fuse is a Deadline video series that aims to provide an antidote to headlines about industry uncertainty by swinging the conversation back to the creative ambitions, formative influences and inspirations of some of today’s great screen artists.
Every installment asks the same five questions. Today’s subject is Matt Dillon, the veteran actor who stars in the Shirin Neshat-directed Land of Dreams which just premiered at Venice, and directed El Grande Fellove, a documentary on the late Cuban musical pioneer Francisco Fellove, which is having its North American premiere this weekend at Telluride. Dillon’s emergence as one of the most versatile films actor of his generation is the stuff of legend: he was discovered as he was cutting class and stepped right in as a lead in the 1979 teen drama Over The Edge. He was hooked, and Little Darlings and My Bodyguard soon followed, and his work in three adaptations of S.E. Hinton novels, Tex, the Francis Coppola-directed The Outsiders and Rumble Fish put him at the top of the pack of young actors finding their footing. Dillon matured into adulthood with films like the Gus Van Sant-directed Drugstore Cowboy, The Flamingo Kid, Singles and To Die For. He was Oscar nominated for his work in the Paul Haggis-directed Best Picture winner Crash, and showed his comic chops in There’s Something About Mary. Here Dillon describes the influences that helped forge such a long and versatile career.
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