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INTERVIEW - Matt Frewer

The “headroom” to pursue quirky roles

Celebrity Interview by Evan Kayne (From GayCalgary® Magazine, August 2011, page 46)
Matt Frewer as Max Headroom
Matt Frewer as Max Headroom
Matt Frewer in Alice
Matt Frewer in Alice
INTERVIEW - Matt Frewer: The “headroom” to pursue quirky roles

Remembered mostly for his part as 1980s icon "Max Headroom", actor Matt Frewer has kept himself busy in the years since, showing up in shows like Eureka!, Supernatural , and on the big screen in Zac Snyder’s adaptation of  The Watchmen . Born in the States, he has dual citizenship, but lives in Canada and does a lot of work out of Vancouver.

In Calgary for of the Comic and Entertainment expo this past June, he told us he really does enjoy going to expos and conventions: "It’s great, because it does allow you to come in closer contact with the people that are watching. And you don’t feel as if you are working in isolation. And that’s a great thing...I think sci-fi fans are certainly the most rabid and passionate of all the genres, and I love to see it. The costumes, the care that they take in it, just how interested they are in it...."

His CV lists some impressive roles and parts, but Matt is always amazed how many people remember him in small roles that he has almost forgotten: "I’ve been doing this for 35 years and you see jobs reflected back on you throughout the ages [of fans]. So it gives you more of a sense of your career as a whole...which can be a scary thing." Yet on the whole, seeing such support, and seeing people following his career is wonderful and amazing to him.

He finds these small roles appealing, and it shows in his choices over the years. "I’ve always wanted to do lots of different interesting things...I always felt that the idea is when you’re on your deathbed, you’re able to say that you’ve done lots of different interesting things rather than you have a more expensive lining to your coffin."

Even though Matt was born in the States, he does prefer working in Canada: "...up here there’s not as much of a ‘star’ system, which is a healthy thing...there’s more akin to the British approach." That is, there is movement for an actor to go between different medias (i.e. TV, screen, commercials, stage, animation, etc.). In Canada and the UK, no one cares, but Matt does find in the USA, the walls haven’t yet come down as much.

Of course, the roles he is primarily remembered for are Max Headroom and his alter-ego Edison Carter. Reflecting on the TV series Max Headroom, he says " quickly as it arrived, it was pulled off the air. It was a short sharp shock." Which he attributes to the fact of biting the hand that feeds, "making fun of the networks. They don’t like that."

However, when asked about the proliferation of cable channels now, if Max Headroom was made, would it take off? He thinks it would. In fact, "there is a move afoot to bring it’s been caught up in a legal maze. If there was something really good that would justify the comeback I would do it." Matt doesn’t want it to be a cash grab, but he does admit doing it now would be interesting...especially for the fact that "Max" could be done with computers rather than plastic prosthesis.

But besides Max, it would be interesting to see the evolution of Edison Carter – how he’d react to the 24 hour news cycle: "I think he’d adapt pretty well. I think he would view the Internet as a tool to do good, but what we’ve all found is that it’s a tool that can be turned against you as well. It would make a comeback for the character pretty valid."

The other problem would be that he wouldn’t be able to do as many of the odd roles he’s done over the years. Those who saw him as "Pestilence" in Supernatural or his role of Taggart in Eureka! may argue that it would be better to see him continue to fill these quirky roles rather than go back to Max. After interviewing him and seeing him interact with the audience at his panel during the Expo, I think I can say whatever roles Matt Frewer gets in the future, we’d all love to see more of him.

Related Articles

Contributor Evan Kayne |

Person Matt Frewer |

Topic Calgary Expo | Celebrity Interview | Comic Expo | Supernatural |


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