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Matthew Modine – Full Metal Press

Matthew Modine

Matthew Modine

Full Metal Press

by Ronald Sklar

The acclaimed actor goes full-metal digital with a new app and a stellar movie lineup.

Shrouds of secrecy surround the sacred plot line to The Dark Knight Rises, the long-awaited conclusion to the Batman trilogy, due out this month. Matthew Modine has a pivotal role in the film, and yet mum is still the word. That is, as mum as one can get in the digital age.

“It requires a lot of effort for a film to remain private until it is ready to be seen,” Modine tells me. “Everybody has cell phone cameras to take pictures. It’s so easy today.”

Despite the rapidly changing film business and how its product is now created, produced and distributed, Modine remains a busily working actor in great demand. In addition to Knight, he is featured in Girl in Progress opposite Eva Mendes and he appears in the Edward Zwick-produced film Family Weekend. We remember him, of course, from Birdy, Married to the Mob and Vision Quest, among many others (don’t worry, more about Full Metal Jacket later). His career choices seem to be based on a certain type of character’s character.

“Growing up, I really loved Sean Connery,” he says. “Actors like that were people who solved problems. And they always got the most beautiful girls to follow them. As a young boy, I was attracted to that kind of problem solver who women are attracted to.”

Born the youngest of seven children in Loma Linda, California, Modine’s career started practically right out of the gate. A small role in Baby, It’s You got him noticed big-time, and his name was written on the A list ever since.

Matthew Modine in “The Dark Knight Rises.”

“The thing that is wonderful about being an actor is that it gives you entrée to so many different professions,” he says. “During the course of my career, I’ve played everyone from a brain surgeon to the captain of an America’s Cup yacht. All of these characters have given me the opportunity to learn things that I feel so privileged to have learned — to travel around the world, to meet these people. And generally, when you are working on a film, you are working with the people who are most proficient at those roles you are about to portray.”

Which leads us, of course, to his upcoming role as John Sculley, the former head of Pepsi who comes on board — for one brief, shining decade — as Steve Jobs’ partner at Apple (Jobs will be played by Ashton Kutcher).

“Sculley worked with somebody who changed the world,” Modine says, “but people are people. And you never really understand a person until you get inside of his skin, to imagine what it is like to walk around in their shoes. The desire that we share as humans is very simple: we want to be appreciated. We want to be loved. We want people to think we are attractive. These are characteristics that we all share.”

Matthew Modine in “Full Metal Jacket.”

Perhaps Modine’s best known role is Private Joker in the Stanley Kubrick modern masterpiece Full Metal Jacket.  Does the film’s enduring success and enormous following surprise him?

“No, because it’s a Stanley Kubrick film,” he says. “It’s a reflection of the genius that was and is Stanley Kubrick. He said that films should be like a great piece of music: something that you can listen to over and over again. Each time you listen to it, you experience the song differently. You’ll find something that you didn’t hear in the song before. I think that he, with Full Metal Jacket, really mastered that. It’s music you can listen to over and over and over again.”

He was so inspired by his experience with the film, which occurred over 25 years ago, that he created a book, Full Metal Jacket Diary, to be devoured by a generation of rabid fans. Along with that: an upcoming iPad app, which includes Modine’s diary and photographs, memorabilia, and never-before-seen images and content. The project is a labor of love, seen through by the app’s producer, Adam Rackoff and aided by Modine himself.

“[My purpose is] to create a deep immersion experience of what it was like to work with Stanley Kubrick on Full Metal Jacket,” he says. “It’s been a tremendous amount of work, but the reward for the person who adds the app to the iPad is going to be really worth it.”

Modine continues his life journey in a career that has spanned three decades and counting. His engine continues to rev, and his phone continues to ring.

He says, “My motivation to be an actor is that I am desperate to learn as much about life as I can for the brief time we all have here. I am hungry for experience and information so that when my time is up, I feel like I used my time on this planet.”

For more information on Full Metal Jacket Diary, click here:

To find out more about the Full Metal Jacket app, click here: Credits:#1 © 2012. All rights reserved.#2 © 2012. Courtesy of Warner Brothers Entertainment. All rights reserved.#3 © 1987. Courtesy of Warner Brothers Entertainment. All rights reserved.

Copyright ©2012  All rights reserved. Posted: July 18. 2012.  

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