Matthew Modine has the most coveted kind of Hollywood career – his selection of roles, always worksbut generally left alone in public.
Modine has been a familiar face on TV and movie screens for decades recently seen about Netflix’s “Stranger Things” and its newest project, a horror film called “Wrong Turn” on Amazon Prime.
CNN spoke to the actor about his long career, how he chooses his roles, and how he has remained a part of the Hollywood conversation over the years.
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“It’s wonderful to have had a long career and to be able to keep working,” Modine told CNN, adding, “Fortunately, ‘Stranger Things’ has been added. What you always have to do is stay part of the conversation and you stay relevant in the industry. If you’re not part of the conversation, there’s a good chance you won’t get hired. “
In “Wrong Turn,” a 2003 horror movie reboot, Modine plays a devoted father whose daughter goes missing while hiking the Appalachian Trail, and he does everything in his power to find her.
In his mission he encounters a dangerous cult that violently attacks outsiders who cross their path.
Why a horror movie this time?
“Because it wasn’t about zombies and monsters,” explains Modine. “It was about real monsters and things that are related to each other. I mean, you can say that young Trayvon Martin took a wrong turn and went through a neighborhood very similar to the circumstances of this film. My daughter walks with your friends on the Appalachian Mountains are very innocent and are making a wrong turn. You are going to a place where there is this community of people who made the decision to found their own community in the mountains and themselves before the civil war from the rest of the US to separate the world. “
To get in the right mood for the role and envision the worst for your own children, Modine said the feeling of protecting them was easy and also remembered a frightening memory from his own life.
“It was just because I have a daughter and a son and God forbids them anything should ever happen to them. Where they are in danger, but as a mother or father you would do anything to protect and help your children through a situation, and so it was easy.
“And it happened to me once, when my son was only two or three years old, we were in Washington Square Park in New York City. He rode his bike with training wheels. And the park was really, really full of people who did that. ” Day. And he said he wanted a hot dog. I looked where the hot dog cart was and I saw it. And in those 10, 15 seconds my son disappeared, disappeared and I couldn’t find him. “
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Modine says it was at the height of his career when strangers approached him and asked for autographs, and all he wanted to be was the person to find his son.
“It was absolutely horrible by the time I found him,” he says, adding that, to his relief, he “just kept riding his bike”.
The new film requires some physical strength on Modine’s part as he tries to track down his daughter. He eats well and walks six miles every day, he says. At 61, Modine adds that these days he’s approaching stunt work a little more carefully.
“If you go back and watch movies I’ve made in the past, especially Cutthroat Island, there was a lot of physical stuff that made me dance off ropes and knock Gina Davis off a cliff,” says Modine. I was hanging from a 300-foot cliff and caught it with one hand. “
He says Stunt ripped his right arm out of the socket and he “learned my lesson”, but he still wants to be believable on screen.
“When you’re in a real-world physical environment, climbing a mountain and jumping out of the way of obstacles and dangerous things, all you have to do is respond to the situation,” he says.
Modine still loves studying people to play all possible roles.
“I was just driving through the US because of Covid, I was just tired of being in quarantine. So I got in my car and drove through the US,” he says. “And I did that because Atticus Finch says in ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’, ‘You never really understand a person until you climb into their skin.’ And that’s what I do when I play. I try to get into another person’s skin and see things from their point of view, and often we lose touch. We don’t see America. We don’t see which ones People suffer through. “
While Modine says luck played a role in its success, choosing the right projects was key too.
“I heard someone say the other day that when you meet up as a soldier, you want someone with dents in their armor because that means they’re battle-hardened,” he says. “You don’t want to go in fights with someone in bright, shiny armor because they didn’t see the war. And I feel like as an actor that I’m battle-tested. I’ve had some tremendous successes and been part of some films that are part of the conversation that are and remain that are as relevant today as they were when they came out, and then there are some that haven’t been so successful and that’s why I have some dents in my armor, but both the good ones and the bad ones Part of life. “