Press Archive 2009


Interview with Matthew Goode and Nic Hoult – Wonderland November/December 2009


Based on the 1964 novel by Christopher Isherwood, A Single Man marks the screenwriting and directing debut of fashion icon, Tom Ford.  Having debuted earlier this year at the Venice Film Festival to a standing ovation, the film has continued to impress audiences during screening at the Toronto and London Film Festivals.

Joining lead actor, Colin Firth, on screen are fellow Brits Matthew Goode and Nicholas Hoult who discuss the film, Tom Ford and being British in LA.


Nicholas Hoult: The only time I saw Matthew was when we were getting our spray tans.

Matthew Goode: Which were more regular than we were expecting.  I got on a plane with Colin [Firth] and then literally the moment we arrived, got in the car together, went to the hotel and suddenly – it’s like ten thirty at night – we have to go to Colin’s room where we’re having our spray tans .  Colin Firth is in his pants, I’m in my pants and it stays that way for an hour whilst we wait for this stuff to set.  He’s fucking great.  I love Colin.

We [Nic’ and he] never had a scene together but we were there the whole time.  I was only really fitting in around these guys.  Nic had a damn sight more to do than I did.

NH: No I just did more.

MG: [Laughs] It was a really fun shoot. I mean, maybe I’m looking back with rose tinted spectacles, but …

NH: It was a good fun shoot. Everyone enjoyed it.  I remember the night in Venice after seeing it in front of all those people and just lying in bed thinking ‘that’s something I’m proud of’.

MG: It’s seriously impressive. You watch it and you care and, it doesn’t happen to me a lot, but I watched it and thought ‘I’m in something that doesn’t stink!’.  I’m proud of that.

NH:  That’s a nice feeling when you’ve done something and you can say ‘yeah, proud of that’.

MG:  Fucking hell – sorry to interrupt – but I was reading a magazine or a paper or something the other day and it said “A Single Man obviously being screened and whenever Nic Hoult was on screen there were gasps over his beauty” [laughs]. And I was thinking, fucking Hoult is going to LA and get so laid! [Laughs]. He is going to be turning bush away left right and centre!

NH:  It’s all down to the fake tan again.  That’s where the performance stems for me.

MG:  That is a review!

NH:  Nothing about the acting, right?

MG:  They didn’t review the film.  It just said “I saw it.  I’m going to be reviewing it at some point, but let me tell you there were gasps over Nick Hoult’s beauty!”


MG:  Tom is immediately interesting. If it’s all about someone’s cannon of work then most of the time you wouldn’t work with a first ime director, but if the script is good and you have a chat with them and they know which end is up and which is down, then great.

NH: I didn’t know who Tom was when I met him.

MG: Nick “fashion forward” Hoult!

NH:  I’d gone over to LA got off a plane and had dinner with him.  And I asked him how he’d got into directing and why he was doing this!

MG:  I love that.  Isn’t that great?  And that’s also like Tom.  He’s not the sort of person who is like, ‘well fuck you!’.

NH: He explained very humbly what he had done and I thought OK.  And then I looked him up after dinner and was ‘oh jesus!  He’s actually accomplished quite a lot’ so probably quite a stupid question, but he was very honest and modest and made a great director.

MG: It’s so good.  And so good for Colin.  And Julianne [Moore] is bloody great in it as well.  But the real star of it, it has to be said, is Tom. It silences immediately the people who were going ‘you self indulgent cunt.’  It’s like two massive fingers up to them as it is very, very accomplished.

NH:  It’s very personal to him as well.

MG:  Hugely personal as the main story sort of mirror images the relationship between him and Richard.  There’s a similar age gap.

NH:  He would always say my character is him when he was 18.  He’s connected to every character and he knows them.

MG:  And he wrote the screenplay and it’s starkly different from the book.

NH:  Matthew’s read the book, so –

MG:  That’s right!  I have. It is different.  I am always about the script, really.  But one of the really nice things about being involved is that it is a love poem to Tom’s partner, Richard.

NH:  Tom is very good in the sense that he is an actor’s director and knows what he wants you to do but is very giving to let you go off and explore things and try stuff out.  And you don’t feel too much pressure of failure.

MG:  That’s very true.

NH: ‘Cause the second you’re on set – especially when there’s only 20 days to shoot – to not feel the pressure, that’s a good atmosphere he created.  Something his assistant was saying the other day was that he’s very good at holding his hands up and would admit when he wasn’t sure what he was doing and kept everyone on side and made it a really great team effort.

MG:   I love it when someone’s like that.  It’s so far away from self indulgent as well when someone’s shooting into the 19th hour of the day and the ship isn’t sinking, but there’s a leak and it’s far better to say we do have a leak and I’m trying to sort it out rather than leaning on one side and saying everything is fine.  He is fucking great.


MG:  Colin was great.  I knew he was going to be good.  The moment I read the script, I was like, ‘this is something you haven’t done in a long time’ – just something he could really get his teeth into.   He’s such a subtle actor and it’s been a long time since I can remember him having something that central and serious.

NH:  It was a great moment when we went to the Venice Film Festival and got the message Colin was winning the best actor award.

MG:  I know.  The previous evening we had sat there and we knew it had gone down well because there was a NINE minute standing ovation.  And particularly when you’re not in the film as much as I am, then I feel like a fucking charlatan.  I stood there and am looking down and smiling and embarrassed.  Colin’s quite emotional and I tell you what – four minutes of a standing ovation gets a bit uncomfortable, but NINE?  ‘OK, Colin… fucking move. Let’s go. Let’s leave.’ And he couldn’t tell us that he had won and so he was being shy about it.

NH:  Yeah, he kept it very quiet.

MG:  The moment we found out and we were on the boat we were like ‘What the fuck?  You’ve won and you didn’t tell us!?  And he was like ‘ I know, I didn’t wanna.’  He was humble.

NH:  It was great.  It was a bit of an odd first day like you had in the sense that I had to strip off in front of Colin on my first day.  It sounds a bit seedy when I say ‘strip off in front of him’.

MG:  It does!

NH:  It’s part of the film, I swear!  And it’s handled a lot more tastefully that that might seem, but yeah it was a bit of an odd first day.

MG:  Everyone is going to say ‘oh it’s a gay movie’ which we then counteract with ‘no it’s not, it’s a film about love.’  But there is nudity and a bit of man kissing.  Frankly Colin kisses like a nymphomaniac on death row, but it was a real pleasure!

NH:  He’s got a lot of love!


MG:  She’s a fucking hero.  She’s lovely. I didn’t have any scenes with her. I mean I’m only in flashback, so all my stuff was with Colin.

NH:  All my stuff is with Colin as well.   The first time I met Julianne was in Venice.

MG:  Yeah, she was probably in the middle of juggling six projects or something, you know, she never stops working.  She came in and shot two scenes, which were about 20 odd minutes of the film, and they did that in two evenings so she was in and out.  I never got a chance to meet her until I was at some party in LA and she is just fantastic.  And she’s married to a guy called Bart Freadlich who is a director in his own right.

NH:  He’s a hero.

MG:  He is actually fabulous!  My girlfriend spent the whole evening calling him Bert instead of Bart and he was like ‘you know, actually I prefer Bert!  Don’t worry about it’.  He’s lovely. They could throw their weight around, but they are actually family people and live in New York – they’re kind of anti Hollywood.


MG: There are a lot of Brits and Aussies at the moment who are working.  I don’t know what that means.  But we never think of ourselves.  When you get off the plane and you’re in America they ask ‘what’s the best thing about being a movie star?’ I am a jobbing actor, they have no idea! They make it sound like I get 500 scripts and am sitting there going through them all. If something comes up and they are stupid enough to give it to us or you love the script and audition but someone of a huge stature can come in and take it like Brad Pitt. Or Judi [Dench] – we’ve been up against each other a couple of times.

NH: I’ve never lost out to Judi yet.

MG: Only in a drinking contest! The vicious alcoholic that she is!

NH: Sam Worthington was telling me when he was in LA someone asked him why there were so many Aussies over there doing so well and his response was that it’s an awful long way to go to fail and not give it your best shot, basically.

MG: Oh. I was expecting some sort of knob gag in there, but yeah.

NH: It’s very true. I just got back from LA and every TV series has an English guy in the lead. Joseph Fiennes, Matthew Reece [RHYS]

MG: We’re good. We’re quite good…

N H: I can’t say it’s the training, because I don’t have any.

MG: You’re doing well! You make people gasp! You complete cunt. I hate that!

NH: You’re coming across very eloquent.

MG: That’s very nice of you.  OK, who used to live with Ewan McGregor and Jude Law and he has a TV show? You’re right about that. Though it makes it sound like ‘Oh you’re English.  Have a TV show’.  I’m sure they all have about ten auditions.

NH: I had an interesting day recently when I was at a BBQ and Jimmy Page and Roger Daltrey were there.

MG: Wow!

NH: I sat there and was very quiet because I thought if I speak to them I’ll make a fool of myself so it’s best to keep out of the way and then they can’t have any bad thoughts although they probably didn’t know I was there.  But I knew they were there so it was a good BBQ for me.

MG: I’d love to learn guitar. It’s one of those things I’d love to do. Though it’s not like I don’t have the time…

NH: [Laughs]

MG: I’d like to know all the chords.

NH: It’s difficult to get the fingering right… That’s what she said.

MG: And back to Dame Judi!

NH: [Laughs]

MG: It depends if you have a high action or a low action in terms of the strings.  It hurts. You’ve got to build up the calluses. If you get a low action one that would be easier.

NH:  Are we still talking about women?

MG:  Yes! [Laughs] I remember Billy Crudup got the part in Almost Famous and he had lessons with Peter Frampton but had to have lessons on the side because Peter was like ‘you are fucking terrible’. But that’s one of the nice accidents of the job is you can get training in things. And random travel.

NH: I got to do archery.

MG: You did! That was The Weatherman!

NH: No, for Clash of the Titans. I didn’t use it once.

MG: Oh yes, it was the daughter in The Weatherman.

NH: Yeah man, keep up.

MG: Sorry mate. That’s how pretty you are. I confused you with the female lead.

NH: He’s seen all my work.

MG: I have! I’ve got to learn how to do it. You are a master.  I did a Spanish film and it was all in Spanish [!] – I learnt it phonetically. Jesus, that’s my only skill.  The major skill I picked up is I can pay my rent. The older you get the more you realize there are a lot of people who hate their jobs.  I’m so glad I’m not – ha!  Famous last words! – it does seem to be going OK for now.  But bringing it back to what do you like about acting – to be honest, everything.


MG:  I think there is an element that we’re just so happy to work.  Certainly as for getting into film it was such an accident because I hadn’t worked in front of a camera.  For a while it was like what is the secret code to working on screen?  I have no idea what it is… but even ten films in I’m still sitting here renting and not owning a house.  I think that keeps you grounded.  As opposed to some American actors who are on a hundred thousand dollars doing some TV.

NH:  You don’t get comfortable so you feel you’ve got to keep on striving.

MG: I think we’re overrated. [Laughs].  There is an element over there if you walk into a room of Americans that they’re suddenly like ‘oh fuck they’re British and we’re steeped in tradition.

NH:  It’s odd that Tom got so many English actors for the film – we’re both playing American.

MG:  And Julianne is playing English.

NH:  it’s good he trusts in us to pull of the American accents.

MG:  Yeah, I mean – idiot!  In fairness you’ve done it before and I have done it a couple of times.  But it is odd.   If you think who he probably could have had –

NH:  He probably could have done better than us!

MG:  I’m sure he could have convinced someone with a much higher stature.  I think it was just we were willing to work for free, effectively.  And that’s also what makes Britain great.  We want to work and we want to please the director and often at times, yes we might have strong thoughts on character and script, but we turn up and are like, this is your vision and you are the director and we know where we fit in. Certainly the Brits, I find, we want to be told what to do or how it’s going to work rather than, ‘I’m the fucking star!’ I tend to find we leave our ego at the door. We tend not to pussyfoot around. We all like a drink. We’re steeped in that tradition as well. There’s a certain forbidden thing in America if you drink you’re an alcoholic. No I’m not, and I generally wait until at least half past one.

NH: On weekends. Weekdays, 11.

MG: There is a reason pubs are opened at 11 and it’s because you are allowed to start drinking at that time. Otherwise, they wouldn’t do it! Christ, can you remember back to when – you might not remember, actually. I gasp at your beauty as I try to remember!

NH:[laughs] I’m never going to live this down!

MG:Do you remember when pubs shut on Sundays at, like, 1 for two or three hours? Maybe I’m showing my age now. That is fucking madness. There would be a riot now.

NH:  So basically, we haven’t found a conclusion to what makes Britain great…  You’re a big X Factor fan though, aren’t you?

MG:  My girlfriend loves it.  She’s got me into it.  I mean it’s fucking hilarious.  You literally sit there and you don’t know any of these people but the music comes up and they get selected and you can be in tears and so happy that these people have been selected for the live shows.  I really like the over 25’s this year.  They’re fucking great.

NH:  Matthew Goode on The X Factor!

MG:  ‘He’s very much into the over 25s and what is funny is they are all male’.  But it is great.  But then it’s such a machine.  There is such a turn around.  Sometimes the winner gets completely forgotten and they have no career and then, obviously, sometimes they go shooting up.  But it is great telly!  Saturday night, a couple of beers and The X Factor.


Scan – Natalie Fairchild ohnotheydidnt /Transcript – Britgirl.


Arena – April 2009









Matthew Goode On Set Interview – WATCHMEN – Collider – 16th February 2009


Matthew Goode: What do you want to know?

Question: Are you enjoying the hair?

Matthew Goode: I. . . kind of yeah! It gets you in the eye quiet a lot in way, but yes, I’m pretty happy with it. You enjoying the hair?

Q: Sometimes.

Matthew Goode: Yours takes more high maintenance then mine.

Q: You were hear doing a costume fitting today, is that the story?

Matthew Goode: No, we filmed something this morning, I was putting a cancer agent. . . think, whatever part of the story. That took five minutes and then I’m getting into the super suit thing for a test later on. If you’re around you’ll see me looking like an idiot

Q: In the book he has one of the more interesting outfits.

Matthew Goode: I know it’s slightly worrying. I definitely remember reading and when he said you’ve got it I was like, excellent this is great, and then I’m reading the book and going oh my god, I’m in a pair of pants seemably. But luckily they seem to be slightly cooler. I mean when we first came to LA, Patrick, I was in after him and I think I felt pretty good because Patrick came out and went “dude it’s fucking awesome,” and he sorta look quiet batman-y and I’m sorta in a similar thing. It’s more of a suit in just pants, I wouldn’t have the legs for it, it would ruin the whole effect, my skinny, pasty English legs.

Q: So of course we have to ask are you familiar with the comic?

Matthew Goode: You know, I wasn’t. I was from . . . I met someone who was involved with the cartoons, the Invincibles or whatever it was. . .

Q: You talking about the Pixar?

Matthew Goode: Yeah yeah yeah, my friends. What’s it called?

Q: The Incredibles?

Matthew Goode: The Incredibles! Yes, and so I knew that that was loosely based on novel, and I was told a bit about it, but I wasn’t into that area of comics and graphic novels so it was all very new to me. But apparently it is the best graphic novel ever written, according to Time Magazine. So when I did finally get around to reading it, it was so much more complicated, and adult and intelligent then I was expecting, so that was a pretty easy decision for me to go “fucking hell, if you want me I’m in.”

Q: What struck you as a strength, was it to political side of things? Was it the characters? What did you….

Matthew Goode: I think what was interesting, I’m not saying I have a very intelligent set of friends, but, I suppose I do. . . I don’t think it necessarily needs that huge amount of intelligence. We call discussed how. . . the politics and apathy and is it possible for a well to knight and religion, all that sort of thing and the only sort of answer is if we were attacked from another planet, if there was an outside force, then surely everything would have to come together, so I thought that was a really interesting concept with energy issues that we have now and . . . It’s incredibly relevant, I feel very proud that it was written by a Brit. So I think all of these things sort of jump out particularly quickly at you and I think the idea that you can have a lot of fun, it’s treading a very nice line between. . . don’t quote me on this, which is an interesting thing to say to you guys, is it’s almost a little bit camp, which is sorta news to me. It’s fun yet it actually has some sort of. . . and I don’t think anyone’s going to actually watch it and go, “well goddamn, this is relevant! We need to make changes.” But those comments will be made. Ultimately it’s fun

Q: That was something Zach was talking to us about right now, it’s sort of the things that are on the printed page are very serious when you see them playing out live, hey take on a little bit of a different tone and they strike you a little bit differently. How do you kind of walk that line between sort of playing it serious and having maybe the campier aspect and keeping it in control? How do you do that?

Matthew Goode: You’ve seen the hair? With difficulty, I think what’s funny to me on this show in particular is the fact that I’m in a particular, I mean I came right from “Brideshead Revisited,” which you can’t really get any more different, I mean I was in every day. I mean this looks sort of like I swan in fairly late and I do a couple of hours and deliver a sort of monologue and then I fuck off and play golf for a couple of weeks, which I love. But I mean it’s the same as anything, you learn your lines, you have a chat with Zach. And the movie’s bigger then anyone particular actor, character or anything and their all so into meshing and I think I’m sorta dealing with it as I go on really. The first day, I mean the very first day I’m standing there in this bright purple jacket, blonde hair and I’ve got women who work for me in my office wearing particularly little, and there’s 200 people standing around and I’m like “you want me here?” I mean it just work really, but god knows what it will look like but we have Zach who when he did 300 people were sort of watching the rushes going “what the fuck is this guy doing?” And ultimately they were like wow blown away so I know he’s a bit of a visionary and he’s got so much energy and in Zach we trust. Sort of thing really.

Q: One of the great things about the book is you can finish reading the book and you can argue with your friends about what Adrian was doing, was he right, was he wrong, was he coming from a good place. What’s sort of your take on his whole angle

Matthew Goode: Ah hum, yes. I mean, there is that, there is the big question on morality, blah blah blah, and we’ve seen it in films, I suppose, like ”Saving Private Ryan.” Saving the one with the possibility or more dying and with this it’s saving the world with, you know, it’s like 15 million people, or whatever that particular figure is, when, as a ratio compared to the rest of the world, when you put it into that kind of perspective it does seem like a good equation really. But obviously it’s a really horrific thing to do, 15 million people. I think it’s. . . the thing is it’s the line of insanity of war, is it absolutely, crystal clear, cold. . . I’m doing it that way and you can fucking deal with it, I couldn’t give a shit what you think. I tend to think that it’s because of his eating a ball of hash and suddenly being in love with Alexander the Great, is he metro-sexual, you know, all that sort of, all that kind of rubbish. At the end of the day I don’t want him to be maniacal in the slightest, I want him to be. . . We’ve still yet to film all that stuff, so Zach might come back and go “Yeah, he’s crazy!” So yeah, I think you want him to be as human as possible, and is cold and clear cut, and yet show some sort of remorse for what he’s done. I think that’s something we’ll see how that plays out. I mean we’ll pull a few different things and I’ll have a few eye twitches, and god no, try not to think that. . . Wing it, that’s my motto

Q: The scene this morning you were shooting the cancer agent which is not in the book, so is there some bulking up of Veidt’s character as far as what we actually see on the screen, because he’s not in the book a whole lot.

Matthew Goode: No, no.

Q: He’s always present.

Matthew Goode: I mean that’s always sort of my way, that suddenly you’re stuck with a lot of exposition, and exposition is fine, and certainly in the book when he’s talking to his Vietnamese work group, suddenly there’s that sort of 45 pages of la-da-da-da-da-da-da-da, and that’s quiet worrying to do because how the fuck am I going to do that without boring myself to death and make it interesting. So that’s been broken up as you’re obviously going to have to do with any adaptation, there is going to be putting it into a different sequence and making it more interesting. So there has been, I wouldn’t say bulking up, rather then Adrian just being “bang” at the end there’s been sequencing issues. Which I think has been done particularly well, I can see Deb nodding behind me so I think she’s in agreement. I know what she’s thinking, wrap it up, wrap it up, keep ruining the movie.

Q: You don’t ever play Adrian at your own age, right? You’re always playing older or younger, I’m assuming

Matthew Goode: That was one of the things, he’s meant to be in his forties with the rest, so there is one, obviously with the Watchmen in the 70s when it was first set up at Watchmen headquarters, that was sort of about my age. But he’s meant to be a particularly fine specimen of man. Suspend your disbelief. All though I don’t sort of play him at my age, it’s sort of meant to me that he’s a walking advert for Oil of Olay kind of thing. There hasn’t been too much, kind of, prosthetic stuff for me. Poor Jeffery on the other hand, he’s gone through the gambit, sitting in makeup for seven hours and getting a bit techie as one would do. Yeah, he goes from, like, 20 to 67. I tell you what, you’re going to love the opening of the movie, and I have to say, this is where I don’t think enough can be said for stunt men, stunt people whatever you want to say, but shit the bed, he gets the crap beaten out of him. I mean, thrown across room, busting through tables. ‘Cause in the book, it’s like “The Comedian’s Dead, bash, done.” Where as you really get to see why he’d dead in this one, and I think it’s a great opening to the film. And I just think the less I am involved with swinging punches the better because they make it look so good.

Q: But you do have some action scenes at the end.

Matthew Goode: With Karnac.

Q: So did you do training? Did you do training at all for the fights?

Matthew Goode: Do I look like I haven’t been? They’re going to give me super weak month’s course. No, they’re very, very busy with a lot of different sequences, so we were doing initial “Englishman-who-hasn’t-been-in-anything-apart-from-something-with-a-corset” kind of training. As you can see I’m still not very good. I think we’re going to get round to doing that in the next. . . you know when, it’s more around then, so I’ve got a little time off. So whenever they call me in I’ll be in my spandex and ready to go I suppose.

Q: You haven’t actually read the book, but is there any sort of super hero growing up that you ever wanted to play, did you ever want to do this where you found out now I’m doing a super hero, how am I doing?

Matthew Goode: No. I hate to shit on the question, it’s just not really. . .it wasn’t really my sort of thing. It nothing like I’m not enjoying this, but as far as sort of running around in a cape it’s never been really, and not really, my sort of thing. It’s not to say I didn’t chuckle and have a laugh when we’re all standing there with each other with our capes on, flexing our fake biceps

Q: You’re late coming, you said, in to this, you came on after they had been filming already? You came to the set after filming?

Matthew Goode: No, I came straight from doing another project, so you know, I finished that. My audition was actually on a toilet seat in my hotel. The casting director came up from London, which was very weird, and we hung one of the bed sheets up behind me and I did the audition and I never expected to get it and then suddenly I got it and I went straight to from there.

Q: Do you guys, the cast, do you guys sort of hang out, because the characters all have these pasts, so I was curious if you guys had hung out to get that sort of familiarity with each other to bring to the show?

Matthew Goode: I mean, not specifically before the project, and often time because of the long schedule and sort of the way it’s sequenced, we are not all hear at the same time, but when we are then we, you know, beers gotta be drunk. So we do go out and have fun together. That’s best though, I mean you want to be as friendly with the rest of the cast as you can possibly be. I wouldn’t say it’s different from ay other project, but yeah we do have a laugh.

Q: Are you looking forward to being an action figure?

Matthew Goode: It’s all slightly embarrassing really, but the action figure is actually in one of the shots, I’ve been staring at it, staring at myself, and I have to say it’s incredibly life-like. SO yeah, it’s done, dusted it’s enjoyable, I think it’s something I’d probably put in the shitter. But it’s there for people to enjoy when they come round to their house, or people might go “God you’re an asshole.” So yeah, whatever.