Interviews

Matthew MacCaull – Heart Felt

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By: Ruth Hill

 

While many people assume that I “eat, sleep, and breathe” Hallmark, I do have other interests outside that network’s incredible pool of actors, and those avocations led me to the prodigious work of Matthew MacCaull.  It is highly conceivable that viewers will identify him from last summer’s Disney blockbuster Tomorrowland and when I noticed that he was starring in the upcoming Ion Television Network premiere of Heart Felt, I contacted him and let’s just say I got more than I bargained for. While the focus of our chat was his upcoming film, I would vigorously caution Hearties to only read this interview if you are NOT concerned about potential spoilers for the upcoming season of “When Calls the Heart.”

What is it that inspired you to become an actor?

After I graduated from high school, I quite impetuously decided to travel to Europe. I left home with $600 and I ended up remaining in Europe for eight months. I found various odd jobs to support myself and I met some really cool people. As I met different kinds of people, I was led to the conclusion that people are not ostensibly good or bad–they just are people.  I have always been somewhat a student of anthropology and so when I returned to take classes at the university, I decided to try acting. After all, for me, acting is a marriage of art meets intense scrutiny of humanity.  Of course, I had to take Spanish class first so I could woo the ladies.

I noticed a small role in season 3 of “Cedar Cove” in your credits. Can you tell us more about that role?

The role of Dr. Chad was a very small role. I don’t even recall his particular part in that episode. I think they planned for it to be a recurring role, but for whatever reason–I don’t remember exactly why–they wrote the character out of the series.

What was it like working on Tomorrowland?

It was phenomenal. Getting the call to work on this film with George Clooney was a movement in the surreal. He didn’t act like a big star at all. In fact, he seemed genuinely impressed with my work and very pragmatic in his approach. Also, Brad Bird, the director/writer, was just astounding in his technique. Of course, Disney is a fantastic company to work for–definitely some of the best people on the planet. Furthermore, in recent years, with Bob Iger taking over the company Disney has returned to its family-oriented roots.

Tell us about your role in the Ion Network upcoming film Heart Felt.

It is a sweet, funny film about a young couple who is on the verge of getting engaged. However, on the night of a birthday party, someone from the past throws an iron into the works and my character loses the girl. Most of the film takes place a year later and we find the girl living in New Mexico and working as a real estate agent. My character happens to show up (he is the manager of a winery), and as a result of a misunderstanding, my character goes on a journey of self-discovery and a quest to regain what he lost.

Your director on this film, Jason Bourque, has worked on a wide variety of projects. Was this your first time working with him? He spoke very highly of you.

That’s because I have him trained well. [laughs] Two years ago was when I first met Jason. It was in conjunction with his film Black Fly and I was asked to audition.  Since it was a great, gritty, martial arts thriller, I was very excited. I really prepped for the audition–I didn’t even sleep. When I arrived to audition, however,  I discovered  that I was the only choice for the role.

As Jason and I discussed my role, he was very welcoming of all my ideas except for one. I was certain my character needed a mullet, but Jason said it was a bad idea. Of course, I didn’t listen, and I decided I was going to do it anyway. I got the extensions in my hair and I figured the worst thing that could happen would be that Jason would order me to take the extensions out.  Thankfully, when I showed up with the mullet, Jason agreed with me and that has the set the tone for our working relationship ever since.  We both bring our ideas and even when we argue, we work well together.

Of course, my character in Heart Felt is completely different from my character in Black Fly (who went on a murderous rampage).  I saw this as a great opportunity to do a comedy and when I had the chance to audition, I didn’t even know that Jason was associated with the film.  And since he and I work so well together, it was a genuine treat.

Is there anyone with whom you haven’t worked that you would like to one day?

When considering people I would like to work with, I gravitate towards those who match my pace and whose choices I like the most. It’s not about name recognition with me.  I still prefer those who choose to make different kinds of choices instead of the same ones as everyone else. So, I would choose to work with Cate Blanchett and Daniel Day-Lewis, both truly gifted actors.

I notice you are also a writer. Any plans to do more of that in the future?

I am currently writing, but I am not good at multitasking.  I like to focus on one thing at a time. When I am acting, I concentrate on that and writing takes a backseat for awhile.  But as you may have noticed, I am somewhat of a wordsmith, and I love grammar.

What do you like to do in your free time?

For sixteen years, I have been lifeguarding on the beach in Vancouver. I have always been a water person and I love the outdoors. So, when I am in between acting jobs and I have the time, I can call in and come in as-needed because of my seniority. But the best part is that I know I am making a difference. It is sobering to think that if I hadn’t been there on a particular day, someone could have died, but I saved that person’s life. It’s a way of giving back.

Any other upcoming projects you can tell us about?

It just so happens that I worked with Emmanuelle Vaugier on another film called Stranger in the House. Since it is a dark thriller, it is completely the opposite of Heart Felt. However, in both films, Emmanuelle is a lovely person to work with.

I am also joining the cast of “When Calls the Heart.” {I told you Hearties!} My character is Wade Barrett and he will appear about midway through the season. He moves into town, right next door to Miss Thatcher and he is a potential challenge to Mountie Jack’s (Daniel Lissing) claims on Elizabeth’s (Erin Krakow) affections.

And on that bit of exclusive news, our invigorating conversation drew to a close. I truly cannot tell you how highly I regard this notably gracious, exceptionally unpretentious and quite articulate gentleman. Matt is decidedly personable (even though I admitted I had never seen any of his works) and I look forward to seeing him in Heart Felt on Friday night, February 12 on the Ion Television Network. Additionally, I told him the Hearties would welcome him with open arms (though I warned him they probably wouldn’t like his character), and all I can say is please don’t let me down. Watch the movie if you can, but please follow him on twitter (http://twitter.com/matthewmaccaull) and get a jump on this season’s “When Calls the Heart.”

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