Matthew Lillard on Today's Different Hollywood
By ROBERT PACE
July 12, 2012
Matthew Lillard has been in the thick of Hollywood since the '90s, starring in films from Scream to Scooby Doo. However, as Lillard discovered when attempting to find a distributor for Fat Kid Rules the World (director, producer, actor), the film industry isn't what it used to be.
"People in our industry used to make lots of money; we don't anymore, and that's the truth," Lillard said to The Insider's Kevin Frazier. "I think that people have to talk about it. If people aren't talking about it...then we're all trying to hold on to this thing that we used to have and the reality is: it's not what it used to be [and] we need to roll up our sleeves and get to work."
Due to the change in the industry, his quest to find a mainstream distributor for Fat Kid was unfruitful. However, Lillard claims that his experience in connecting with the public to help fund the film was more fulfilling than if he had originally found a distributor.
"To me, as an artist, it just validates your entire journey," he said of the public's backing of the film, which provided sufficient funding. "When you are taking creative control of your direction and you're telling a story as a filmmaker, it's so much more rewarding."
The 42-year-old actor maintains that Fat Kid is a special project for him because he believes in its message. The film is based on a book of the same name written by KL Going that is centered upon an obese teenager who journeys from nearly committing suicide to forming a rock back that changes his life.
Lillard revealed that he had an emotional connection with the book's story, and found himself in tears when he had just started the book. Inspired by the story, he then called Going and told her that he wanted to make a film based on the book. Ten years later, it finally came to fruition.
Although Hollywood is known for its candy-coated stories, Lillard said that it was important to him and viewers that he preserve the true story and display a real story without the typical Hollywood ending.
"We're representing real kids in real situations," he said. "So, kids like it. It's funny; it's got a message, but it's not hitting you over the head. Parents like it because it's got something to say in a positive way and they can relate to it and it's funny."
After praising his film and its message, Lillard joked, "So, basically, it's the greatest movie ever made!"
For more information on how you can view Fat Kid Rules the World, click here.