By Rachel Wilmans
Paul VI, did you know that we have a movie star among us? You know him as Matt Brown, president of the class of 2017 and co-editor of this paper, but he lives an entirely different life outside of school, building a career as an actor. Student by day and film star by night, Brown recently gave Panther Press a window into his life as an up-and-coming actor.
When asked how he became interested in acting, Brown said, “I have always been interested in performing. I’ve always liked entertaining people, but I never thought to act on that up until middle school.” He started out, as many aspiring actors do, with some small theater shows and took a few classes here in Virginia before entering high school. Through those experiences, he crossed paths with Michael, the man who would eventually become his manager but served a mentor first. Michael has worked with some high-profile clients in the past (he discovered Jessica Biel) and he helped Brown break into the acting industry. But more importantly, he worked a lot with Brown before officially taking him on as a client, building our young star’s self-confidence. According to Brown, Michael “really made me who I am today. I owe a lot to him.”
However, the road that Brown chose to take was not always smooth. He found that he had to overcome fear early on in order to follow his dream. He realized that “acting involves a lot of risk taking because you are putting yourself out there. You are exposing yourself and your emotions, and that can be very scary at times, but you’ve got to be fearless and take chances or else you won’t go very far.” Facing this fear calls for a lot of hard work and determination, and Brown has risen to the challenge to further his career as an actor.
Brown has worked on a variety of projects. He played the lead role of Josh Miller, a boy who fakes mental illness to get out of school, in Miller’s Syndrome and Benjamin Wolcott in Sweet Victory, a Revolutionary War film based on the real-life story of the Wolcott family’s involvement in the war.
From these early roles, Brown’s career has only skyrocketed. Two of his most recent projects are quite possibly his most impressive. One weekend during this school year, Brown went up to New York to film a commercial with Grammy-winning country music singer Keith Urban that advertises Urban’s “Player Guitar Series.” Filming occurred over the course of a day in a small studio in the flatiron district of New York. As a bonus, after using the product, Brown learned to play guitar. The commercial has aired on several channels, including the CW and the Home Shopping Network.
Just a few short weeks ago, Brown revealed his latest and greatest film: The Black Friday Games, a short parody of the Hunger Games. In the film, teens compete in the Black Friday Games to fight for the best deals or die trying. Brown plays Marble, one of the competitors from District One, whose Hunger Games counterpart is Marvel. Fans of the book and film series know that Marvel is one of the villains, and Marble is just as vicious, constantly battling with the other competitors. The violence involved was one of Brown’s biggest obstacles while filming; he was unintentionally stabbed twice during a stab scene and had a painful experience with cornstarch blood to the eye. However, despite the physical pain, Brown greatly enjoyed the project because of his co-stars. He became friends with many of the people he worked with and hopes to work with them again on another project. To top it all off, the premiere of the film included a screening and red carpet event. Brown describes the premiere experience as “stressful (laughs). Very stressful. I was really nervous at first, but once I was there with my friends I felt good again.” The Black Friday Games is available online if you want to see Brown in action.
If you see Matt in the halls, you might want to ask for an autograph, because, from what we can tell here at Panther Press, he is definitely going places!