Matthew Lillard talks about his directorial debut with “Fat Kid Rules the World”

Matthew Lillard has appeared in over 70 films and is probably best known for his roles in Wes Cravens “Scream” and the live action “Scooby-Doo” films. Media Mikes had the chance to talk with Matthew about making his debut as a director with the film “Fat Kid Rules the World” which is an adaptation of the K.L. Going novel of the same name.

Adam Lawton: Can you give us a brief overview of the film?
Matthew Lillard: In the first few frames of the film the main character Troy Billings who is an obese teenager tries to jump in front of a bus. He ends up being saved by a punk rock guitar savant and the two start a band. The film is really about their journey as friends and them finding themselves.

AL: What drew you to the project?
ML: I was the kid who was lost in high school. I feel like 95% of the world feels like they don’t belong in whatever high school situation they are in. I felt like the story of Troy’sjourney depicted my experience in school. I think there are kids out there that need a movie like
this. The film is very honest and we just wanted to deliver that to those who need it.

AL: What was the hardest part of both directing and acting in the film?
ML: I actually cut my part out of the final frames of the film as it just didn’t work. Thestory is very fast and tidy and I felt my stuff really kind of lagged.

AL: How did Pearl Jam’s Matt McCready become involved with the scoring of the film?
ML: I had told my agents that I was directing a film and they asked me if I had anyone in mind to do the music. I told them no but the film was based in Seattle. They brought up Matt’s name and that he was looking for a film to score. He came on board and changed the quality of our film. He made a huge impact on our movie.

AL: What are the film’s release plans?
ML: The idea is that any one in America right now can go to www.tuggthefatkid.com and request a screening of our movie in their local theater. Once there are enough people to pre-buy tickets the screening will happen. It’s kind of a new way distributing independent films.

AL: You used Kickstarter.com to fundthe film. How did you become aware of that?
ML: I have had tons of friends that have used it in the past. It was a pretty amazing experience as we raised $158,000.00 in 31 days. It just helped propel the film as there is always the chance that an independent film can drift off in to oblivion. The support we have gotten from the community has really allowed us to find a new avenue to distribute this movie.

AL: What other projects are you working on right now?
ML: I just finished a film with Clint Eastwood titled “Trouble with the Curve” that comes out this fall. I also will be leaving soon for Australia to start work on “Nims Island 2”. I am always looking for films to do and hope to be doing another one in the next 6 months.

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