False ME230 CR: My sister and I have two insecurities, which are pretty funny. You know how everyone has something? They’ll be like, “ I’m worried that I look too . . .,” and it’s always the same thing that they’re worried about. Whenever we go out, me and my sister always ask each other, “ Do I look butch?” and “ Do I look crazy?” [ Laughs] Those are the two things we’re both terrified of. We’re terrified that we look crazy, and then on other days that we look like boys. Q: Were you fans of Speed Racer? MF: I didn’t know Speed Racer at all. When the Wachowskis asked to meet with me, I guess they’re fans of Lost and they had an idea that I might be Racer X, and I went into the meeting never knowing anything about Speed Racer. I wanted to work with the Wachowskis. That meeting went great and I went home with a script, and I got the source material and watched a lot of Speed Racer, and the script blew me away and then I went after that role. I went back to L. A. and I really went after that role, I wanted it, and it took like six weeks. Working with the Wachowskis and the cast on this particular film, and what this film is going to be like, how much it’s a game- changer in my opinion, was an extraordinary experience, it was amazing. Q: Now that you know, does the film look anything like the old cartoon? MF: Oh yeah, they love the original source material. They grew up on it and they were huge fans, so there will be much homage paid to that. There are many, many things that will be in the movie; but then, they’re also creating an entire new world that only exists in the world of Speed Racer. CR: We saw 15 minutes of it. The brothers showed us 15 minutes, Q: How old is he? MF: Six, and he saw the trailer and I showed him the trailer and he asked me to play it over and over again until I just had to say, “ I’m not going to play it again.” He would’ve asked me to play it 50 times. And he came to the set in Berlin and he saw me in the Racer X and I watched on set and he turned to my wife and he goes, “ I want to be Racer X for Halloween next year.” Q: Tell us about your characters? MF: Certainly my character, Racer X is the sort of darkness of mystery. He’s this masked crusader. I just had so much fun with it. It’s just awesome. A big part of your job, particularly on a cartoon being turned into this whole world, is that you spend all of your time trying to figure out what that world that they’re creating in their two heads is, and you’re trying to crawl in that and you’re trying to bring that image of X, and that’s what I was doing, X, and this guy and this voice and this presence and this silhouette and find that guy within the backdrop of what they’re doing, which was just amazing. It was a really, really great experience. CR: [ Trixie]’ s a great role model character for girls because she’s smart, she’s funny and she does all the things the boys do. She kung fu fights, she drives a car, she races and she flies a helicopter, but she has a specific outfit that she wears when she flies the helicopter, and her lipstick always matches something she’s wearing. She gets to be everything. She’s celebrated as a girl and a woman, but she’s also not treated any differently than the male characters are. So, it was so much fun, in that respect. I like being dressed up and I like doing stunts. Q: Since you’re a role model for girls, what were your biggest insecurities growing up?
False ME231 CR: Yes. I had spent the entire year growing it out, of course, which is what always happens. And I kept calling my manager’s office and saying to them, “ Will you call and tell them that, if they’re going to make a wig for me, wink wink, they should probably get my measurements, or something, and start making it now.” Everyone was like, “ No, no, no, it’s going to be fine. They’re not going to do anything weird to your hair.” And then, of course, I got some drawings of what the costumes are going to look like, and there were drawings of what she was going to look like and, of course, it was a short hair- cut bob thing. So I just decided to embrace it and go with it. It was the Wachowskis. It’s Speed Racer. I can always ask for a wig on the second one. [ Laughs] You feel like, if you do it once, then you’re justified in saying, “ Okay, I did it, and I don’t want to anymore.” Q: Matthew, you’ve done three big movies since Lost started. Were you getting those kinds of offers off Party of Five? MF: I’ve definitely gotten better opportunities, or opportunities that I wanted to be a part of from the Lost experience than I did on Party of Five. There were opportunities during that time of my life but I also just really didn’t feel ready to take that on. I really look back on the six years I did on Party of Five as kind of like a graduate school for me. I had a lot to learn and I had a lot to figure out about how to act in film and I really wanted to focus on that. I also always had a feeling that for me, it’s a marathon, not a sprint. That’s the way I always approach this business and I always felt that I needed to get a little bit of life under my belt, that I felt that things would start to happen for me later when I was starting to get into a place where I was playing men, not young men. Then the Lost situation and then suddenly started getting opportunities that I was really attracted to and getting an opportunity to work with directors that I’m very excited to work with, so it’s been incredibly rewarding. It’s been a crazy couple years but it’s been good. and it’s just amazing. It looks like nothing you’ve ever seen before. All the driving stuff is really exciting and thrilling. And then, it has this emotional element that’s actually really quite moving. A lot of guys were crying at the end of the 15 minutes because there’s this real guy sad thing. [ Laughs] But, also, every character in it is a very specific, funny character. Mom is always going to have her apron on, and Sparky is going to always be Chaplin- esque and funny, and Mr. Royalton will always be evil. It’s just fun. Everything about the movie makes it feel like an event movie, so that’s exciting. Q: Matthew, with your movie career taking off, how big a deal is this one? MF: I never do any of these projects as a means to an end. They all are, I fall in love with the idea of being a part of them on an individual basis. I can tell you I am incredibly excited about Speed Racer. It was three and a half months in Berlin that was working with the Wachowskis and a cast that was like a family because we’re playing a family. It was an extraordinarily amazing experience for me. I really, really loved it. The movie is going to be just fantastic. Q: When you live somewhere exotic like Hawaii, do you still get excited about going somewhere like Berlin? MF: It’s amazing how quickly you can lose perspective. I’ve been living in Hawaii for three and a half years now, so Hawaii’s not really paradise anymore, man. Throwing snowballs on a mountaintop is now paradise. So yes, I enjoy getting off the island. It’s a beautiful place and I love it and my kids are very happy there. I think it’s been a very good place for us to be for the past three years. I was excited for a way of getting out of Los Angeles for a while. So it’s been a very welcome change for my family, but I don’t think it’s a place we’re going to stay after Lost is finished. Q: Christina, is your blonde hair for another film, or just a new look? Christina Ricci: For Speed Racer, it was cut into a very extreme bob, and it was black. Then I came home and wanted to grow it out, and felt like I just looked a little too . . . I don’t know. It just made me feel weird. So, I thought putting it back to brown might be better, and I softened it up a little bit because it was a little extreme. Q: Were you nervous at all to cut your hair so short?