Why is Matt Dillon losing his leading-man roles?

After getting nominated for an Oscar for his role in “Crash,” it seemed like the Mamaroneck native’s career was turning a corner. Out were the oversized Pat Healy chompers from “There’s Something About Mary”, in was brooding Bukowski barfly from “Factotum.” Which is to say, Dillon finally the cred to headline a few indies.

But then came “Herbie Fully Loaded” and then “You, Me, and Dupree” (or as they say in Portugal, “Eu, Tu e o Emplastro”), and — well, things weren’t looking good.


But I had high hopes for the next two Dillon flicks in the queue: “Tetro” and “Cadillac Records.” (“Old Dogs”– eh, not so much.) Only now, the Hollywood Reporter has gotten word that Dillon has lost his leading roles in “Tetro” (he’ll be replaced with Vincent Gallo). What’s more, as Variety reported earlier this year, his role in “Cadillac,” as blues/R&B legend Leonard Chess, is going to Adrian Brody.

It’s been a rough  2008 so far for Matt. Hmm, maybe reviving his “Crash” character for the TV-series adaptation wouldn’t sound so bad after all.

(AP Photo/Alvaro Barrientos)

Matt Dillon finally getting over his ‘Herbie Fully Loaded’ phase


One of the things that’s always perplexed me about Matt Dillon is how, after getting nominated for an Oscar in “Crash,” he managed to blow the best hand in his career by going on to star in “You, Me, and Dupree” and “Factotum.” Now, at last, it appears that the Mamaroneck native is finally cashing in in his cache with a few quality parts.

The first is “Cadillac Records,” where he’ll play Leonard Chess, the legendary founder of the South Side Chicago blues label Chess Records. Filming will begin on the film in January in Jersey. If you’re wondering why it isn’t called, say, “Chess Records,” one of the things that made Chess famous was how he would sell records for his up-and-coming artists (among the folks he discovered: Muddy Waters, Etta James, Chuck Berry) out of the back of his Cadillac. [Hollywood Reporter]

After that, he’s signed on to do two crime dramas, “Armored” and “Bone Deep.” In the first, he’ll play one of two armored car guards plotting to steal $10 mil out of his own truck. And in the second, he’ll play an L.A. Detective who intercepts a a group of bank robbers in the middle of a $20 million heist. [Hollywood Reporter]

Most exciting of all is “Nothing But the Truth,” the movie that Dillon is currently filming with Kate Beckinsale right now in Memphis. The plot on IMDB says it’s about “a female reporter [who] faces a possible jail sentence for outing a CIA agent and refusing to reveal her source,” which of course sounds a whole lot like the Judith Miller-Valerie Plame affair. In the credits, though, it isn’t stated which role Dillon plays. Call me crazy, but I’d love to see him take on the Karl Rove part. Nobody can play sleazy quite like Dillon. [MSNBC]

(Dillon receiving the Donosti Award in recognition of his cinematic career at the San Sebastian film festival in September: AP Photo/Alvaro Barrientos)