Thursday, August 7, 2014

Spotlight On...Matthew Newton

Name: Matthew Newton

Hometown: Born in Melbourne, live in New York City. 

Education: Graduated from the National Institute Of Dramatic Art in Sydney. Trained with Austin Pendleton at the HB Studio in New York.

Favorite Credits: "Three Blind Mice" (film), "Underbelly" (TV), Rock N Roll (theater).

Why theater?: Theater is such an alive and present art form; visual, aural and visceral, occurring and unfolding in front of your eyes, breathing the same air as you.

Tell us about No On Asked Me: The play tells the story of three undocumented teenagers about to graduate high school while trying to get their immigration papers.

What inspired you to direct No On Asked Me?:
 Every year over 65,000 undocumented teenagers graduate from American high schools and face an uncertain future with savagely limited options. Although the issue of illegal immigration is shaded in grey it has black and white consequences for those directly touched by it; their entire existence is a living secret. ‘No One Asked Me’ is about the survival of those people and about others' willingness to help them survive.    

What kind of theater speaks to you? What or who inspires you as an artist?: I love watching human beings on stage struggling with what it is to live; falling down, getting back up again, maybe even triumphing. That really excites me. I love theater that reminds us our experiences are both utterly unique and completely universal. The people I'm working with on any given project always inspire me. I've come to believe over the last few years that everybody is connected, often in very different and sometimes hidden ways. I love the process of finding those connections and through them building relationships with each other and with the story that we're telling.

If you could work with anyone you've yet to work with, who would it be?: 
I’d say Jean Renoir, Jack Lemmon, John Cassavetes, Barbara Stanwyck and Spencer Tracy but that seems unlikely. It’s actually an endless and eclectic list; Quentin Tarantino, Martin Scorsese, Daniel Day-Lewis, Jason Bateman, Woody Allen, Amy Ryan, Christopher Guest, Stephen Rea, Alejandro González Iñárritu, Joan Allen, David Morse, Paul Thomas Anderson, Daniel Sullivan, Nathan Lane, Jon Favreau, Anna Kendrick, Mandy Patinkin, Edward Norton, Mike Nichols, Jack Black, Sean Penn, Paul Giamatti, Jim Norton, Jeff Bridges, you have to stop me or I'll go on...

What show have you recommended to your friends?: The Globe's production of Twelfth Night with Mark Rylance.

Who would play you in a movie about yourself and what would it be called?
: I would be the least qualified person to cast that movie.

What’s your biggest guilty pleasure?:
 These days my pleasure is all guilt free...although a love of 90s pop songs is not something I necessarily shout from the rooftops.

What’s the most played song on your iTunes?: Well the one about to finish right now is Frank Sinatra "Learnin The Blues" and it just changed to The Beatles "I Got A Feelin".

If you weren’t working in theater, you would be _____?:
 Probably not filling out the questionnaire!

What’s up next?: I'm about to make a film and then do another play.

For more on No One Asked Me, visit