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Matchstick Men in our magazines

THE MOVIE: Matchstick Men

Nicolas Cage • Sam Rockwell • Alison Lohman
DIRECTOR: Ridley Scott

Nicolas Cage  and Sam Rockwell in Warner Bros. Matchstick Men THE CONCEPT:
Roy (Cage) and Frank (Rockwell) are small-time con artists. Matchstick Men. The scam business is going well, but Roy’s private life is not so successful. The obsessive-compulsive chain-smoker suddenly discovers he has a 14-year-old daughter, Angela (Lohman), who is fascinated by her father’s questionable career.

U.S. RELEASE: September 12 2003, Nationwide
• Rated: PG-13


“When I first read this script I was fully engaged, and as I was reading I started to think of the characters and actors, and I thought of Nic Cage. I hadn’t worked with Nic before, and I find him one of the true chameleons, because most people tend to do the same thing all the time. Nic does all kinds of characters.”

“Roy is a lonely man, resigned to his career as a con man. He’s been divorced 14 years and hasn’t connected with anyone romantically since then. He just goes about his daily routine, running scams, ripping off older people, couples who are least expecting it and probably other lonely people like himself. He feel pretty guilty about that, and in a lot of ways that fuels his neuroses.”

“I didn’t do a lot of preparation for this, but I did talk to a cop who has arrested some of these con artists, and he gave me a video of an ex-con artist reenacting some of his phone scams, and it was really interesting what the guy did. He was actually very obnoxious and his tone of voice was very much like a game show host. But I guess there’s an optimism in that quality, so I copied that in the beginning of the film.”

“This role really needed to feel 14 in every way possible, so I hung out with my 14 year old cousin for a month. I wanted to make sure that I captured her spirit.”

“Nic and I were just laughing all the time. Nic is really well prepared, he knows his lines, he comes in and he knows what he’s doing, he doesn’t mess around. But he likes to play, he wants somebody to bring something to him, he likes surprises, he likes to color outside the lines. He likes to be off-balance a little bit and that’s what makes him a special actor.”

“I’m not a manipulator as Angela is; she’s always two steps ahead of everybody else. I think I’m a little bit more candid, and what you see is what you get. I don’t have an agenda.”

“I’ve never been conned, but in New York City you bump into a lot of shady people. There are always people coming up to you trying to scam something, so you get city-wise pretty fast.”

“These guys consider themselves con artists, not con men or criminals, especially Roy, who regards his talent as nothing short of artistry.”

Written by Judy Sloane. Back to top

Visit the official Matchstick Men site
Images above © Warner Brothers
Feature © 2003 Visual Imagination.
Not for reproduction.

Film Review, #635, September 2003 cover

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