Interview with Film, Television, and Theater Actor Matt K. Miller

Like many actors, Matt K. Miller had to wait eight years for his deleted scene in Gods and Generals to be seen by the general public. Though he appears for only a few moments, his performance, like all other roles in the film, are pieces to a giant puzzle, and really help to show how a film is made and edited. The case can be for any movie that you have seen both a theatrical and director’s cut of, because Miller’s scene (video below), as Union General Charles Griffin, fits right in the middle of the battle of Fredericksburg, as his soldiers, Ames’ and Chamberlain’s 20th Maine, prepare to march to the front.

Matt had actually contacted me with a question and to tell me he liked my site, and though I was not able to help him, he still agreed to do an interview with me. Aside from G & G, he has supplied the voice for characters in many cartoons and video games, including the Final Fantasy series, as well as the film Henry X, which was also released in 2003. Below is our interview (notice how I always have to ask about the facial hair, when relevant!):

GC: What did you do to prepare for your role as General Charles Griffin? Was your mustache real?

MM: To prepare, I researched General Charles Griffin and learned about his career in the military and his life.  Also, I went to a stable and rented a horse to refresh my riding skills. The mustache is real—they called about the film in August and told me not to shave or cut my hair until my shoot dates in November, so by the time I arrived on set, I looked like a homeless guy.  They shaved everything but the mustache, then dyed it all black.

GC: Can you describe your filming experiences and what it was like working for Ron Maxwell?

MM: Ron is a great guy to work with, very appreciative of actors and their process.  He made it a very comfortable and pleasant shoot, even with the challenges of the weather and all.

GC: After waiting eight years for your scene to go back into the cut, what was it like finally seeing it?

MM: Seeing my scene brought back a lot of memories.  And it was gratifying to finally see my work on screen.

GC: Did you have any interest in the Civil War before you appeared in this film?

MM: I had no more than a passing interest in the Civil War prior to shooting, however the Ken Burns documentary deeply affected me at the time of its premiere.

GC: Do you have any upcoming film or television projects?

MM: I do primarily theater now, so no TV or film projects pending.  But for any fans in the Northern California area, I appear regularly at the Sacramento Theatre Company, as well as other theaters in region.

I would like to thank Matt for taking the time to conduct this interview, and also wish him well in all of his future endeavors!

Shout-Outs from Two “Gods and Generals” Cast Members

When Ron Maxwell told me that the cast of Gods and Generals knew who I was, I guess he was not kidding around. This afternoon, I received two emails, almost back to back, from two cast members of the film, each telling me that they liked my site. The first, was Matt K. Miller, who portrayed Union General Charles Griffin, whose scene appears in the middle of the battle of Fredericksburg. Like many others, his was cut from the original theatrical version before it was restored in the newly released Extended Director’s Cut (you can view it here). The second shout-out comes from the most talked-about addition to the film, and that is Chris Conner and his performance as John Wilkes Booth. This was the email I received from him, and I must say, it was a pleasant surprise to find in my inbox after sitting outside baking in the sun during an uneventful yard sale this afternoon:

Hello Mr. Caggiano,

I was pointed in the direction of your blog and just wanted to say thanks for the shout-out. I thought my work as John Wilkes Booth would remain unseen. Glad you seemed to like it. I Enjoyed your blog.

Thanks Again,

Chris Conner

The shout-out on my part that he is referring to is the article I wrote on July 10, about his performance and the importance of his character to the new cut. For an opinion essay that was more spur-of-the-moment than planned, it seems that it has been the most widely read amongst the actors and crew-members I have talked to, including Maxwell himself, who told me personally that he enjoyed it. In addition to this nice email, Chris has agreed to let me interview him, and I will be emailing my questions shortly. I have also asked Matt for an interview, but depending on how busy he is, I cannot say whether or not it will happen.

It is the little things like this that keep us bloggers going. Sure, attending the premiere was a fantastic and once in a lifetime experience that I will be eternally grateful to all those that made it happen, but to actually get feedback on something we have written, by who it was actually written about, that is what we love. It looks like the Gods and Generals coverage just does not want to end here on this blog, and so I will continue to welcome all of these opportunities as they come along.

EDIT (7/21 @ 5:00 PM): Matt has also agreed to do an interview, and I will be sending him my questions shortly.