Stupid Stupid Man: articles

Matt's not-so-stupid move

AFTER a series of smart moves, including internationally acclaimed film roles and writing, directing and starring in an indie film festival winner, Matthew Newton is an unlikely pick for TV1's new series, Stupid Stupid Man, where the title seems applicable for every character.

But if there's one thing the seasoned showbiz hand says his experience has taught him, it's that "no one knows anything".

"I'm really looking forward to the show airing this week because I'm curious to see what everyone's going to think of it," Newton said. "I've learnt, in this industry, you never know what's going to be successful and what's not."

Stupid Stupid Man is set in the offices of lads' mag COQ, which, if you ask the journalists, stands for Chaps' Own Quarterly and is French for rooster it's just unlikely their readership knows that.

Newton plays COQ's feature writer, Nick, part of an editorial team grappling with high-minded notions of journalism and the reality of what sells in men's mags.

"Nick is the hedonistic, chauvinistic, just wants to have a good time all the time kinda guy, the kind of guy who thinks he can get away with anything, any time," Newton explained.

"It's the streak that made me, as a teenager, think I could just get away with wagging maths and go BMX riding instead, and that my mum wouldn't notice the mud all over me when I got home. That's the wonderful thing about men, we're so used to ruling the world we think we can get away with anything."

In fact, taking on a comedy role may seem like getting away with anything for the actor whose roles have, to date, been a lot more serious, including playing a prisoner of war in John Doyle's mini-series, Changi.

"I've always been fascinated by the idea of friendship and how far you go for your friends," Newton said.

"Particularly friendships between men, because there is this great dynamic between fierce loyalty and yet an underlying sense of competition probably part of what makes us all very stupid, stupid men."

Newton has been easing himself into the comedy genre of late, with two appearances on Network 10's Thank God You're Here, where his Stupid Stupid Man co-star Bob Franklin also recently starred.

"Working with Bob Franklin has been hugely rewarding. As an actor you feel safe when he's there I think I might even have a bit of a man-crush on him."

By Jenna Daroczy
November 14, 2006