DARKMATTERS - The Mind of Matt

You met me at a very strange time in my life...

Friday, July 29, 2005

Matt Adcock meets Herbie...


"Brrmmm - that taser gun really hurt!!"

Matt Adcock meets HERBIE

Herbie, the free-wheelin’ Volkswagen bug with a mind of his own, was one of the biggest stars of the Seventies. Now he's making a comebacks, returning to the big screen in Herbie: Fully Loaded. The film co-stars the rather delicious Lindsay Lohan and finds she and Herbie teaming up to do a little race-car driving. In his first interview in 25 years, the famously reclusive Herbie talks about why he went into retirement, why he’s back and what he thought of his curvy co-star...

Herbie. Can you tell me something about the plot of your new film, Herbie: Fully Loaded?
A. Yes. I think I bring a mixture of comedy, action, and romance to any part I play. In the film, I try to help a recent college graduate—played by Lindsay Lohan—achieve her dreams of becoming a Nascar driver.

Of course, this isn’t your first film. Will you tell younger filmgoers about the last time you were up on the big screen.
A. I got my first starring role in the original Love Bug movie back in 1968. I was just a kid then. I’ve done four feature films total. I’d tell the kids to go out and buy the newly released box set of movies to see some of my earlier work. Whether it was foiling a jewelry heist in Herbie Goes To Monte Carol or saving an old lady from greedy real estate developers in Herbie Rides Again, in all of my films I’ve tried to help people in one way or another.

It’s been a long time since that film. Why did you turn your back on Hollywood?
A. I love acting, but after my last feature in 1980, I really needed to put the brakes on for a little while. Those were crazy days in Hollywood. My schedule was so hectic, I was going through two or three quarts of oil a week to keep up with the pace. My mechanics were worried I was going to blow a tire and spin out of control.

You must have got a lot of offers in the intervening years?
A. My agents certainly weren’t happy with the decision to take some time off. I was offered everything from a crime-fighting TV series with David Hasselhoff to some time travel movie starring Michael J. Fox. I have no regrets though.

And what did you do during your retirement?
A. I really kept a low profile during my self-imposed hiatus. But I wasn’t just spinning my wheels. I did the normal everyday things I never got to experience when I was in the spotlight: spent a lot of time reading (Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, On The Road, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance), cleaning my garage, and watching lots of VH1. I’ll come right out and answer the big question everyone has been wondering: Yes, I did have some work done. Some body work here and there kept me looking young. And with the changing emissions standards, I also needed improvements under the hood.

So why come back now? Was Disney very persuasive? Was there something special about this script or your co-stars?
A. Around the time I was starting to get bored, I ran into Disney’s Motion Picture Group topper Nina Jacobson in the supermarket parking lot one day. She pitched me the idea, and I read the script and loved it. Plus I needed the money. It’s not cheap to keep looking this good. I thought if Travolta could make a comeback, why not me?

Can you tell us a little bit more about your co-star in Herbie: Fully Loaded, Lindsay Lohan. She’s become quite a Hollywood “It” girl, hasn’t she?
A. I’ve been a huge fan of Lindsay’s ever since I saw Parent Trap at the drive-in a few years ago. I thought the idea of combining the biggest star of the 1960s and 70s with one of today’s most talented leading young ladies, would make for an irresistible hit.

Do you think she was intimidated to be working with you? How did you break the ice?
A. Frankly, I think I was more nervous to be working with her. Lindsay’s a total pro. I hadn’t been on a movie set in a long time. Plus, I’m no spring chicken anymore. Memorizing that script wasn’t easy. On the first day of shooting, I accidentally ran out of gas. Totally embarrassing! But Lindsay brought me an air freshener, and that really put us at ease.

Lindsay has a love interest in this film? How about you?
A. I don’t want to give away any big secrets, but let’s just say it’s hard to imagine a car as sleek and well-built as me not having a love interest.

Which other actors inspire you?
A. I was inspired to work with Michael Keaton. I’ve been a huge fan of his ever since Gung Ho. Other than that, the actors you’d expect help keep my engine revving: The Mystery Machine Van from Scooby Doo, the Batmobile, and the Ferrari from Magnum PI.

There are a lot of action scenes in the movie and a lot of stunts. Do you do your own stunts or do you have a double for those scenes?
A. I do my own stunts, although sometimes I prefer them to use a body double for shots of my bumper.

Any thoughts on a sequel?
A. Since I had such a great time, I really hope I get the opportunity to do a follow-up to Fully Loaded. I just hope Disney is saving their money, because my sequel salary isn’t going to be cheap.



"Linsay Lohan... Herbie's new driver, love bug indeed?"

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