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Matt Salinger

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Matt Salinger

Matt Salinger

Matt Salinger portrayed Steve Rogers/Captain America in Captain America.

Significant roles

  • Danny Burke in Revenge of the Nerds (1984)
  • Dr. Danny Shreve in Picket Fences (1993)
  • Mike Chulack in Second Chences (1993-1994)
  • Mark Kanarin in 24 (2004-2005)

Quotes

  • "It was just another audition. I had met with the director before and he offered me something that I had passed on. But I was a Captain America fan from the time I was nine, so when I heard about this I got very excited. I had mixed feelings about the company, but the director really persuaded me, and I think he really was trying to do the right thing; he just wasn't supported by the company. That was that Menahem Golan guy who ran 21st Century Films. Menahem wanted to make a terrific film, but he was depending on other films he had doing well to finance him and we never actually even finished shooting the script as written. We were supposed to go to Alaska and we were supposed to have another week of pick-ups. And things we didn't get in Yugoslavia, we were supposed to pick up in L.A. and we just ran out of money and Menahem sort of had his people paste it together. Ultimately, it was a really disappointing experience, but I had a gas for a while. It was fun to play Captain America. I mean, he was always my favorite of the super heroes; well I called them extra-human rather than super human."
  • "I had read a lot growing up, but when I read them it was CAPTAIN AMERICA AND THE FALCON. Remember the Falcon? I actually think they should have spun that, that would have been even better. Stan Lee was around a couple of times, he came to Yugoslavia and he was just great. Really, really cool guy and really seemed to get what we were going for. They picked me instead of somebody...I know they talked to Howie Long and they talked to some, you know, square-jawed, huge-type guys, but they wanted to humanize him. I think that's one of the really cool things about Steve Rogers. He was this infirm kid who had a big heart and he wanted to help out and finally he was given the chance, but he had insecurities. He was very human. You know, he wasn't bullet-proof—as we subsequently learned, right? And I was attracted to the idea of a super hero who was very human at the same time. I know I wrote to Stan Lee once when it became clear that the company was kind of closing down production. I wasn't sure what kind of rights or power he had, but I urged him to do what he could with Menahem to at least finish the script as it was written, but if he did try, he didn't succeed. I'm glad, frankly, that now [Marvel movies are] more mainstream and the studios are making them. They might not require $100 million, but they do require $40-$50 million to make and I think the budget was $3 million when we did ours. I never had that confirmed."
  • "The movie process and what they did with it...what they didn't do with it ,was disappointing to me and I took that quite personally at the time and it was hugely disappointing. I'm not even thinking in terms of my career, but it was this opportunity to play this guy that I loved. I wanted to see him supported and shown up to his very best."
  • "It has [become a cult]?! That's news to me. Kids under 9 love it. I was not aware of that. I mean yeah, not a week goes by that I don't have an autograph request. I'm not out there and I don't have a publicist and I'm hard to track down, but people do. I still have a stack of photos. I always write, "Here's to what's heroic in us all." But I was not aware of that. I've never gone to the comic book conventions because I've never been asked and I don't know where they are. I'm not in that world, so I don't know. But on the street, yeah sure, I often get that. It's funny, you know. For years when I was acting, people would look at me funny and they would think they went to high school with me and they would think I knew their brother or their sister and then when I got more leading roles and I had my own series and stuff on TV, I'd get, "Oh, you're that guy that did such and such." and then with Captain America, "Oh! You're Steve Rogers!" And then it sort of reverted to—after I stopped acting or just acting a little—then it reverted to, "Did we go to high school together? You look familiar." Now it's pretty rare, but every once in a while. I was in the subway the other day and this transit cop came up to me and asked about this movie "Power" I did with Richard Gere and Gene Hackman and he said he saw me in a bunch of other movies. He knew practically my whole resume. It was bizarre. In Captain America, too, not many people saw it and when they did, mostly the kids saw it and he was in uniform for a lot of it. I don't get that one a lot."
  • "Well, that's why I'm doing this, because it looked awesome. It looks great. Some of it's weird—it's almost like having déjà vu. I don't know what the storyline is, but the character goes through some similar things, so it's pretty cool. It looks like what we had hoped ours would look like."
  • "I had heard when they were beginning to make it and I had actually written a note to the director—because I'm just sort of acting for fun these days – thinking it would be cool to sort of tip my hat, in a way, to the production by, whatever: sweeping the floor as someone runs by or who knows what. Ideally there would have been a character that sort of helps Captain America in some way—that would have been fun. I heard from the casting director that they were shooting in England and if there were anything when they got back to the States they'd be in touch. I didn't push the matter."
  • "There was some initial hype; in movie theaters there were posters of the shield. I think [director] Albert [Pyun] and the team he put together could probably have done a very good movie. I thought the script was terrific; I thought it was a really nice script. I auditioned for it and was offered it and actually turned it down the first time because I wasn't sure 20th Century Films had the wherewithal—actually, my lawyer warned me—to do what they needed to do: to give it the exciting ride that it needed to be to accompany the very nice story. Then they said what they needed to say to get me to do it, but then it didn't really live up to it."
  • "In filming, there were a lot of shots that the director was saying, "Oh, well, we'll get this when we go to Alaska." Or, "We'll get this when we go back to the states." Then, when we finished up in Yugoslavia...I don't remember how I got the word, but, suddenly we weren't even going to go to Alaska. And the shots back in the states turned out to be two days of pickups. They just ran out of money—it was a lot of well-intentioned people that loved the story and loved the character and wanted to make a good film and just weren't able to."
  • "Yeah. I thought it would. I knew it was a chance... When I got the part and agreed to do it, James Spader was over at our house for dinner and he started chasing me around the room with a towel over his shoulders. He was excited and it was an exciting thing...and it just didn't work. I didn't know what the special effects were—or were not. I wasn't very sophisticated about that at that point."
  • "There's not a lot of gray area there with The Red Skull. I think, frankly, [Albert] was more interested with The Red Skull than he was Captain America; so The Red Skull's background was really important to Albert. By killing all of the American heroes, they certainly made him a villain, that's for sure."
  • "I lost 20 pounds. It's latex and it's foam and it's hot as hell. I would take off my boots at lunch and I would have half an inch of sweat at the bottom. My whole body would be sweating and have nowhere to go. It was brutal. But that was part of the fun of it, too. The same people in England made the Batman costume."
  • "Luckily I was very good at throwing Frisbees, so, when I had to throw the shield, I could do it pretty well."

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