Who’s a fan of the Netflix series Godless? How about the hit CBS show Bluebloods? You may recognize my friend Matthew Dennis Lewis from those projects or a host of other roles he’s played. Matthew is not only an accomplished actor, he’s a writer and a producer as well. I was recently introduced to his latest project, ‘Sins Unveiled’ by a mutual friend of ours and became so fascinated by the concept, I decided to jump in and help produce it! When we began discussing the film, who was involved, and Matthew’s passion for it, I immediately felt it would be perfect to ask him a few questions we could share with all of you.
As many of you know, entertainment has changed so much in recent years, which means we get so many more choices and passionate people can bring you their projects. But, as we also know, these projects aren’t easy to create and artists need all the help they can get. “Sins Unveiled” is a horror/thriller written and starring Matthew, co-directed by Joe Laporte and David Liehn. They are crowdfunding to help to cover all crew, wardrobe, and catering plus all union, locations, and insurance fees to begin production. Any amount helps, from one dollar, or whatever you can afford. There are also some great perks on their Seed&Spark page.
Besides the fact that Matthew is involved and wrote it and our mutual friend is someone I value and trust, their Inclusion Statement really put it over the top for me:
On screen, the film strongly represents the LGBTQ community in how prejudice and its ignorance can be damaging. Also, we have an awesome and diverse crew and backgrounds such as Latino, Asian, and Military Veterans as well.
As you all know, I am producer on ‘Eastsiders’ season three and four and can even be seen in some of the upcoming season four scenes. I look for projects that speak to me, that tell stories that need to be told about people who need to be seen. I believe art can both educate and entertain, and I believe ‘Sins Unveiled does all of that.
That’s enough from me for now (I’ll be sure to post more about it all in the coming days/weeks/months), I really want to share the interview with Matthew, I loved his responses and I know you will find him as interesting and charming as I did.
Q: You are a native New Yorker, just like me! I’ve also been feeling the call of LA for a while now. Do you miss New York? What about it specifically?
Matthew Dennis Lewis: I do miss New York and everyone wants you to always pick which is better, Cali or New York. The truth is that you can’t compare them. First of all I grew up in a very rural part of New York, then lived in NYC for 6 years before moving to Los Angeles. So I had the chance to see two completely different versions of New York. Neither of those are comparable to Los Angeles. I love each of those three places for different reason because of who I was at those times in my life. The think I miss most is my family because they all still live there.
Q: Did you always know you wanted to act? What other fields were you interested in as a kid and through school?
Matthew Dennis Lewis: I always liked to idea of acting but never thought it was something you could actually do. We didn’t have many opportunities for it where I grew up so it wasn’t until I moved to NYC that I was able to actively pursue it and discovered that I knew acting was what I wanted to do. I would have gone to college for marine biology or kinesiology if acting didn’t work out.
Q: I really enjoyed ‘Godless’ on Netflix. What were some of the highlights of working on that? Since it was a period piece taking place in the 1880s, what were some of the challenges?
Matthew Dennis Lewis: Well I wanted to keep my horse, Butterscotch. I loved him and he was my ride or die… literally… I did all of my own riding and some of those gallops across the fields were epic! Other highlights would be working alongside Jeff Daniels which in itself was a masterclass in acting. The man is a legend. Then there was this time we may or may not have crashed a wedding at our hotel with Michelle Dockery… luckily for us it just so happened that the bride was a huge ‘Downton Abbey’ fan so it made her wedding night extra special.
I didn’t find any challenges as far as it being a period piece. Our costuming was so authentic, our sets were beyond amazing, then add that to Scott Frank’s brilliant writing and it would have been hard not to fully assimilate into the ‘Godless’ world.
Q: What was it like to work on ‘Blue Bloods’? I feel like that is the ultimate gig for a native New Yorker!
Matthew Dennis Lewis: There was something very magical about flying back to NYC to film ‘Blue Bloods’. It felt like a right of passage to return to the place that forged my path to acting. Plus, people on the east coast are obsessed with ‘Blue Bloods’ and I’ve never had so many people that excited for me to be on a show before.
Q: 2019 has been a busy year for you so far and it’s not even halfway done yet. ‘I am the Night’, in which you were a co-star, aired in February on TNT. What was that experience like?
Matthew Dennis Lewis: I am grateful for the way 2019 is playing out for me. ‘I am the Night’ kicked off the year in a perfect way. It was great company to be working with. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to meet Chris Pine which a lot of my friends were sad about, but driving that vintage police cruiser was pretty awesome.
Q: You also filmed/are filming a feature film ‘Dog Company’, can you tell us anything about that or is it too soon to talk about?
Matthew Dennis Lewis: Yes, I did finish filming that earlier this year. Playing an army ranger is one of those bucket list things you just want to do as an actor. The film was physically intense and a blast to film. Not a lot has been released on the film yet, but I can tell you that it is a World War II drama.
Q: You must be so excited about your latest project, co-producing ‘Sins Unveiled’, written by you. Can you tell us a little about the story and why you are so passionate about it?
Matthew Dennis Lewis: We are very excited! I’ll start with the passion part. Myself and the team behind ‘Sins Unveiled’ as a collective have several projects at various stages of development that touch base on everyday topics that still cause issues in today’s society. It’s sadly fascinating that in the year 2019 people are still persecuted for their beliefs, religion, ethnic background and in the case of ‘Sins Unveiled’, their sexuality. The story stems from the ignorance and fear of homosexuality in a small town setting.
Q: Where can people find out more about ‘Sins Unveiled’?
Matthew Dennis Lewis: We just finished setting up the facebook and instagram accounts and you can also look it up on the Seed & Spark campaign page for updates.
Q: What is one thing you absolutely cannot live without and one thing you wish we could all live without?
Matthew Dennis Lewis: One thing I cannot live without is nature. I always need to find even the littlest escapes to recharge my soul. It must be my country boy roots. One thing I wish we could all live without is hated in general. It is so easy to be pleasant and nice it’s a waste of energy not to be.
Q: Where can people find out more about you online and keep up with all you have going on/coming up?
Q: What’s coming up next for Matthew Dennis Lewis, in addition to ‘Sins Unveiled’?
Matthew Dennis Lewis: I can’t say much but there are some things in the works, so keep an eye out!
I love an actor who knows how to leave us with a little mystery and wanting more. I would like to invite Matthew back to discuss his future projects whenever he wants to, and for now, I encourage all of you to visit the crowdfunding page for ‘Sins Unveiled’ to help in any way you can. Be sure to follow both Matthew and the film on all of their social channels to keep up with everything going on.