Los Angeles and Derry are worlds apart but to Donegal born actor Jason Matthewson they are just as familiar.
Jason, who is originally from Rathmullan in Co. Donegal, lived worked and studied in Derry for many years before realising his dream by becoming a professional actor. Next month, his latest movie ‘Black Ice’ will go on general release.
“I learned so much about acting by taking part in performances in the Playhouse Theatre, Waterside Theatre and the Millennium Forum in Derry. I haven’t forgotten about where I came from,” smiled Jason.
Black Ice is the third feature ﬁlm from Irish Director/Producer Johnny Gogan.
The movie, which is set in Donegal and Tyrone, tells the story of what happens when a girl called Alice returns home to attend the funeral of her brother and his girlfriend who were killed in a car accident. After the funeral, Alice attempts to track down Jimmy, who many believe was responsible for the accident but instead of finding closure she is seduced by the life of a borderland road racer.
“‘Black Ice’ was so much fun to work on,” said Jason happily.
“I had a blast ﬁlming this and working with a hugely talented cast and crew.
“Directed by Johnny Gogan and produced by Trevor Curran and Nicky Gogan it’s based on a screenplay by Johnny Gogan and Brian Leyden. We shot the ﬁlm primarily around the Sligo and Leitrim area. “The movie is based mostly in my native Donegal which was a nice change to not have an accent to worry about,” he laughed.
“The production set up base in the small town of Drumahare Leitrim where we stayed through out the duration of ﬁlming the movie.
“The local people of there couldn’t have been more welcoming and friendly and it
was a pleasure to be there,” he added.
Jason, who now spends his time between projects in London and Los Angeles, has high hopes for not just ‘Black Ice’ but his career in general.
“I will be acting in a few movies over the next few years - I can’t really say too much about them at the minute but it’s safe to say that both movies have big Hollywood names attached to them. One of the movies, in my opinion has Oscar written all over it.
“I have a few ﬁlms lined up for the coming year in both London (Blacklits) and Hawaii (Nor the Moon By Night) unfortunately due to conﬁdentiality agreements and contracts I can’t say very much about these.”
Seven years ago, Jason decided he wanted to take a step back from his stage performances to concentrate on his film and television career.
“It was one of the best decisions I could have made and since securing representation in both London and Los Angeles I spend my time between the two places depending on the work.
“Since I started to concentrate on my movie and television career I have worked on various movie and television projects as Spiderman and various television series for BBC, RTE and TV3.”
He added: “My hopes and ambitions are to continue to work on quality projects that I can be proud of and to continue to contribute to television and cinema in the best way I can.
“I’m not naive enough to think that making movies is by any stretch of the imagination the most important job in the world nor does it even come close but I do believe that in today’s world going to the movies for that 90 minutes can help you get away from everything and relax.”
It’s hoped that ‘Black Ice’ will receive its North West premiere in either Letterkenny or Sligo and Jason said he hopes as many people go to see the movie when it’s released later this month.
“It’s a film I am really proud of and the fact that it’s set in my home county of Donegal makes that extra bit special.
“It deals with important topics that are prevalent in modern Ireland and I hope that anyone who goes to see the film enjoys it.”
For up to date news on how Jason’s getting on visit www.jasonmatthewson.com