Matt Dillon
By: Jerrold Freitag | Categories: Cuspers, HiLo Heroes, Movies


MATT DILLON (born 1964) became a star the old-fashioned way; while cutting school in 1978 he was spotted by director Jonathan Kaplan, who identified the boy as beautiful trouble and a good bet for a joint — and cast him in Over the Edge. Among actors Dillon is a muscle car, fast and simple. Whatever method actors do doesn’t get in his way; he won’t be having a heart attack on set because he’s induced his own meltdown through character over-identification. Dillon added confidence everywhere Coppola put him in Rumblefish and Outsiders. His telegraphy in Crash deserved the recognition. And since I can’t find any way out of keeping Drugstore Cowboy as one of my favorites, its hero must be one as well. His smiles, tears, and wall-punching are the best. He works hard and runs hot.


On his or her birthday, HiLobrow irregularly pays tribute to one of our high-, low-, no-, or hilobrow heroes. Also born this date: Helen Gurley Brown, Yoko Ono.

READ MORE about men and women born on the cusp between the Original Generation X (1954–63) and Reconstructionist (1964–73) Generation.



Jerrold Freitag lives and works in Berlin. He prefers being outside during inclement weather to being inside at all. Literature and Philosophy degrees from the Universities of Minnesota and Massachusetts. Advertising credentials a plus.