Matthew MacCaull has been building an impressive resume since he started acting some years back.
After a role in Disney’s “Tomorrowland”, he was cast on the CW’s iZombie and in the WWE’s upcoming Vendetta. While acting is his profession, he has an appreciation of food and drink, which makes him a perfect candidate for a few questions from “Chillin’ With…”
CHILLED: With your busy schedule, what do you like to do with your down time?
MATTHEW MACCAULL: Ha, good question! I think there’s this concept of working actors who are just too busy to live regular lives. And I’m sure they exist, but for me my “down time” comes a little more regularly than you might think. I have a pretty good regimen of writing and going to the gym during the day. Yes, I’m sorry to say — obligatory Canadian apology — I’m that actor who “also writes” and hangs out at the gym. Way to play against stereotype, I know, but there it is nonetheless.
But I really see those activities as part of the job. I’ve also got a really great crew of friends who I’ve known for fifteen years. I’m the only actor in the bunch and am often teased. But they’re all my biggest fans and I wouldn’t have it any other way. It’s hard to think you’re some kind of big shot when your best friends are right there to remind you what life is really all about. Other than hanging out with them, my partner Chloë is a travel writer, and she and I have spent many hours touring around different locales and destinations. We both love to travel and I’m sure to sneak in a surf trip or two when heading off on some new adventure.
I also spend a lot of time watching movies and writing music that few people ever have the “joy” of experiencing. The rest of my time is spent preparing for auditions. When I get an audition I’m usually working the material from the moment I get it right up to the moment I walk in the room.
CHILLED: When you go out to eat, where do you like to dine?
MM: Ahh, to dine or not to dine? I have to admit that I don’t treat myself to really swank meals all that often. My partner and I both enjoy cooking at home and it really helps with my diet. Ugh, did I just say that? But when we do go out, Chloë is usually reviewing some new restaurant and I get the thrill of pretending to be an undercover critic. I definitely give her my two cents regarding the food and the service, but I’m pretty sure she knows that’s all it’s worth. My brother is the “fancy” one in the family. You can usually find him at one of the hot restaurants in town. As for me, I’ll probably be at my local sushi joint if I’m not eating at home.
CHILLED: What types of dishes do you usually order?
MM: I love a good sushi. Spicy tuna sashimi is my favorite. But I’ll eat anything. I have no qualms when it comes to food, especially if it’s prepared well. Vancouver is such a mix of cultures, so you can get a fantastic cross-section of world cuisine within just a few blocks. My taste buds happily thank our immigration policy.
CHILLED: Do you cook?
MM: I do cook, but I’m certainly no Jamie Oliver. My dishes are relatively simple: protein, vegetable, and a fat or starch. I’ve really found simpler is better. I used to throw in whatever I could find around the house and it almost always turned into some unrecognizable mush. But these days my plates are cleaner and so is the food. I love chicken and sweet potatoes, and my partner is a whiz with curries, quinoa, and lentils. She also belongs to a community garden where we get most of our greens.
And as I’m thinking about this now, I was actually paid to be a cook at a hotel in Costa Rica many years ago. I was down there surfing and needed a job to help fund the trip. I would surf with this guy Marco who, as it turned out, was a wealthy Italian who’d just opened a bar/restaurant. When I told him I was looking for some extra money he asked me if I could cook. Well I stared him straight in the eye and lied through my teeth. I told him of course I could. I don’t think it turned out so terribly, but some of the dishes I prepared — and apparently got away with — must have been truly astonishing.
CHILLED: What types of drinks do you order when out?
MM: I’m a whisky guy. There you have it. After high school I traveled Europe and lived in Scotland for a short time. My flat was really close to the Glengoyne distillery and I spent many nights tasting a dram or three at the local pub. Later on in University, my brother and I would hang out at a bar called Tom’s Little Havana in Halifax and smoke Montecristos, when you could still smoke them inside, and enjoy a 10 year old Lagavulin or 12 year old Talisker. But that’s the more expensive stuff. You’ll more often than not find me drinking a Jack Daniels on the rocks. I also love a well-made Old Fashioned. Thanks “Mad Men”.
CHILLED: Do you prepare drinks at home?
MM: Not all that much. If we’re having drinks at home it’s usually beer or wine. Vancouver has a wealth of craft breweries and it feels like right now is the heyday for all these businesses. Why not make hay, or at least drink some hops, while the sun shines!
CHILLED: Do you own a home bar?
MM: Ha! That would be a luxury I’ve not yet had the pleasure of indulging. Growing up we had a bar in the basement of one of our old houses but I was just a little on the young side to be drinking. My sister and I usually just repurposed it as a backstage changing area for one of the many plays we used to put on as kids. My home bar looks more like a cupboard stocked with bottles all the way to the back. Every now and then you’ll dig around in there and find the Bailey’s from Christmas and say, “Hey, it’s Wednesday at 10am. Why not have a Bailey’s and coffee?”
CHILLED: So what would be in your “home bar”? What is it stocked with?
MM: Apart from the six-month-old Bailey’s, the old liquor box will have a medium priced bottle of red (the expensive stuff never lasts), some vodka, and Kahlua for my White Russians — thanks Lebowski — and an ever present bottle of Jack. You know, for entertaining friends or just celebrating a Tuesday night.
CHILLED: If you had a real home bar, what would it look like?
MM: If I did have a home bar, it would be a wet bar. And by that I mean it would be a bar that’s connected to a heated pool you can easily swim up to. I love the water and have always wanted a bar in a pool. What can I say? I’m a simple guy with ridiculous tastes.
CHILLED: Have you ever been a bartender?
MM: That’s a big you betcha! Working your way up the ladder in the acting business you have to have a million jobs under the sun to be able to survive while not getting paid for doing student films and indie shorts. I think I’ve tended bar in at least five or six separate joints. They were all great experiences and I met many interesting faces along the way.
It’s true what they say about people telling their life stories to the bartender. I’ve certainly got a whole host of characters in my head as a result. The last bartending job I had was with my best friend and artist Dave Doody. Our boss would always schedule us together and all we did was have fun, make an occasional drink, and work the crowd for tips. Dave is actually insane, but the most radical artist you’ll ever meet.
Definitely one of my favorite bars to work at was in 2003 in the Tropica Latina Hotel Bar in Santa Teresa, Costa Rica. It was right on the beach. Classic. I’d cook and make drinks for the lunchtime crowd and after my shift I’d paddle straight out into the break and surf lefts all the way back to my place. Talk about livin’ the dream.