When “Hardball” host Chris Matthews sees his son Thomas acting on HBO’s “The Newsroom,” a show closely resembling that of the MSNBC host’s real-life gig, Matthews does what any proud papa would do — he freaks out.
“Every time he shows up, even if he’s not talking, we always jump, ‘there he is, there he is,’ and we’re obviously thrilled,” Matthews says of he and his wife, Kathleen’s, “Newsroom” viewing habits. Thomas, 26, plays Martin Stallworth, one of the many young producers buzzing around “The Newsroom’s” set. When young Thomas was first cast on the Aaron Sorkin-penned show, he gave his father a buzz. “He called up and asked what a producer does one day, in the beginning,” Matthews explained. But Dad says he didn’t give his son any actual acting advice.
Matthews has watched the whole season of the HBO show and likes lead character Will McAvoy, played by Jeff Daniels. “I think he’s great,” Matthews said. “It’s a composite of different things going on; it’s a bit of Keith [Olbermann], perhaps some of me, perhaps some of other people like Wolf [Blitzer], I mean I don’t know, it’s a bit of everybody.” That being said, Matthews is unsure about McAvoy’s transition from boring-for-the-ratings guy to Tea-Party-taunting man-on-a-mission. “He was supposed to be a person before who had no passion on the subject, either side of it — well, I don’t know that guy? I mean, who’s that? That’s certainly nobody that works for me,” Matthews began. “Actually it is; there are a lot of people around here who don’t have strong political views, believe it or not, even on MS[NBC],” he continued.
As for his son making it big in Hollywood, Matthews thinks he has a pretty good shot. “When I walk around with Thomas, I know the reaction people have to him,” Matthews said. “I think he looks like those guys who play vampires; I think he’s an incredible-looking guy.”
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