- 11:12 AM, Jul 22
quite major, the flick itself was a disappointment. He and his fellow cast, Renee Zellweger, were the only things that were promising in the movie. However, after several acceptable performances in 1995, he made a startling come back by being a murder suspect in "Lone Star" (1996). Since then, more interesting roles were coming towards his way.
Going to the audition of "A Time to Kill", he was last compared to the other candidates such as Brad Pitt and Val Kilmer. However, as the owner of the copyright, John Grisham selected him out of the others. It was a tremendous opportunity as he was set as the main character Jake Tyler Brigance, a young and attractive lawyer who had to defend a black man accused of murder. The brilliant story plot, the amazing cast, the movie became a mega hit. Matthew was granted an award for Best Breakthrough Performance by the 1997 MTV Movie Awards and so did his opposite, Samuel L. Jackson who was nominated at the 1997 Golden Globe Awards for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture category. Apparently, apart from winning the award through this movie, Matthew also won Ashley Judd's heart. They met during the filming and dated before he was seen again with the other cast, Sandra Bullock sometime later. Such popularity came with a reason, he was in fact the hottest young leading man at that time. He was often compared to the legendary Paul Newman, both for his face resemblance and his capability as an actor. By then, contract offers were waiting in line for him to sign. He agreed to take two in 1997, Robert Zemeckis' "Contact" and Steven Spielberg's "Amistad". Although Matthew didn't exactly won any prestigious awards through the movies, he believed that his journey was still a long run as he philosophically stated, "Be the lean horse for the long ride. I figure I am in the third round of a 15 round fight."
Once again using his university skill in directing, he moved on to direct, write and star in a short comedy "The Rebel" (1998). He appeared again in a short movie directed, written and starred by his then girlfriend Sandra Bullock titled "Making Sandwiches" (1998) before his sassy appearance in comedy "Edtv" (1999). Starring as Ed 'Eddie' Pekurny, he was a store clerk who agreed to be filmed 24