FAT KID RULES THE WORLD is a coming-of-age story about two dysfunctional teenagers searching for something more out of their completely hopeless existence. It is based on the bestselling novel by K.L. Going, and is the directorial debut of Matthew Lillard. Troy Billings (Jacob Wysocki) is fat. His life sucks. He is about to end it all by jumping in front of a bus, when Marcus Macrae (Matt O’Leary), a charismatic punk rock superstar, tackles him to the ground and changes his life forever. Everything about this film is brilliant: the story, the acting, the cinematography, the music!
Matt plays Marcus, a homeless, drug addict, punk musician loosely based on such artists as Kurt Cobain. From the beginning, it is obvious that Marcus is just using Troy as a meal ticket and a place to crash. Despite his vices, it is hard not to fall in love with Marcus. “Nobody ever stays mad at me. I’m a charming guy.” And deep down, Marcus needs a friend just as much as Troy does. There is a magnificent energy to Marcus that makes it impossible to not pay attention while he is on screen.
Without a doubt, this is one of Matt’s best performances to date. Matthew Lillard himself has described it as “effortless brilliant.” The positive reviews are countless!
“Matt O’Leary is a surprise. As Marcus, he is ‘electric’, fueling the energy of the film with the pulse of punk. A perfect complement to Wysocki’s more tame and subdued performance, these two actors are like a seemingly off-key duet, but when put together are pitch perfect. O’Leary's frenetic drugged out performance is believable and at times, painful, to watch. He makes you feel Marcus' pain. Interesting in O’Leary’s performance is that he as equally at ease and believable in a relationship with Wysocki’s Troy as he is with Campbell's Mr. Billings,” (moviesharkdeblore.com).
“Matt O’Leary is fearless in his approach to being an “unacceptably dirty” but charismatic homeless man that represents everything the punk lifestyle stands for,” (moviebuzzers.com).
“Matt O’Leary really captures the emotional highs and lows that come from a troubled, young vibrant musician with destructive habits and magnetic charisma,” (diginmag.com).
“It is difficult to judge younger actors, but I’d say O’Leary deserves a few more casting calls after this one,” (filmequals.com).
2012 SXSW Film Festival -- Audience Award for a Narrative Feature Spotlight
2012 German Independence Award -- Audience Award