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About Matt O’Leary

Actor    July 6, 1987    @MatthewJOLeary    @MattJOLeary

“Matt has been in so many great movies in his career, and I don’t think anybody realizes it’s all the same guy, because he’s such a chameleon,” Ain’t It Cool News.

A Chicago native, Matt O’Leary started his career by modeling until the age nine. At that time he decided to sign up with an acting agency. Matt auditioned for HOME ALONE 3 and out of 4,000 kids got down to the final eight. He ultimately lost the role to Alex D. Linz. “I went on auditions for commercials and never got one. I did a taped interview for a Disney TV show that never got picked up, but that got me other auditions because my agent knew other people there that would handle me,” Matt admits to in an interview with Scholastic School Zone, “Now when I get rejected, I do exactly what my dad told me: just let it go and other movies will come.”

Matt eventually went on to appear in guest roles on such television shows as THE FEARING MIND, EARLY EDITION, and TURKS. In 2000, he finally lucked out with Disney and received his first starring role in the Disney Channel Original Movie MOM’S GOT A DATE WITH A VAMPIRE.

Matt proved himself a versatile talent in his theatrical debut, FRAILTY, the dark, supernatural drama directed by and starring Bill Paxton. “He charmed the pants off of everybody,” recalled Paxton in the FRAILTY production notes. Matt enjoyed the experience very much, “I really liked the script and it was a fun film to work on. I learned a lot, especially from Bill Paxton.”

Then Matt’s dreams came true when he won the role as John Travolta’s son in the thriller DOMESTIC DISTURBANCE. “I got the part through a series of auditions,” Matt remembers in an interview for the DOMESTIC DISTURBANCE press kit, “On the last audition I met John Travolta. Meeting him was a rush.”

In the summer of 2002, thanks to a recommendation from Bill Paxton, Matt was launched into teen heartthrob status as Gary Giggles in SPY KIDS 2: THE ISLAND OF LOST DREAMS. In an interview for Ignite Magazine, Matt denies the new heartthrob status, “I don't know about that! I think that it’s kind of something you fall into... It’s not something you want or you don’t want.” But there was no doubting it, Matt was now a star. In 2003, he brought Gary Giggles back, this time in 3-D, for a small cameo in SPY KIDS-3D: GAME OVER.

Also that year, Matt appeared in the box office flop, THE ALAMO, where sadly most of his part was cut. That is when he decided to make a change. “Before that, it was just a pure, natural thing that I did," he said in an interview for NWI.com, "Since that moment, I started actually putting my mind to it and figuring out what acting really is to me. I wanted to start doing good films.”

It was then that Matt started doing numerous independent films such as HAVOC, DEATH SENTENCE, AMERICAN BULLY, AMERICAN SON, and the cult favorite BRICK. These films allowed Matt to grow as an actor and showcase all the wonderful talent he has to offer. He also appeared in the big screen blockbuster LIVE FREE OR DIE HARD and the slasher flick SORORITY ROW. In between films Matt had found time to return to his television roots, guest starring in various network dramas including LAW & ORDER: CRIMINAL INTENT, CSI: CRIME SCENE INVESTIGATION, and ELEVENTH HOUR.

Some more recent works include the horror-thriller MOTHER’S DAY, the HBO drama CINEMA VERITE, and the drama-comedy NATURAL SELECTION, for which Matt won the Breakthrough Performance award at the 2011 SXSW Film Festival. “I wore a lot of leather, and I jingled when I walked,” Matt jokes in an interview for Geekscape. In March 2012, two more films premiered at SXSW, the drama EDEN and the Matthew Lillard directorial debut FAT KID RULES THE WORLD, both films taking home awards. Lillard recently talked to Crave Online and had nothing but great things to say about Matt, “I think Matt O’Leary is more talented than I am but he’s fearless and he says yes to everything and has this incredible energy and charm.”

Matt kept busy in 2014, working on the Eric Bilitch film SUBMARINE KID starring Emilie de Ravin and Finn Wittrock, the Icelandic set scifi drama BOKEH costarring Maika Monroe, a small role in the Briana Evigan and Kerry Norton film TOY, and starring in a short film about the California gold rush called THE CANARY. He finished off the year in Mexico playing Frank Peluco, an American exmilitar with psychological problems, in the film LA PIERDE ALMAS: SANTA MORONGA.

Recently, Matt has been working on several short films and TV guest spots including NBC’s GAME OF SILENCE, MTV’s SWEET/VICIOUS and TNT’s MAJOR CRIMES.



2011 SXSW Film Festival -- Breakthrough Performance for NATURAL SELECTION

2011 PWFF Audience Choice Awards -- Best Actor in a Feature Film for AMERICAN BULLY

2012 Seattle International Film Festival -- Golden Space Needle Award for Best Actor (2nd place) for EDEN


2001 Young Artist Awards -- Best Performance by a Leading Young Actor in a TV Movie Comedy for MOM’S GOT A DATE WITH A VAMPIRE

2002 Young Artist Awards -- Best Performance in a Feature Film for Supporting Young Actor for DOMESTIC DISTURBANCE

2003 Las Vegas Film Critics Society Awards -- Youth in Film for FRAILTY

2003 Young Artist Awards -- Best Performance in a Feature Film by Leading Young Actor for FRAILTY

2004 Young Artist Awards -- Best Young Ensemble in a Feature Film for SPY KIDS 3-D

2011 PWFF Grand Jury Awards -- Best Actor in a Feature Film for AMERICAN BULLY

2014 Orlando Film Festival -- Best Ensemble Cast for TIME LAPSE



No One Ever Said . . . Manboy

Major Crimes . . . Alex Wilson

Bokeh . . . Riley

Santa Clarita Diet . . . Cole


Sweet/Vicious . . . Darren Ford

Game of Silence . . . Troy Meyer


Toy . . . Transexual Prostitute

The Submarine Kid . . . Toad

The Canary . . . Orville

Stung . . . Paul


Two-Bit Waltz . . . Max

Time Lapse . . . Finn


Drones . . . Jack Bowles

Pawn Shop Chronicles . . . Lamar

The Lone Ranger . . . Skinny


SXSW Flashback 2012 . . . Himself

Eden . . . Vaughn

Fat Kid Rules the World . . . Marcus


In Time . . . Moser

Marcy . . . Photography

Cinema Verite . . . Cameron

SXSW Flashback 2011 . . . Himself

Natural Selection . . . Raymond


Mother’s Day . . . Johnny Koffin


Sorority Row . . . Garrett

American Bully . . . Brandon


CSI: Crime Scene Investigation . . . Dan Forrester

Eleventh Hour . . . Bobby

American Son . . . Jake

Solstice . . . Mark


Death Sentence . . . Joe Darly

Live Free Or Die Hard . . . Clay


Building ‘Brick’ . . . Himself


Havoc . . . Eric

Law and Order: Criminal Intent . . . Ethan Garrett

Warm Springs . . . Fred Botts

Brick . . . The Brain


The Alamo . . . Boy in Store


Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over . . . Gary Giggles


Total Access 24/7 . . . Himself

Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams . . . Gary Giggles

The Making of ‘Frailty’ . . . Himself

Anatomy of a Scene . . . Himself


Frailty . . . Fenton Meiks

Domestic Disturbance . . . Danny Morrison


Mom’s Got a Date with a Vampire . . . Adam Hansen

Recent News


BOKEH is now currently available to stream on iTunes, Amazon, and other VOD methods. You can also now purchase it on DVD. For more information, check out the official website and FaceBook page.

Santa Clarita Diet

You can currently catch Matt in the third episode of Netflix’s original series SANTA CLARITA DIET, where he plays a drug dealer named Cole.


Matt recently guest starred in the third episode of the new MTV show SWEET/VICIOUS as Darren, a boy using a popular dating app to find his victims. You can watch watch online at MTV.com.

No One Ever Said

The short film written and directed by Jane Stephens Rosenthal, premiered at the LA IFS Film Festival on May 6th. According to the festival’s website, the film is about “a woman who is sure of who she wants to be, and sure of who she doesn't want to be, but she's not so sure of how to get to where she can be who she wants to be. This is a movie about finding oneself. About growing up. About looking for answers. About accepting the chance to change.”


Originally titled LA PIERDE: SANTA MORONGA, it is a black comedy about The Day of the Dead festivities approaching in southern Mexico as mass protests invade the region. “In this cauldron full of turmoil we find a former US Marine, Frank Peluco, a tormented soul haunted by past traumas and mental problems come to a people seeking peace but only finds tragedy and conflict.” Not much is known as to the status of the film. You can check out Film Affinity to see the current movie poster as well as view a trailer here.

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