How to be Matt Dillon at a Cairo International Film Festival press conference in just 14 easy steps

Mr Matt Dillon and a floating head. Shortly after this picture was taken Mr Matt Dillon was lost in the darkness of the Good News cinema. He was last seen in the environs of row K, covered in barnacles. All future projects have been shelved until his whereabouts are established.

1. Arrive jet-lagged and slightly perturbed, as if you have just had a run in with an Egyptian bureaucrat after a ten-hour flight about the legitimacy of the font size in your passport.

2. Be wearing a badly-knotted tie which is approximately three centimetres below your top button.

3. But still look ruggedly handsome despite being clothed in the dreaded suit jacket and jeans.

4. When you arrive stand at the front of the auditorium for a photo opportunity and then immediately be pounced on by five teenage girls who stick to you like barnacles on a ship.

5. List sideways as a result while smiling the smile of a man who has fallen into the cobra cage at the zoo.

6. Go away for two hours while the audience enjoy your very good film about a man on the run in Cambodia. It is four years old but never mind, we have to justify your presence somehow.

7. Come back and mount the stage on which a podium is being hastily assembled. An identical table and chairs are strewn behind you. They look like they’re having a brawl. Ignore them.

8. Field questions from fans and film critics. One question should be from a bouffanted gentleman with sunglasses on his head who appears to be in Austen Powers fancy dress. He is wearing a VELVETEEN jacket, and should be informed that only Barry White RIP could wear such an item and not be punished in the prison yard. He should claim to be a Canadian actor but not exist on IMDB. His question should be as follows:

Obscure actor/charlatan: “Hi Matt, and welcome to Cairo. You say that you gained inspiration for your film when on holiday in Cambodia. When you went there was it some kind of spiritual journey..? Were you looking for something in particular..?”

Matt: [Avoid urge to say ‘Hookers.’ Notice an odd British girl with eyebrows in need of tweezer attention mouthing just this. Ignore her and proceed.]

“Well I –“

(Interrupted by chairman with rebellious comb over)

Comb over: “I’ll just translate the question Mr Matt Dillon, please.”

9. Next take this question from a man at the front about the scene at the end of your film where you put your dead father in a small craft in the sea and then shoot it so it sinks. That you did this so that the body is not discovered is, one would have thought, obvious:

Man at the front: “Hi Mr Matt Dillon, and welcome to the 31st Cairo International Film Festival. At the end of the film you shoot the boat in which your father is placed after sending it out to sea. Why did you choose to do this?”

Your answer will be very slightly mistranslated by the chairman provoking a woman in the audience to roar out: “EL TARGAMA 3’ALAT ” [THE TRANSLATION IS WRONG] which slightly disturbs both you and the chairman’s comb over.

10. The next question is from a woman at the front:

Woman at the front: “Hi Mr Matt Dillon and welcome to Egypt. I have two questions. Firstly I read in an interview that you say that Cambodia has a ‘nightmarish quality.’ Why is that? And sec –“

(Virtually swallow the microphone in your attempt to interrupt and correct her, but not before the chairman translates into Arabic, while you loosen your loose tie and do that agitated face you do when you act.)

11. Next take this question from the moustachioed man with long hair:

Frank Zappa in the 70s: “Hi Mr Matt Dillon and welcome to Egypt. Cambodia is a country with problems. Palestine is a country with problems, too. Are you going to make a film in Palestine?”

Matt: “Uuhhhhh –“

(Loosen your collar and stare at the ceiling.)

12. And here’s a question from a bouncy woman with an indeterminate accent, possibly from the antipodeans.

Antipodeans: “HI MATT!!!!! I’m Rachel from Dubai blah blah blah. Have you ever been to Dubai???”

Matt: “Pardon?”


Matt: “Uuhhhm…No…”

Antipodeans: “Ok will you come?? Will you? WILL YOU?? PLEASE?? FOR ME??”

(Both you and the room will lapse into a terrified silence interrupted only by the clunk of Antipodeans’ dignity on the floor. As well as that of a mic which falls off the podium. It was possibly Antipodeans’ mic, performing Seppuku).

13. The chairman and his comb over (which is now resting, exhausted, on his left shoulder) will end proceedings violently and suddenly while a forest of arms are still up on the pretext that continuing would delay the next film. You started half an hour late but never mind, this will give you time to go home and iron your wife-beaters.

14. You are of course descended on by a huge crowd when you leave the stage, which inhibits your ability to progress forward. The cinema will suddenly descend into pitch black darkness when you are only halfway down the room, meaning that you risk death through the risk of e.g. tripping in the gloom and impaling yourself on a boom. Take courage, and remind yourself that pour le cinema one must be prepared to sacrifice one’s tout.

n.b.: For added authenticity you should ensure that Omar Sherif refers to you as Matt Damon at the Festival’s opening ceremony.

Mr Matt Damon

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