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Michael Lillard's career taking a dramatic 'Curve'

Michael Lillard in

Michael Lillard in "Trouble With The Curve" Credit: Michael Lillard in "Trouble With The Curve"

You'll recall that Matthew Lillard starred in "Scream" and played Shaggy in the live-action "Scooby Doo" movies, but you might not realize that the actor known for his work in the turn-of-the-century teen movie scene is in the midst of a career revival of sorts.

It started last year, with his acclaimed work as the man cuckolding George Clooney in "The Descendants" and it continues in "Trouble With the Curve." In the baseball drama opening tomorrow, Lillard, 42, plays villainous assistant GM Phillip Sanderson of the Atlanta Braves, who plots against veteran Braves scout Gus (Clint Eastwood).

amNewYork spoke with Lillard about the movie, which also stars Amy Adams, John Goodman and Justin Timberlake.

Clearly you'd want to act with these guys. Beyond that, was there something else that drove you to it? What else do you need? Clint Eastwood. John Goodman. Baseball. Warner Brothers. Big movie. That's it, really. As an actor, if you're a blue-collar, "I've got to find a way to feed my kids" actor, when a job like that comes along, you're begging for it.

Are you a baseball fan? I'm a huge sports fan. I've never been a big baseball guy. ... I can talk basketball for hours. Baseball and I just missed. I never played as a kid. My dad wasn't a huge fan of [baseball], and so that world has eluded me.

Do you think "The Descendants" has gotten you better roles? No, not at all. Isn't that weird? I thought for sure it'd be a validating role in my life and it just hasn't. I don't know why. It's one of those things in my life: Every time I think that something's going to change my trajectory or position in this industry, it just never is the thing you think it's going to be.

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The Kickstarting "Kid"

Matthew Lillard's revival has extended into the directorial realm. His award-winning filmmaking debut "Fat Kid Rules the World" hits theaters on Oct. 5. Here's what he had to say about it:

"It's based on a young adult book by KL Going. It's about an obese teenager that finds punk rock music and it saves his life. We won the Audience Award at South by Southwest and in light of a bunch of crappy offers from Hollywood ... we raised $158,000 on Kickstarter to release it ourselves via Tugg [a website that helps you curate and promote movie screenings].

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