From network television to hosting gigs to big-screen blockbusters, there is very little rest for the driven working actor. Vancouver-born Matthew Kevin Anderson, with almost fifty acting credits to his name, knows all about the hard work and dedication it takes to become a working actor in today’s industry. After attending the Vancouver Film School to hone his craft, Anderson was hired as the host of MTV Canada’s video countdown show Select. Select helped him gain on-camera experience and industry contacts, and just three years later, he was living in Los Angeles and working in network television. From there, Anderson has earned himself an impressive resume, with everything from roles in the CW’s Supernatural and iZombie to big blockbuster parts in the feature films Tomorrowland and Big Eyes. He’s now a series regular on the new TVLand comedy Impastor, starring Michael Rosenbaum, and will also be playing the role of Full House creator Jeff Franklin in Lifetime’s television movie The Unauthorized Full House Story.
With exciting new things on the horizon for Anderson, The Hudsucker sits down with him to chat about playing a cop in a comedy, taking on the challenge of playing a real person, and that beloved 80s fashion.
The Hudsucker: What was it that drew you to acting in the first place?
Matthew Kevin Anderson: I’m not really sure. I could say girls… that would probably be accurate! But I also remember being a kid and watching Return of the Jedi, like, ten times in row. I couldn’t get enough of it. It was such a different world. So yeah, I guess I wanted to use a light saber, ride in a DeLorean and get girls… isn’t that why everyone wants to act?
The Hudsucker: You lived in Indonesia for a while when you were young, before returning to Canada to live and work. How did your time there affect you as a person and as an actor?
Anderson: I was ten years old when I lived [in Indonesia]. So being that age, experiencing different cultures and ways of life opened my eyes a lot. When you’re moving around to different schools, you have to be able to adapt. I think that’s a big part of what acting is all about—adapting quickly to a new environment and groups of people and making it feel like home very quickly. I can’t wait to go back to Bali as an adult. It’s high on my list.
The Hudsucker: What is it like to work in Vancouver as an actor, as opposed to working in LA?
Anderson: They are two very different worlds. Vancouver is a very small microcosm of what is happening in LA. LA is like Vancouver on a ton of steroids. The sheer volume of actors, agents and casting offices are overwhelming. But you also have a sense that at any moment, something could happen that could change everything in your career. They both have their pros and cons, and I’ve grown to love them both. I’ve always said that New York will eat you alive, and LA will drive you insane. I still don’t know what Vancouver does to a person [laughs].
The Hudsucker: Your new show, Impastor, is quite the comedy. Has working in comedy been a challenge for you? Do you enjoy it?
Anderson: I love comedy. Getting paid to show up to work and laugh all day is an awesome job. When they let you play and try things that are unscripted and you’re just flying by the seat of your pants, trying not to laugh and ruin a take… that’s my favorite type of acting. And I love learning from the people around me. Watching my co-stars Michael Rosenbaum and Sara Rue is great. They kill these roles. And my detective partner on the show, Hyde, played by Jonathan Young, is also hilarious. I picked up a lot on this set.
The Hudsucker: What is the dynamic like with the cast and crew? Do you have any funny stories from set?
Anderson: Everyone was extremely generous and talented. The show has a lot of elements to it, so Jonathan Young and I often felt like we were in our own ridiculous buddy cop show together, and then we had interactions with the rest of the cast and it was this whole other experience. I got to do some fun stuff with Aimee Garcia in the pilot. I remember it was 100 degrees in that apartment. I kept messing up this one line, and I started sweating and couldn’t stop. It was the pilot and I wanted to kill it, and yet after every take the make up girl was running in with a fan and powder trying to dry me off. Oh, the glamour.
The Hudsucker: What should comedy fans expect when tuning into Impastor‘s first season?
Anderson: Honestly, it’s like nothing else out there. It’s got this great mix of light-hearted energy and crass, slow-brow comedy balanced together to make a fine yet complex brew. It has depth and flavor.
The Hudsucker: Tell me about your character, Detective Lovello. What is he like? Is he fun to play?
Anderson: He’s a lonely dude. He probably spends too much time on Tinder and watching the Police Academy movies. I think he’s more concerned with finding a girlfriend than solving crimes. He’s definitely fun to play! I hope we get to do more.
The Hudsucker: Switching gears now… The Unauthorized Full House Story is the second in Lifetime’s line of fictionalized behind-the-scenes films. What should fans of the original Full House expect from this movie?
Anderson: It’s a pretty wild story, actually. I had no idea about a lot of the little details that were a big part of the original show and how it came to life. I learned a lot, so I think fans of the show will learn a lot too. Plus, you know… the mullets are pretty awesome.
The Hudsucker: How did you go about playing Full House creator Jeff Franklin? What sort of research did you do to prepare?
Anderson: I did some reading and looked him up online, but he isn’t one of the main cast members of the show that people have come to know. He was behind the scenes, so that gave me a lot more freedom to be myself because people won’t be comparing me to him, unlike the actors playing Bob Saget and John Stamos, for example.
The Hudsucker: Did you and the cast and crew experience your own behind-the-scenes drama, like the characters you were portraying?
Anderson: No no, there was no drama. We had a great cast and an awesome leader in our director, Brian Roberts. What was cool to watch was the moments in between set-ups on set. When they yelled cut, we would all mingle around waiting for them to move lights. The kids would get bored, so everyone would keep each other entertained. I remember stopping and saying to myself, “It must have been just like this on the real show”. I can see why the cast members on Full House would have bonded so quickly. There’s a different vibe when you have kids on set. You need to build a trust with them and make them comfortable. They also keep you on your toes, because you never know what they may do in a scene.
The Hudsucker: Had you watched the original Full House before being cast in this project?
Anderson: Of course!
The Hudsucker: What do you think of the show now, watching it as an adult?
Anderson: I watched some clips of the show recently. I have to say, watching it after knowing some of the stuff that happened behind the scenes was pretty wild. Knowing who Bob Saget is, after watching his comedy, and then going back and watching the show… it’s hilarious.
The Hudsucker: What else do you have on the horizon for the rest of the year?
Anderson: Work, work, and more work. It’s a good thing I love my job!
“Impastor” airs at 8:30pm/7:30pm CT every Wednesday night on TVLand. You can see the trailer for the sitcom here.
“The Unauthorized Full House Story” airs on Lifetime on Saturday, August 22nd. Check your local listings.
For more updates on Matthew Anderson’s projects and to keep an eye on his work in the future, follow him on Twitter and Instagram. He can also be seen in the Hallmark Channel series “Gourmet Detective,” premiering August 2nd.