Interview with Matthew Rettenmund
Divine is delighted to introduce Matthew Rettenmund to its site today. Matthew was kind enough to take time out of his busy schedule writing, running popular blog Boy Culture, and hob-nobbing with the people of New York city in his search for more pop culture to impart to a nation waiting for his next instalment of jaw dropping news.
Matthew is a blogger, writer, publisher, show biz enthusiast, and plain speaker. We’re sure he’s many other things too, but this will have to do to be going on with. We hope you enjoy this frank and disarming interview with someone we love featuring.
Matthew: I’m really turned on by things that drive our culture—especially gay culture—and that have levels. Madonna is a natural for me because her work has a surface level and means lots of other things, opens up conversations about feminism, sexuality, gender identity, religion and more.
Divine: It’s every writer’s dream to have a book they’ve written made into a film, like Boy Culture was. I’ve actually got this DVD in my library as yet unwatched simply because I haven’t got there yet. Just how involved did you get in the making of this film and preserving the integrity of your characters and story?
Matthew: I was very involved as the film was being prepared, but it was a nearly 10-year process. I suggested many actors who later became household names (Paul Walker, Ashton Kutcher, Josh Hartnett). But at the end, the producers hired a director and co-screenwriter (Allan Brocka) with a strong personal vision, so while he graciously used a lot of my original dialogue, he opened up my story by making a key character black. So it’s very much Allan’s version of my story, and I love it and recommend it.
Divine: Your blog ‘Boyculture’ has been going a while and in blogging terms, you’re a seasoned professional. It has an eclectic mix of everything, and has proven immensely successful. Did you ever this would happen and be as popular as it is today?
Matthew: I started blogging because I thought it would be a great way to get my opinion out into the world, and also to keep my writing skills honed. It wound up becoming a very, very time-consuming endeavor, so much so that I am toying with the idea of walking away. I love it, but it takes hours and hours of work every single day to stay at a certain level. I never knew I’d have 100,000s of unique visitors monthly, and the blog has brought me so many amazing things, from press access to shows and interviews to great online friendships with like-minded guys. Also, many sexual offers, most of them discreetly declined. For now.
Divine: You were quoted in an interview with 60by80 about wanting to hunt down internet trolls that make everyone’s life a misery. Believe me, I know about trolls. Being in the gay romance industry attracts its fair share. How do you deal with the haters and the nay say soothsayers out there?
Matthew: That’s a touchy subject for sure because there is a difference between people passionately disagreeing and people being complete monsters, or even stalkers. I wish I were better at dealing with it, actually; I don’t let it affect my views or what I’m going to do, but it’s mentally quite draining. Most surprising is when someone suddenly expresses hatred for me in such a way that it becomes clear they’ve been angry for a long time and have been silently “building a case” against me. It can feel like a betrayal. But you can’t have any kind of a public profile, no matter how small, without offending a number of people. So fuck the haters, twice.
Divine: If you had the chance to kidnap a current celebrity and spirit them away to a deserted island and have your evil way with them, who would you choose? (Note -Divine is not advocating kidnapping , and this shouldn’t be tried at home)
Matthew: I like that you have a disclaimer about the kidnapping but not about the implied rape! Um, I like so many. I love Ryan Reynolds, I love Michael Fassbender, I love my old-school Hart Bochner. But I might choose gay singer Steve Grand, because if I am unable to coerce him into sex, I know I’ll have great conversation and entertainment. (He’s a friend.)
Divine: In the interview with 60by80, you mentioned you’d never met Madonna yourself, despite you fan-boying and writing this latest book. Has this changed or do you think this will change in the future do you think?
Matthew: Yes, I have met her! I first encountered her on a red carpet, then I was one of 11 gay journalists who interviewed her regarding her directorial effort “W.E.” I was knee-to-knee with her, handshake, first question asked and last comment made. She was extremely charming and engaged, asked all of our names, and was very forthcoming. They say “don’t meet your idols,” but to that I say, “You’re a coward if you don’t.” My best meeting with Madonna (and, so far, my latest) is detailed in “Starf*cker”—I was able to get a great “pic-with” next to her at her Truth or Dare fragrance launch. She was flirty and teasing with me, using her charisma like a billy club in the brief moments we had together. No regrets! [Image attached by Kevin Mazur.]
And now for the silly random questions so we can see the man behind the blog…
How many pairs of shoes do you own?
I’m completely heterosexual when it comes to fashion. I’m ashamed to say I own one pair of running shoes, one pair of disgusting shoes for errands (foot fetishists, rejoice), a snazzy pair of slip-ons by Top Man and an expensive pair of Boss dress shoes. Oh, and a pair of Skechers that look like Cole Haan. That’s it!
Do you have a lucky number- if so, what is it?
Yes. I do not believe in talismans, and yet I’ve always felt 3 was my lucky number. I need to play the number 7-3-0 in honor of my late grandmother, who won and lost a lot of money over that combination playing the lottery.
What movie ending really frustrated you? And how would you change it?
Good God, can’t we let Blanche Hudson survive another minute until help arrives?
If you had a warning label, what would yours say?
What you get is not what you see.
On a scale of 1-10 how devious would you say you are?
- Easily. No, 9—because a 10 on this scale would deviously say 4 to throw off suspicion.
What’s the best piece of advice anyone has ever given you?
That was then, this is now.
If you had to describe yourself as a flavour, what would it be?
Savory, not sweet.