Walter Matthau, at least to the younger generations, is primarily known for his role in the Grumpy Old Men series. Perhaps some of you even remember him as the sloppy bachelor, Oscar Madison, in "The Odd Couple." Whatever the case, most people's perception of Walter Matthau is one of a man who played boorish slovenly characters.
Does he look boorish or slovenly to you?
Here's why people, especially young men, should become students of Walter Matthau.
He was an average looking guy, perhaps even slightly below average, whose mastery of CHARM more than compensated for his looks.
Have you seen "Charlie Varrick?"
Have you seen "Charade?"
Have you seen "Fail Safe?"
Probably not, because Matthau's most popular work is the likes of The Odd Couple or Grumpy Old Men. But if you did you would see a man whose demeanor, wit, pose and vocabulary compensated for any mediocrity in his looks.
Was his charm at least in part scripted like Cary Grant's lines?
Was there multiple takes to pull off the impression the director wanted?
But just like you should emulate the likes of Cary Grant's performance, so too you should aim to be as quick, clever, and charming as Walter Matthau.
There is also another reason Matthau should be mandatory viewing for all men -very few of us look like Cary Grant or Steve McQueen, but most of us DO look like Walter Matthau.
We're average looking schlubbs. We're normal looking guys. Got a little extra weight and perhaps our faces are a bit muggy. That didn't stop Matthau and it shouldn't stop you. Unless you are horribly disfigured it is within the capacity of most men to craft, hone, practice, improve and deploy charm to the point their 5.5 face is transformed into a 8.7 man. You can don a suit, you can keep most of the weight off, and if you have an inventory of lines or (better yet) a brain that can craft witty lines in context at a drop of a hat, you can achieve Walter Matthau.
Also, two things about Mr. Matthau you may not have known that would make you want to emulate him more.
He was a gunnery sergeant in the US Air Corps during WWII
And he was able to kiss and pinch the ass of Sophia Loren. (Note the smile on her face).
How many of you can claim that?