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Victoria native Matt Prokop finds success in Hollywood

By BY APRILL BRANDON - ABRANDON@VICAD.COM
Nov. 4, 2009 at 5:04 a.m.

It's been an exciting year for Matt Prokop. The Victoria native has transformed his success from "High School Musical 3: Senior Year" into scoring another movie role and a guest spot on the TV show "Medium."

The 19-year-old, who has been living in L.A. the past four years, has just wrapped up the movie "Furry Vengeance" with Brendan Fraser and Brooke Shields. Set to be released April 2, the family comedy is set in the Oregon wilderness, where a real estate developer's new housing subdivision is threatened by a group of local wildlife that don't want their homes disturbed. Prokop happens to play the sarcastic son of the developer, played by Fraser, which hit pretty close to home.

"What's pretty funny about it is I'm playing the son of a man who develops homes and that's actually what my dad does in real life," Prokop laughed.

With "Furry Vengeance" being only his second movie, Prokop added that it was a little intimidating at first working with Fraser and Shields.

"It was incredible. Growing up watching them and being huge fans of both of them, I was really nervous to work with some of my idols," he said. "But they were very welcoming and treated me like their own son, so it was a really great experience and I learned a lot from both of them."

As if scoring a movie deal wasn't enough, Prokop also landed a role on the CBS show "Medium" starring Patricia Arquette, which will air on Nov. 13. Although he usually plays more family-friendly characters, the show gave Prokop the opportunity to show his darker side.

"It's pretty cool. My character is very dark and is convinced he's not who he is. It was nice to play a very serious role and no so much the comedy," he added. "This was my first dramatic role."

Prokop may be landing steady work out in the cutthroat world of Hollywood, but don't expect this Texan to let it go to his head. Other than being able to land more meetings and meet more people, his life hasn't changed much, he said.

"I'm being taken more seriously as an actor now but my public life hasn't so much changed. I don't have paparazzi waiting for my every move. I can still go out and play football with my friends without worrying about looking stupid, which is nice," Prokop said.

With both his parents still living in Victoria, Prokop also makes it a priority to come home often to visit his family and friends, where he does the same stuff he used to do. He hangs out with his friends and goes to the same parties he used to. But that's not to say his life hasn't changed at all.

"When my Victoria friends first heard I was in 'High School Musical' a lot of them didn't believe it. And I don't blame them. I didn't either," he laughed. "But then once that first article in the Advocate came out about it, I started getting the most random people contacting me. It was people I remembered passing in the hallway in elementary school and suddenly they were leaving me Facebook messages like 'Hey, where you been? Haven't seen you since second grade. Let's be best friends.' But I'm lucky that the people that are really my friends haven't changed. With them, none of the fame or success matters. They love you for you."

As for what's next for Prokop, right now it's up in the air. He just continues to go to meetings and wait on the next project to come his way.

"I'd love to do an action film. I think that would be really fun, to play a spy or something," he added. "And I'd love to work with some of the greats, like Johnny Depp, Leonardo DiCaprio and Edward Norton. If I could work with any of those three, I'd be completely satisfied with what I've done."


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