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What Matthew Lilliard Could Teach Rachel Zegler

'Scream' alum scores with 'Five Nights at Freddy's,' shares gratitude for his fans

Matthew Lillard could retire tomorrow and look back on his career with pride.

The 53-year-old helped make 1996’s “Scream” part of horror film history. He scored again with “Scooby Doo!”, bringing the franchise’s iconic Shaggy character to life.

He even voiced Shaggy’s cartoon character following original star Casey Kasem’s death.

Matthew Lillard teaches us how to do the voice of Shaggy from Scooby-Doo

Lillard has worked constantly over the years, but hearing him describe his latest triumph feels odd in today’s Hollywood. He’s grateful, full stop. He adores his fans and appreciates every part of a “comeback” he didn’t need but relishes all the same.

Call him the anti-Rachel Zegler.

Lillard opened up to The Hollywood Reporter about playing the heavy in “Five Nights at Freddy’s” and his career arc. He’s old enough to know how lucky he is for capturing lightning in a bottle three times in a highly competitive field.

“I realize that these opportunities don’t come around that often. It’s been a really rich, joyful moment because I can sort of sit back and appreciate it on a deeper level.”

The actor says “Freddy’s” creators cared about the fans first and foremost, an approach he cheers. Later, Lillard shares how he views both his career and the overall Hollywood scene.

“I have so many more things going on in my life right now than I’ve ever had, and the good news is that I’ve learned not to seek out validation from this godforsaken industry … I don’t think you can survive in this industry looking for validation from film and television because it’s just too fickle. If I was depending on that sort of affirmation, I wouldn’t still be acting. I would be doing something else.”

With age comes wisdom. That’s even more true for stars like Lillard who are lucky enough to work in Hollywood for decades.

It’s a quality Zegler could use right about now.


The 22-year-old actress landed a career-making role in Steven Spielberg’s 2021 “West Side Story” remake. Since then, she’s scored gigs in the “Hunger Games” prequel, hitting theaters Nov. 17 as well as a supporting turn in “Shazam! Fury of the Gods.”

Next up? She’ll play the title character in Disney’s live-action “Snow White” update. That film just got bumped from 2024 to 2025, allegedly due to the recently-wrapped actors’ strike.

It’s that reboot that has everyone talking about Zegler, and few of the comments are complimentary.

Zegler has repeatedly trashed the source material, the 1937 film that put Disney on the map. She claims it’s a relic of another era and that her version will dramatically improve upon its “extremely dated” mores.

Snow White - How To Destroy Your Own Movie

“Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” remains a critical part of Disney lore. Millions grew up watching the film and have done the same with their children and grandchildren.

The point of creating a live-action version of “Snow White” is to build on its existing fan base while introducing the story to a new generation.

And, along the way, make the box office registers go, “ka-CHING!”

Tell that to Zegler, who created a PR disaster for Disney as her comments ricocheted around social media for month after month.

Stars talk to the press to promote their films, first and foremost. Too many actors use those opportunities to push divisive political attacks and, in Zegler’s case, mock their own franchises. The fans deserve better. So do the studios spending millions on the movies in question.

The 20-something star is too young to see the big picture, to realize her comments are hurting her hard work and talent.

She could use a friend like Lillard to show her how to navigate fame and to appreciate how rare it is to score opportunities like playing a beloved Disney princess.


  1. My family’s a big fan of Lillard’s work in the recent animated “Scooby Doo” series–but I had no idea he was in this movie until I visited your site; I read the Hollywood Reporter interview y’all linked and was really impressed by the character on display and his entrepreneurial spirit. We’re happy for his success! Thank you for writing about this. And boo to Zegler. She needs to learn the value of humility.

  2. Hard work? These are actors. By defintion, they do not work, they play. The act in screenplays. They read something someone else wrote, behave the way someone else tells them to, and get do over after do over till they get it just the way the other person wants it. That’s not a job, that’s not work. Go sing that song to the guy who picks up your garbage, the cop who walks a beat and puts up with all the hate, the soldier who literally goes to war. Actors are the least important people on the planet. They are golgafrinchans.

  3. Disney will not change until Iger and the Management team is replaced.
    It is still a Woke disaster. An ignorant Latino girl replaced the Culturally correct European girl as Snow White. Disney Casting 7 Hobos as Dwarfs.

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