Fast and Furious Vince
“I think from the time I was a kid I've been an entertainer. I've always had the ability to play characters. When I came to California I was overwhelmed that you could do this and get paid for it, make a living on it, and be creative within this art form.” Matt Schulze
A former model for Levi's, Matt Schulze focused on acting and is widely remembered as hot headed Vince, the guy in the blue Nissan Maxima, in the blockbuster automotive/action movie “The Fast and The Furious” (2001), and as Wall Street, the mysterious criminal who hired Jason Statham's character, in “The Transporter” (2002). He has appeared in “Blade” (1998), “Boys and Girls” (2000), “Blade II” (2002), “Torque” (2004), “The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things” (2004), “Mr. Brooks” (2007) and the TV series "Charmed," "CSI: Miami" and "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit." He will next be seen in an upcoming thriller film titled “The Flock,” alongside Richard Gere and Claire Danes.
The 6' 1", blue-eyed, blond-haired actor, who is also an accomplished guitarist and viola player, was recently listed as one of the “Top 10 Men to Watch in Hollywood” in GQ Magazine.
“I am actually very sensitive. I think people always tend to think of me as brassy and kind of a bully, but that is not the way I am inside.” Matt Schulze
Childhood and Family:
“I have lived in a relatively nice area before, but I chose to hang out in East St. Louis, which is the ghetto. My friends lived in downtown St. Louis. St. Louis is a really... downtown was a rough area [at the time] and those were the people I chose to hang out with to get the rawness of life. You know what I mean? There were no judgments. I was really one of the only white guys down there.” Matt Schulze
In St. Louis, Missouri, Matt Schulze was born on July 3, 1972. After studying guitar at the prestigious Atlanta Institute of Music, Schulze, who ended up getting a GED, returned to St. Louis at age 17 and taught guitar for a year. In 1992, he moved to Los Angeles to be a studio musician, but began working in acting and modeling.
“As a child, it (the guitar) was my only means of expression. It was a way for me to hide out and try to be creative. I tried to resolve a lot of unsettled emotions inside me. I used that as a vehicle because my outward life was pretty much crazy. I was a hellion.” Matt Schulze
Wall Street of The Transporter
"I am from St. Louis and grew up in a rough area. I moved out at an early age and went to a music conservatory in Atlanta and studied guitar. I came back to St. Louis after that and taught music when I was 17. I had 65 students a week. I did that for a year and then moved to Los Angeles. I pretty much became a studio musician when I got here. I went to a School of the Arts for theater and all that stuff when I was kid. But when I got here (L.A.), I got a Levis campaign and it opened up a whole new world for me. I went to Europe and did runway shows and all this modeling stuff and lived there for a while, but always tried to focus on acting. But I never wanted to do any television shows, so it took me a long time to finally get in to where I am at now, as far as getting inside of films, without really having any credits. And I have been doing it more and more." Matt Schulze
Initially developing his interest in music, Matt Schulze landed a modeling job with Levi's when he came to Los Angeles in 1992. He appeared on the famous jeans company's television commercials, ad prints and on the runway in both the United States and Europe.
Schulze eventually turned his interest to acting and focused on it. Following guest spots in such shows as WB's supernatural drama “Charmed,” USA Network's drama "Pacific Blue" and the WB's family drama "7th Heaven" in 1998, he got his first feature film role as the vampire Crease in Stephen Norrington's action/thriller starring Wesley Snipes and Stephen Dorff, “Blade” (1998), which was loosely based on the comics series with the same name.
“It was great. I think he's very talented. I learned a lot in the way of his ability to become intimate with the camera, which is a special thing that I was able to take away from that experience.” Matt Schulze (on working with Hollywood star Wesley Snipes in “Blade,” 1998.
The next year, Schulze made his second movie, an independent thriller directed by Woody Keith titled “Dementia” (1999), in which he co-starred as the sadistic ex-convict husband of a beautiful nurse trainee (played by Marisol Padilla Sánchez). He then spent the new millennium in Robert Iscove's teen romantic drama comedy starring Freddie Prinze Jr., Claire Forlani and Jason Biggs, “Boys and Girls” (2000; he had a small role as Paul), a remake of the 1989 film “When Harry Met Sally,” and then in writer-director Kevin Lewis' independent thriller “Downward Angel” (2001), in which he took the lead as a young assassin who infiltrates an underground organization called The Guild in order to seek revenge for his parents' murders.
"'The Fast and The Furious' was probably the best job I did so far. We got to learn how to do Indy racing cars and they allowed me to develop a character that really, on the page, wasn't written. I roughed it up. (In the film) I have dark hair." Matt Schulze
Schulze got his first big break in 2001 when he snagged the notable supporting role of hot headed Vince in Rob Cohen's blockbuster automotive/action film, “The Fast and the Furious.” For his character, Schulze bulked up, grew a beard and dyed his hair a different color.
“We are basically robbing trucks to finance underground street racing. I am the intimidator of the whole crew, the badass, sort of. I am also the downfall character, (the guy) everyone kind of s***s on.” Matt Schulze (on his character in “The Fast and The Furious,” 2001)
The subsequent year, Schulze returned to the second installment of “Blade,” “Blade II” (2002). In the film, which was directed by Guillermo del Toro, Schulze played the supporting role of a vampire called Chupa. On his character in the film, Schulze explained, “I have more of a lead character. I play this guy named Chupa and it's sort of like this Vietnam crew is assembled and I'm one of the leaders. We go into Prague trying to fight these reapers that have taken over the city. It's cool. It's futuristic but yet there is really no timeline on it. There is more of a story than the first movie and visually the director added more colors.”
That same year, he also co-starred with Jason Statham in Louis Leterrier and Corey Yuen's crime/action/thriller “The Transporter.” He played Darren 'Wall Street' Bettencourt, the mysterious American criminal who hired Statham's titular character to make a delivery. In order to effectively play the character, Schulze lost about 40 pounds by fasting for 16 days.
2004 saw Schulze in Joseph Kahn's action movie about underground motorcycle gangs and racers, “Torque” (starring Martin Henderson, Ice Cube, Monet Mazur and Jay Hernandez), playing Henry James, a ruthless drug dealer and leader of the Hellions biker gang, and in Asia Argento's disturbing drama based on the novel by JT LeRoy, “The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things,” in which he played a small character called Kenny. He also shared the screen with Steven Seagal in Po-Chih Leong's action/drama “Out of Reach,” in which he played Faisal.
During 2005, Schulze made several television appearances. He was spotted as a guest in an episode of CBS’ forensic drama "CSI: Miami" and NBC's police procedural drama "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit." He also co-starred in the failed TV series pilot “Bounty Hunters.”
Back to the wide screen, Schulze starred in Nick Quested's independent thriller, “Seven Mummies,” and in the Joey Travolta directed thriller, “Final Move.” He recently could be seen in Bruce A. Evans' psychological thriller starring Kevin Costner and William Hurt, “Mr. Brooks” (2007), in which he played Thorton Meeks. Next, he will support Richard Gere and Claire Danes in Wai Keung Lau's upcoming thriller film, “The Flock.”
Schulze also appeared in rapper Knoc-Turn'al's music video "Muzik," along with “Transporter” co-star Jason Statham, and in Youngbloodz’s "Lean Low" music video for the movie “Torque,” along with other cast members. An accomplished guitarist and viola player, Schulze is also a songwriter and hopes to make an album one day soon.
"I am pretty busy. Mostly I play music. I write. There is a group called 'American Pearl,' they are signed with Creed's record label. I teach the guitar player in that group. I give them lessons and help them write songs and I do a lot of music in my down time to offset the acting so that I can change. I try not to repeat any kind of movements in each character and develop something new for each one, which is a hard process. So I try to totally surrender myself to music to clear that pathway for the next movie." Matt Schulze