Chamberlain`s interest in acting can be traced back to his childhood, although he didn`t take up a career in acting straight away. He took his degree at Lincoln University in New Zealand, graduating with Bachelor's Degree of Agricultural Commerce/Farming. Before settling on being a professional actor he did…more
Matthew has performed in the short films Stumped (2011, as Farmer) and Rush Hour (1992).
Matthew has three children.
Matthew's theatre credits include:
(2010) Up North "Jimmy", Centrepoint Theatre, Dir Rachel House
(2009) A Brief History of Helen Of Troy "Father", BATS Theatre Company, Dir Heather O'Carroll
(2005) Democracy "Ulli Bauhaus" Circa Theatre, Wellington, Dir Ross Jolly
(2005) Kikia Te Pou "Harry" BATS Theatre, Wellington, Dir Larry Rew
(2004) Macbeth "Banquo" Circa Theatre, Wellington, Dir Bruce Phillips
(2003) Soulmates "Max Von Niekerk" Circa Theatre, Wellington, Dir Bruce Phillips
(2002) Playing A Round "Brian" Circa Theatre, Wellington, Dir William Walker
(2001) Middle Age Spread "Robert" Downstage Theatre, Wellington, Dir Steven Ray
(2000) Secret Bridesmaid's Business "Husband" Downstage Theatre, Wellington, Dir Steven Ray
(2000) Wilding New Zealand National & International Tour, Dir Matthew Chamberlain (Self Devised Solo Show)
(1999) Cabaret "Clifford Bradshaw" Downstage Theatre, Wellington, Dir Colin McColl
(1998) Eulogy "Otto Schmidt" Downstage Theatre, Wellington, Dir Andrew Foster
(1997) The Sisterhood "Cleitandre" Circa Theatre, Wellington, Dir Danny Mulheron
(1996) The Visit "School Teacher" Downstage Theatre, Wellington, Dir Colin McColl
(1996) Under Vernon "Jazz" Downstage Theatre, Wellington, Dir Stephen Bain
(1994) Nga Tangata Toa "Wi" Taki Rua Theatre, Dir Colin McColl
(1994) He Repo Haka "Harry Stevenson" Taki Rua Theatre, Dir Colin McColl
(1993) Ladies Night 2- Raging On "Barry" Downstage Theatre, Wellington, Dir William Kircher
(1993) Lovelocks Dream Run "Silvers" Centrepoint Theatre, Palmerston North, Dir Alison Quigan
(1993) He Repo Haka "Harry" Centrepoint Theatre, Palmerston North, Dir Tina Cook
Matthew appeared in a commercial for the prescription drug Cialis which aired in the US only.
Matthew presented his one man show "The Life of Anthony Wilding", based on the life of the Kiwi Wimbledon champion at the opening ceremony of Wilding Park, Christchurch, NZ in 2006.
Matthew is perhaps best known in the US for his role as the evil warlord Darphus, Xena's former lieutenant, on the show Hercules the Legenday Journeys. But he also appeared as the cult leader Kamaros on the third season Hercules episode "The Lost City", the disembodied head of the bard Orpheus on the second season Xena episode "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" and the Roman triumvir Crassus on the third season Xena episode "When in Rome...". Because his appearance changed so drastically for each role, many don't recognize him from one episode to the next.
Matthew is represented professionally by Johnson & Laird Management.
Matthew is 5'11" (181 cm), has light brown hair and blue eyes.
Matthew enjoys surfing, skiing, rugby, sailing, and he is a qualified scuba diver. He also has a talent for music, dancing, and singing.
Matthew would like to get into directing someday, but he wants to wait until the right opportunity presents itself.
Matthew greatly enjoyed his guest starring roles on Xena, but when he played Orpheus in the episode "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" he found it quite challenging, since he was playing a disembodied head! A lot of the effects were done on set by putting him inside fake rocks and poking his neck out of the top. They would then sweep gravel around to make the rock look more authentic, but it would run down his neck, down his back and settle. Every time they went, "OK, ready for a shot", he would think, "Here we go again!"
For the Xena episode "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" Matthew had to wear a scarecrow outfit, and they were rushing to get a shot done before the sun went down. He started to mount his horse, but as he went to climb up, he found himself getting tugged the other way as the horse began munching on the straw poking out of the end of his sleeve!
Matthew auditioned for Hercules and about six to seven months later, he was offered the part of Darphus. When Rennaissance called he was on a camping trip up in the mountains, and he got the message from his agent just after New Year telling him that they`d offered him the part without hesitation, knowing that he was their first choice for that role.
Matthew: I`ve never given directing a try, although I`d love to have a crack at it. But I haven`t really focused on it at all and it might be one of those things that isn`t a conscious, `I want to do directing now` type of thing. It might be that the opportunity arises [one day] and I might go, `This is good fun and I`d like to do it`.
Matthew: I`ve done a lot of New Zealand plays, but there are probably no New Zealand playwrights who are established enough to be able to say they`ve written 27 plays and love them all.
Matthew: (on his roles for "Xena" and "Hercules") I read a lot of the ancient myths and histories when I was a kid. Even with a character like Crassus, you might think that he`s just a made up name, but then you realise that he really did exist along with Pompey and Caesar. So its really interesting to see the historical myths come through into Xena, and even Orpheus, although I don`t think there was ever a Darphus.
Matthew: I got my first professional job the day I left drama school. It was in a movie called Bread and Roses, and my part was 'Heckler Number Two', as distinct from 'Heckler Number One!' I didn`t think that was too bad. I was only one day out of drama school, I had a job and I was getting paid for it!
Matthew: (on his best known role on "Hercules") I enjoyed the dramatic aspect of Darphus. In fact, it was so dramatic it felt almost comic! I got the chance to play someone who was really vile, and the more I could give the director and production people, the more they lapped it up.
Matthew: (on his role as the villain on "Hercules") It was great fun playing Darphus and it was a good working environment because Renaissance Pictures treats everyone so well. I got to ride around on horses and kill people, and you can`t argue with that!