First Major Studio Picture

Read to the end to watch my scene with Matthew McConaughey.

When Premiere Magazine decided to feature Frailty, the film was still in post-production if I recall. And seeing me listed as Matthew in this article is a good clue that this is correct. I was first credited as Levi Kreis in this movie. Most people these days do not know about the name change. It’s an interesting story actually.

The idea to change my birth name to its Hebrew origin began as a personal and spiritual decision. I had deliberated for months and was getting close to biting the bullet.

Then I get on set of the movie. I’m talking with Matthew McConaughey before shooting one of our scenes. (A handful of scenes we did together ended up on the cutting room floor as they were redundant – my favorite scene with Matthew in fact didn’t make the film. They only needed the scene of me on the phone with Matthew, the scene where I shoot myself, and the scene at the end of the film.)

Matthew turns to me and says, ‘You know, there are a lot of Matthew’s on this set. Did you know that the Hebrew origin of Matthew is Levi?” I answered yes and told him that I was thinking about changing my name to Levi for spiritual reasons. His immediate response was, “Well then, we’ll call you Levi! It’ll sure make it easier to deal with all the Matthews on set!” And there it was. I was called Levi professionally from then on.