Indie-film poster boy Stephen Dorff looks fetching in just about anything, but he's not that big on fashion and even less so on dress codes: "In London," says the 27 year old Dorff, "I've been denied at a couple of my friends' places and then they'll be like 'Have you been to my club' and I'll say, 'Well I tried to.....' This spring, Dorff gets his Fonzie on in the 50's gang drama Deuces Wild, playing a tank-top-wearing gang leader from Brooklyn with a heart of gold, while Drea de Matteo, the mafiosa moll on The Sopranos, take a turn as his poodle-skirted hussy. The sultry de Matteo is a bold vixen who knows exactly what she likes--and doesn't. "Swimwear is a very interesting point," says de Matteo, 28. "I'm very paticular. I hate everybody's bathing suit. I hate them all."
When you were a kid, did your mom insist on dressing you?
No, but there's this one ridiculous picture she has up in the house of my brother and me at Easter. I think we were 8 or 9. It was the worst outfit ever-- seersucker blazers with shorts. Not slacks. I said, "Mom, if you want me as your son, I will never wear this again." It was like A Christmas Story with Peter Billingsley, and the mom makes his wear that elephant suit or whatever. It was never that bad, but the seersucker blazer with the shorts was an interesting look.
Did you ever have to wear a uniform again?
I did. It was a nightmare. I didn't like it, but I went with it. Gray slacks, white shirt, navy v-neck sweater, a blazer and no tie. I went to Campbell Hall in LA- a lot of actors' and rich peoples' kids. I only went there for two or three years because I'd started acting and they didn't really want me to and act and go to school.
Were you style-conscious growing up? Was there anyone who looked hip to you?
I don't know if there was every one person. I admired people, but not necessarily for the way they dressed. Style-wise, I've always known what I liked. I used to wear Vans. Now I want a pair of those old Spicoli [named for Jeff Spicoli, Sean Penn's character in Fast Times at Ridgemont High] ones, you know, the checkerboard? But everybody's wearing them. I still have my black slip-ons. I love Levi's cords and I loved OP.
When did you discover fashion?
When I was first coming into movies and stuff, I was doing all these magazines. I was young and didn't care, so they would put me in snakeskin pants and Helmut Lang reflective jackets, and I was really into it. Crazy rock 'n' roll kind of clothes. Now I'm much simpler. I like letting girls be the fashion whores. I'd rather spend the money on musical equipment, traveling, or artwork.
What's your favorite piece of clothing?
I like vintage t-shirts, but not the ones that have rock groups on them. That's my mosy obsessive collection. I like the ones that are like Joe's Plumbing in Brooklyn. I have thousands of them. And now they've become trendy. Now you go into Fred Segal or something, and there are these old t-shirts everywhere and the sell them for $120 or something. At Drea's store, I was getting eight of them for $30. I love a good room of t-shirts.
What's the most you've ever spent on clothes?
I just dropped some cash for a Charlier Brown sweater. It was old. I thought it would b $200 and it was $500. It wasn't even cashmere. It was overpriced, but I had to have it. I would have bought it for $5 or $500.
Do you have a favorite designer?
I like this designer Martin Margiela from Paris. He makes the best t-shirts and pants--kind of messed-up, nice clothes. They're wrinkly, and the t-shirts are the softest. I wear them everyday.
Have you ever worn anything you thought was really hip that makes you cringe now?
I use to wear this jacket that almost looked like a white shag carpet. I was photographed in it lot. It was really cozy, but now I look at it and I'm like, "Oh boy, what the hell was I doing?"
Your buddy Michael Stipe wears dresses a lot. Did he ever try to get you to wear one?
No, but he wouldn't have gotten very far. I went to this party for Julian Schnabel, and he was wearing a skirt. Guy Ritchie is big into kilts. It might be cool to wear a kilt. I love items that are cool fashion-y. Some people go for it and wear fur coats, but I like my army jacket. I go through a thing where I find one item and I'll wear it everyday for six months.
Did you find the jacket at a vintage shop?
Yeah, my friend Anthony Keidis was like, "Where did you get that? I want to get one. My dad got me an army jacket for Christmas, but I took it out of the bag and it was a bolo cute." He was really stoked and then it was a bolo.
In Deuces Wild, you get to wear a wife beater a lot. Do you focus on the clothes your characters wear?
With characters, I like to have one thing that represents the guy to me, even if it's the simplest shit like a wife-beater. Clothes help. The whole look helps me with a character. Some movies are different--all in the head, and the clothes don't matter--I don't want anything to stand out. In Deuces, I wore these red contacts at the end of the movie, and they hurt like a bitch. We pretty much knew what those guys wore in the 50's.
Did that make you feel 50's-ish?
Yeah, the hair cut did. I had a crew cut in the movie.
There were a lot of fight scenes in Deuces Wild. Got any tips for getting blood out of clothes?
Luckily, I haven't gotten into too many fights, so I don't know. But I've gotten red wine out of my girlfriend's [model Rhea Durham] suede dress. She spilled it all over the front of the dress one night during a premiere. I think it was for a John Waters movie in Cannes. She said salt takes it out, so I covered her and it vanished. Salt just wiped it out.
In Backbeat, you had a pretty snappy wardrobe.
Yeah, winkle pickers--the shoes the Beatles used to wear.
Did you keep them?
Actually, I think I did keep a pair. I usually try and keep one thing. Jack Nicholson keeps every item. They have a stunt outfit, a B outfit, and a C outfit, and he'll keep them all so they can't do re-shoots. On Cecil B. Demented they wouldn't let me keep the straightjacket. I think they needed it for some museum show or something, but I kept the riding crop.
Ever wear a speedo?
No. That's funny, my girlfriend sent me my Christmas present in a Fed Ex box. On Christmas morning, I'm with my family and I'm opening my first present, and it's a blue snakeskin Speedo. My mom says, "Oh, it's really nice Stephen," and I say, "This is a joke, Mom. She knows I would never wear a Speedo." And my mom says, "No, I think she's serious. It's vey nice, you'd probably look great in it." I'm like, "Oh really? Why don't I try it on for you, Mom?" So I put it on and I walked around the house pouring eggnog for my grandmother.
When you're getting busy with your girlfriend, do you always take all of your clothes off?
I'll leave stuff on. I leave my boots on sometimes. It it's a new girlfriend and it's your first time, that's a real vulnerable little gap--that two or three minutes. Your pants snag and you're trying to get your shirt off and then you're just standing there. We've been going out for two years. If you're with somebody for a while, then you can go with it. Run around naked and crap.
What's one thing you love to see a woman wearing?
I love tight t-shirts on girls. Louis Vuitton does a great bikini for a girl. I think heels are pretty sexy.
What do you think of Casual Friday?