- 1 Early Years and Family
- 2 Career on Television
- 3 Movie Projects
- 4 Interesting Facts
- 5 Personal Life
- 6 Appearance
- 7 Net Worth
Matt Shively is an American actor whose ascent into sitcom stardom was through his portrayals of memorable characters in TV series such as Ryan Laserbeam in “True Jackson, VP,” Sky in “Winx Club,” Jimmy O’Neal in “The Real O’Neals,” and Quentin Van Bryan in “Lopez vs Lopez.” His remarkable comedic timing and relentless pursuit to gain laughter from the viewing public have been the reasons why he has been given a steady flow of opportunities on TV since he took on his first role.
Early Years and Family
Matthew James Shively, Jr. was born on 15 September 1990, in Hanford, California. He spent his childhood in a middle-class suburban home with two siblings, raised by his mother and stepfather. Beyond these details, not much is known about his family, as Matt has been adept at keeping this aspect of his life private. In recent years, he has shared pictures of himself with his mother during special occasion, and.iIn heartfelt captions accompanying these posts, he expresses love and appreciation for his mom.
Those who knew him during his childhood often remarked that it was an understatement to say Matt was destined to be an actor. He caught the acting bug early in life, with anecdotes suggesting that he would casually recite lines from Shakespearean plays, much to the amusement of his parents. His early experiences in school and local community theatre provided him with a taste of eliciting feedback from an audience.
An often-repeated story highlights Matt’s inspiration to pursue a career in Hollywood after watching Shia LaBeouf on TV during fourth grade. Although he held immense respect for theatre actors and enjoyed performing on stage, in which he learned the intricacies of acting, Matt developed a fascination for performing in front of a camera.
Limited information is available about Matt Shively’s educational background, except that his aspiration to become an actor began to take shape during his school years.
Career on Television
Matt has always been described as natural, a quality that made him stand out even in minor roles. Despite his innate talent, he quickly realized that Hollywood wasn’t all glitz and glamour. Like many aspiring actors, he faced numerous auditions and experienced rejection after rejection. However, his tenacity enabled him to overcome these challenges while juggling a part-time job. Matt also embraced guest appearances with minor, sometimes uncredited roles in movies and TV, viewing them as preparation for his breakout opportunity. Here are some of his notable works over the years:
“True Jackson, VP” (2008–2011)
While some actors attribute landing a main cast role to luck or describe their audition process as fun, Matt’s experience with “True Jackson, VP” was different. He underwent a grueling audition process at Nickelodeon network, being called back several times by the casting director. After reading the script for the role of Ryan Laserbeam, Matt was captivated by the character, firmly believing it was written for him. During the audition, he declared to the casting director that it would be the last time she’d see him, confidently stating, ‘I’m going to get this part.’ And he did.
The TV sitcom centered around 15-year-old True Jackson, played by Keke Palmer, who becomes the head of a fashion line for youth. Matt portrayed one of True’s best friends, a character who, despite being clumsy, eccentric, and not particularly intelligent, was always helpful and loyal. “True Jackson, VP” premiered in November 2008 and ran for three seasons. Matt’s performance revealed his ability to fully immerse himself in a character, with viewers finding it hard to differentiate Matt from Ryan. He quickly became a fan favorite, and some even attributed the sitcom’s popularity to his charming interpretation of his role.
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“The Troop” (2011-2013)
Originally not part of “The Troop,” launched in 2009, Matt joined the series during its second season as a replacement for David Del Rio, who chose not to renew his contract, and Matt stepped in to help balance the storyline, portraying the character Kirby Bancroft-Cadworth III, a wealthy and smart young man. This role showcased Matt’s versatility, demonstrating a departure from his debut TV role and highlighting his ability to take on diverse characters.
“Winx Club” (2011-2015)
Matt showcased his natural talent for adapting to various characters and demonstrated a fearlessness in exploring different avenues of entertainment. In 2011, he extended his skills to lending his distinctive vocals to breathe life into one of the main characters in the animated series, “Winx Club.” Originally produced by Rainbow, Nickelodeon became involved in producing the latter seasons. Matt took on the voice role of Sky, and his performance was well-received, leading him to reprise the role until 2015.
“The Real O’Neals” (2016-2017)
After dedicated efforts to perfect his craft, Matt achieved another dream by securing a role in a mainstream network-produced TV series, “The Real O’Neals,” which aired on ABC. Matt shared that obtaining a part from mainstream networks was no easy feat, with some actors feeling as though they had won the lottery upon landing such roles. Despite undergoing the audition process three times before the casting director, Matt’s experience was generally smooth.
The TV series proved to be a hit, playing a pivotal role in solidifying his standing in the industry. The storyline centered around the O’Neal family, initially portrayed as a seemingly perfect Irish Catholic family that is shocked one day by a cascade of revelations. In the first episode, during a fundraising event attended by the O’Neals, a heartwarming discussion unfolded, with each family member sharing a long-held secret. The father revealed contemplation of divorce, the daughter admitted to being a thief and questioning her faith, the middle child came out as gay, and the eldest, Jimmy (played by Matt), disclosed his struggle with anorexia.
While the series garnered attention and received favorable ratings, it faced criticism, particularly from some members of the Catholic community who disliked the religious undertones targeting their faith. Additionally, certain misfired bisexual jokes drew scrutiny from some members of the LGBTQ community. Despite addressing sensitive issues that resonated with some viewers, the show lasted only a couple of seasons before studio executives decided to cancel it.
“Lopez vs Lopez” (2022 – present)
Matt claimed that being in the TV series, “Lopez vs Lopez,” was one of the greatest jobs he’s had in his career. He explained that he started filmed TV sitcoms in multi-cam in the first three years of his acting career, quite similar to performing on stage, which meant that all the scenes are filmed with the presence of a live audience. The actors could immediately receive a feedback from viewers. Apparently, he realized that he missed the experience, and was grateful to the series for making him enjoy it once again.
Lopez vs Lopez's Surprising Ties to True Jackson, VP https://t.co/aGIn5ZOpVR
— E! News (@enews) January 20, 2023
“Lopez vs Lopez” was a fictionalized version of real-life father and daughter, George and Mayan Lopez. Matt played the role of Quinten Van Bryan, Mayan’s boyfriend. He went to a grueling series of auditions, the last one was through an online video meeting. He was caught off guard as he never expected that George Lopez would be present in it. Matt was slightly nervous because when he received the call, he was in another house without the proper audition camera and lighting needed. He just taped the phone on the wall and just made do with whatever light he had in the house at that time. It was for a chemistry test between him, Mayan, and George. Matt shouldn’t have been stressed about it as it didn’t take long for him to receive a notification that he was chosen for the role. It premiered in November 2022 and was renewed for a second season.
While Matt gained a larger fanbase through TV sitcoms, he also made appearances in numerous movies, varied in release formats, including theatrical releases, streaming channels, and some going straight to Video-on-Demand. Here are some of his standout achievements over the years:
“Paranormal Activity 4” (2012)
In 2011, Matt became part of the cast of the beloved and commercially successful movie franchise, “Paranormal Activity 4.” In this fourth installment, he portrayed the character Ben, best friend to Alex (Kathryn Newton), one of the main protagonists in the story. Ben assisted Alex in investigating and installing cameras around her house, as she and her father encountered strange occurrences. For Matt, this marked a surreal shift from comedy to supernatural horror. Fans were taken by surprise, especially since the production had kept the other cast members, aside from Kathryn, under wraps. The movie was released in October 2012.
Intentionally opting for something vastly different from his usual roles, Matt aimed not only to explore new opportunities, but also to test his ability to thrive outside his comfort zone. This decision proved a wise one, as the movie grossed over $140 million against a budget of $5 million.
At 24 years old, Matt continued to portray high school student roles, capitalizing on his youthful appearance. In the movie “Expelled,” he assumed the character of Danny, a teenage computer whiz who, alongside his best friend Felix, orchestrated a scheme to convince others that Felix was excelling in school. The film fell into the genre of a light teen comedy-drama, which resonated well with Matt’s established forte.
Despite venturing into other character types, Matt consistently found his way back to these familiar roles. Studio executives continued to enlist his services, not just for his natural talent, but also because of his reputation in the industry as an actor who was easy to work with, a quality that positively influenced other cast members.
Initially released in December 2014 through limited theaters, “Expelled” later became available on video-on-demand platforms. Upon its digital release, it quickly claimed the top spot on various online charts, including iTunes, within the first day.
“Summer of 8” (2016)
Matt joined the cast of “Summer of 8,” a comedy-drama film that follows the adventures of eight close friends who chose to spend their last day of summer together on the beach before going their separate ways to different colleges. It was written and directed by Ryan Schwartz who opted to have it initially released in April 2016 at the Newport Beach Film Festival, and then had a theatrical release in September of the same year.
Along with Matt, the movie had Bailey Noble, Shelley Hennig and Carter Jenkins in its cast. The film received mixed reviews from critics and audiences, but they had generally positive feedback for Matt’s portrayal. One critic wrote, ‘He offers the film’s most surprising portrayal as Oscar, the group’s token uncouth jerk. He persuasively reveals Oscar’s essential likability, and the redemption arc is utterly unforced.’
“Mark, Mary & Some Other People” (2021)
Matt Shively made his most recent appearance on the big screen in the comedy film “Mark, Mary & Some Other People.” Written and directed by Hannah Marks, the movie was submitted as an official entry to the Tribeca Film Festival in 2021. The comedic narrative revolves around a young married couple exploring an open relationship, leading them to confront various challenges and complications that test the strength of their marriage. Matt joined the main cast, which included Ben Rosenfield as Mark, Hayley Law as Mary, along with Nik Dodani and Odessa A’zion as additional participants in the open relationship. Matt portrayed AJ, Mark’s best friend, offering guidance as they navigated the complexities of an open relationship. The film garnered mixed reviews from both critics and viewers.
Matt Shively’s fun and easy-going personality has charmed many, making it unsurprising that he feels most at home when portraying comedic roles. Here are some interesting facts about him:
- Despite accumulating numerous movie and TV credits, Matt Shively harbors one ultimate dream role: portraying the iconic Indiana Jones, originally brought to life by the remarkable Harrison Ford and created by Steven Spielberg.
- If not for his involvement in the movie and TV industry, Matt humorously admitted to lacking alternative skills, envisioning himself as a janitor, remarking that it was the only job he believed he would qualify for.
- At one point in his life, Matt immersed himself in bicycle racing, and even ventured into national competitions. However, a pivotal moment arrived when his stepfather, a seasoned professional motorcycle racer, suggested it was time for an upgrade—transitioning from bicycles to motorcycles. Despite giving it a try, Matt soon discovered that he couldn’t manage the high speeds, leading to several instances of knocking himself out; this marked the end of his motorcycle riding hobby.
- Expressing a deep connection with his past projects, Matt expresses a desire for a reunion project with all the cast members of “True Jackson, VP.” Even after many years have passed, they remain close friends, discussing the possibility of a reunion whenever they see each other.
- Matt’s playful side came to light when during one of his birthdays, he shared a nude photo revealing only his backside to fans. While he has received requests for more explicit content in his direct messages, he firmly stated that it wouldn’t happen. The compromise came in the form of the photo, accompanied by a caption that read, ‘Always striving to give the people what they want. Here’s my obligatory birthday ass shot. 32 never felt so good.’ Interestingly, he also wondered how long it would take for Instagram to remove the photo.
Matt Shively’s relationship status has left some of his fans in confusion regarding his current romantic situation. For a significant period, he was romantically linked to actress and producer Ashley Newbrough, best known for her roles in the comedy-drama series “Privileged” on CW and various Hallmark movies, such as “Love Under the Stars,” “Love in Glacier National: A National Park Romance,” and “The Valentine Competition.”
The two actors initially met through mutual friends and began dating in 2017. For a considerable time, they were publicly associated as a couple, however, in November 2023, as articles surfaced for the promotion of Ashley’s new Hallmark movie, “Flipping For Christmas,” insinuations arose about the couple’s breakup. Internet investigators pointed out that there had been no shared photos or video content featuring both Matt and Ashley on their respective Instagram pages for the past year. Over the years, especially in the digital age of Instagram’s popularity, social media platforms have served as indicators for many fans curious about their favorite celebrities’ dating status.
While there has been no official confirmation from either party, it appears that they are no longer in a relationship.
Matt Shively is approximately 5ft 9ins (180cms) tall and carries a weight of around 175lbs (80kgs). His appearance is characterized by a youthful, charming demeanor and a slightly fuller facial structure adorned with dimples on both cheeks, often defying his actual age. He boasts a fair skin complexion that complements his dark brown hair and deep brown eyes.
In a brief Q&A session with his fans on Instagram, Matt shared that he has five strategically placed tattoos on various parts of his body.
According to authoritative sources, Matt Shively has accumulated a net worth of around $3 million, as of December 2023.
The recognition he has garnered extends beyond merely acquiring a larger fanbase. It speaks to his establishment in the industry as a versatile actor capable of seamless transitions between genres, effortlessly eliciting laughter, tears, and audience support for his compelling characters.