Is This ‘D-Rate’ Actor the Best Dressed Man in Hollywood?

Matty Matheson attends the 81st Annual Golden Globe Awards in Beverly Hills, California, U.S., January 7, 2024. REUTERS/Mike Blake (REUTERS)
Matty Matheson attends the 81st Annual Golden Globe Awards in Beverly Hills, California, U.S., January 7, 2024. REUTERS/Mike Blake (REUTERS)

Summary

How Matty Matheson from ‘The Bear’ came to outshine even more famous stars on the red carpet.

Matty Matheson will tell anyone who asks that he’s far more at home behind a simmering range than on a red carpet.

But this chef turned self-described “D-rate" star has become an improbable suit-wearing standout of this year’s awards circuit.

There he was at the Emmys looking like a tuxedoed Colonel Sanders with a string tie tucked under his collar. To a Vanity Fair party in January, he threw on a pinstriped suit with fat peak lapels that made him look like a jaunty hitman. At this weekend’s SAG Awards, televised on Netflix, he plans to wear a crisp tux.

“It’s never not humbling being in rooms like that," said Matheson, 42, a Canadian chef, actor and former travel show host, who lately has had an only-in-Hollywood pivot to fame thanks to his status as executive producer of FX’s high-pressure cooking dramedy, “The Bear." He even had a scene-stealing turn as Neil Fak, a hammy handyman on the series. That show has become one of the most-honored TV programs at this year’s award ceremonies. In the past few months, it has racked up Emmys and Golden Globes. Now it’s up for even more trophies at this weekend’s Screen Actors Guild Awards.

“I’m sitting at a table and, like, Meryl Streep is sitting in front of me, Emma Stone is sitting next to me and Quinta Brunson is coming up and says hi," Matheson, who lives in Fort Erie, Ontario, said of his experience at the Golden Globes. “It’s crazy. I’m such a normal person. I ain’t trying to live in LA, I ain’t trying to live in New York. I like to go do the work and go back to my farm and live with my family."

He may get to the red carpet early, before all the real stars arrive, but Matheson has made the most of his time in front of the cameras. To some, it’s not Ryan Gosling or even Matheson’s Calvin-Klein-ad-starring co-star Jeremy Allen White who deserves the title of best dressed in Hollywood right now. It’s this tattooed-to-the-fingernails, would-rather-sear-a-steak-than-sit-through-an-acting-class chef.

To put it in cooking terms, Matheson’s fashion sense is a perfectly-seasoned pot roast—nothing too crazy, never dry, with a smidge of spice.

“I’m just looking for, like, what’s Jack Nicholson wearing in ’78," said Matheson. “I always just look at all those old photos of ’70s De Niro and Pacino on red carpets, I think they are just phenomenal."

Shoes are where Matheson swerves. “A funky little shoe is my biggest move," he said in his bubbly Canadian lilt. That black tux at the Globes was accompanied by a pair of fisherman sandals, like something a wrinkly paisano would wear on the Amalfi coast. At the VF party, he skittered across the carpet in snakeskin boots.

He has long had a potent taste for fashion, even if most of the industry isn’t catering to men of his size. “As a 300-pound man, I only got a couple options," Matheson, who described his build as “like a baked potato with some toothpicks stuck in it."

Off the crimson carpets, Matheson is primarily a uniform dresser. He favors Vans sneakers, Carhartt pants and hole-sprung vintage T-shirts. During our interview, Matheson said he was wearing the same Carhartt jeans for the past three weeks and a cheap thermal “that I’ve been wearing for a week and it smells like a hockey player."

In addition to his restaurants and YouTube cooking channel, Matheson is the co-founder of Rosa Rugosa, a brand of Canadian-made workwear that includes  $265 chore jackets and $145 work pants. To accommodate men of his prodigious stature, the brand’s sizes go up to 4XL for jacket and 52-inch waists for pants.

When “The Bear" started pulling in nominations, Matheson visited Harry Rosen, a Toronto department store where he had several suits made. He didn’t work with a stylist. He trusted his instincts and occasionally turned to his wife, Trish Spencer, for an outside opinion.

His zestiest purchase was an oxblood double-breasted Harry Rosen suit that he wore to the Golden Globes with patent leather Gucci Chelsea boots. Matheson had never before worn a double-breasted suit and was concerned it might not work on him. “I was, like, am I gonna look like a flag wrapped around a f–ing basketball?" The look earned him mentions on best-dressed lists days after.

Matheson claimed to be tech-inept, but did say when he looks on TikTok now, he finds that most videos about him now are about his clothes, not cooking. “I’m so proud to represent my little chubby chubbys out there," said Matheson. “I am straight up the best-dressed 300-pound man on the planet."

Write to Jacob Gallagher at jacob.gallagher@wsj.com

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