Waking Up With: <em>Griffin Matthews</em>

Waking Up With: Griffin Matthews

Griffin Matthews is an LA based actor and creative. He lives in a beautiful 1920’s farmhouse with his husband and two foster sons. Here, we discuss raising children and chickens, breaks from social media, and creating a kid-friendly home.

What is your morning ritual?

Apollo stands up in his crib and starts talking to me. I roll over and say “hi” and then the madness begins. Apollo is 10 months old and we found out yesterday that we get to adopt him. I was crying in my trailer and my production assistant was knocking and I was like “Hold on! I’m wiping tears!”

Mila Shirt in Apricot
“My favorite part about being a father has been seeing my husband be a father.”
Griffin Matthews

You and your husband are fostering two adorable boys. How did you come to the decision to foster?

We actually always wanted to be parents. We decided to foster because we hit a point where we were so comfortable in our single lives we were like ‘ok we are getting older and if we don’t do it now we are never going to do it’. We didn’t want to look back and have that question unanswered so we went through the process of fostering and literally before we even completed our paperwork they had called us about our first son. It just happened.

What has been your favorite part about being a father?

My favorite part about being a father has been seeing my husband be a father. He’s so good at being a dad. When I married Matt I did not know that he was my person. I just knew that he was my friend and that we liked each other and that we loved each other, but I knew he was my person when Galileo showed up. I realized I was living in the middle of all of my dreams. I was like - now I have a husband and a baby. It didn’t get clear until then.

Most surprising part of being a father?

The thing people don’t tell you is you are getting a new best friend. When you are getting a baby it is a new best friend. I feel like people don’t talk about it properly. We love our kids. They are so fun, they really are. We love them.

What are you working on in your career right now?

The path - oh it’s long. It’s just the longest most winding broken path ever and I don’t think that that’s a unique story for our industry. It takes forever to become an overnight success. And not that I think anyone has ever called me an overnight success, but I think that it just takes way longer than you think it’s going to take. I thought I’d get it when I was thirty. I’m not thirty. And by “get it”, I just mean stability - the knowledge that I have work.

“I wanted a house that felt like other people had lived in it and we were just passing through it as well.”
Nola Robe in Terracotta

How do you balance being an artist, an activist, a husband, a father?

Well I put down social media, that’s the first thing. I do social media breaks. There are times when I need to be on social media for work and career stuff, and then I take breaks where I just put it down so that I can refocus on my family. That’s been a lesson this year since we just lived through the pandemic. I realized I had to stay present in my house.

What do you do to stay grounded?

I have chickens, we got chickens in the pandemic. I spend a lot of time outside with the chickens and feeding them and taking care of them and collecting the eggs and doing the garden and the rosebushes… I love that we moved out of the city and into this farmhouse because it keeps me in nature and feeling like there are other things going on in the world than just social media and my career.

Mila Shirt in Apricot

Can you tell us a little bit about your home? What is your approach to decorating?

We bought a 1920’s farmhouse and it’s 100 years old and it creaks and the floors are all different hardwoods and it’s delicious. When I saw the floor of the house I wanted to buy the house based on the floor. It has character and it feels like a temporary space. I wanted to buy a house that felt like other people had lived in it and we were just passing through it as well. I love houses like that, that feel like you’re temporary in there. My design style is I buy anything that I like and I trust that it will find it’s space in the house. I do a lot of second hand vintage boutique shops and whatnot - anywhere - anywhere I am in the world I buy things for the house and I just trust that if I like it it will fit. And it does. It always fits. And when it doesn’t fit, I get rid of it. I say ‘bye-bye’. So my decorating style is pick the things you like and trust that they fit.

As a parent of two young children how do you balance creating a home that you like aesthetically while also making it kid friendly?

Well first and foremost we bought amazing leather couches that we have spilled things on, the dog has scratched, the kids eat on… even though my house looks a little fragile, it’s actually not at all. I don’t have a lot of fragile things in the house so that was the first thing, you just have to have a sustainable space especially when you are a parent. Your house is going to get destroyed every single day. Every. Single. Day. The kids destroy the house and we just put it back together. That’s why I like old objects and old furniture - because it feels like it can get beat up and the patina of it actually feels beautiful and lived in. Although I will say that my new phrase that I scream when I’m tired is “Can I just have nice things!” That is my new phrase that I scream at my husband and children… “Can I JUST have nice things?” I think that sort of negates everything that I said previously but it’s true. Sometimes I’m like, can shit just be pretty sometimes? Can I have nice things? And my husband just laughs at me.

What are you reading / watching / listening to these days?

I am reading a book called “Coo”. It is about a pigeon that is orphaned and it’s for a creative project. I’m reading a lot of Architectural Digest online and in print. I think it’s because I’ve been on planes lately and I’m finding that I like to see what other people are doing in their houses so I can get some inspiration. I just watched Mare of Easttown which I really liked on HBO Max. I think Kate Winslet is incredible and so is Evan Peters. Oh my god Evan Peters on that show gives one of the best performances I’ve ever seen on television. Evan Peters. I’m listening to Blippi - children’s music - what even is music? I just listen to children’s songs all day.

Fill in the blanks:

The coolest place I’ve ever woken up in is:

In Uganda. Matt and I went to this resort about 8 hours outside of Kampala called Lake Bunyonyi. It was like waking up in National Geographic. It was in the middle of nowhere and we were in a tent and we opened the tent and it is people in hollowed out logs rowing across the lake - it was just the most beautiful thing I have ever seen. I couldn’t believe that the world looked like that and that people were still living so off the grid. It was just so beautiful.

The best cup of coffee/tea is at:

Well my husband does make a mean cup of coffee. He’s a coffee connoisseur so Matt is probably the best cup of coffee that I have.

A thing about mornings I’ll never get sick of is:

Having a house full of people, kids, dogs. I’m not a morning person but I became a morning person because I have kids. There’s nothing better than the kids running into the room. We get a bed full of boys in the morning, including our dog, “Mommy”. It’s my favorite thing, I feel like it’s my best life.