Information Diet: Matthew Modine

The 'Batman' star enjoys the cerebral Times' crossword puzzle


Age 53

Accomplishments Recently starred as deputy commissioner Peter Foley in The Dark Knight Rises; appearing next in Family Weekend and in Steve Jobs biopic Jobs; founded environmental campaigns Bicycle for a Day and Do-One; developer of Full Metal Jacket Diary iPad app

Base New York

What’s the first information you consume in the morning?

Every morning, I read The New York Times and New York Post.

What do you read or watch or listen to at the breakfast table?

I listen to NPR—I love Fresh Air with Terry Gross. She’s had such a great career, and I’m lucky to have been a guest on her show. Sometimes I’ll also watch Morning Joe on MSNBC.

What occupies your mind in the car, on the subway, train or bus?

I bike everywhere. I use that time to get away from all the aural and visual stimulation of the city, and it’s also the best way to get around. I also helped found a foundation called Bicycle for a Day, which encourages people to help protect the environment by biking instead of driving.

Are you a TV junkie or on an airtime-restricted diet?

I mostly watch sports TV—I’m a fan of all the New York teams. I always keep ESPN on in the background. I’m not really a fan of scripted series or reality shows, though. I think that reality television has been nothing but detrimental to writers and actors.

Before bed, do you bite into a novel, graze on Twitter or fast until morning?

My wife and I like to do The New York Times crossword puzzle. It’s a good way to wind down at the end of the day.

Give us the skinny on your favorite app.

I’ve been working on developing the Full Metal Jacket Diary iPad app, which was just released. Seven years ago I published the Full Metal Jacket Diary book about the experience of working on the movie with Stanley Kubrick. A young man from Apple named Adam Rackoff asked if he could turn it into an app with sound effects, an original score, and all the images and personal letters from Kubrick. Adam and I also worked together on the Punky Dunk Project app, an interactive storybook that’s based on a 100-year-old children’s book called Punky Dunk.

What’s your biggest digital indulgence?

I guess it would be PlayStation. I feel like it’s a great indulgence to spend $50 or $60 on a game like Modern Warfare, but I really enjoy it. And when I get to the end of the game, I never feel the need to go back and play it again, so I can pass it on to someone else. I think that justifies it.

With such a bloated media universe, how do you cut out the fat?

I get on my bicycle and just try to get away from it. It’s hard—I’m guilty of being plugged in too much, but sometimes you have to find time to go take a walk or ride a bike outside for your health and your sanity. When I’m riding around New York City, I can’t be texting or answering emails.