News + Notes

Living Lars

The surprising link between Metallica's drummer and Matt Damon

We went to the documentary ''Metallica: Some Kind of Monster.'' We loved it. However, the real stars of the film aren't even in the band. They are: Torben, the father of drummer Lars Ulrich, an affectionate gnome of a man who'd look right at home in ''The Lord of the Rings'' -- or on your front lawn -- and Skylar, wife of Lars, a showgirl-style beauty. We became obsessed, since virtually nothing about either is revealed in the movie (apologies to Metallica fans who've memorized this). Turns out Skylar was the inspiration for the Minnie Driver character in ''Good Will Hunting'' (the pre-med student named...Skylar) and was Matt Damon's girlfriend until she took up with Lars. Skylar, whose specialty is emergency medicine, practices in San Francisco and is mom to Myles, 5, and Layne, 2.

Huh. Lars is suddenly looking a lot more interesting than the doofy, gum-chewing antagonist we see in the doc. (Or maybe not; the couple just announced they separated in March.)

As for Torben, he's a Danish Buddhist who moved his son to America in 1977. Lars' father has --often simultaneously -- been a painter, filmmaker, music journalist, New Orleans-style jazz musician (the clarinetist backed Louis Armstrong several times), and jazz-club owner (Dexter Gordon is Lars' godfather!). Torben also played on the international tennis circuit for five decades. In fact, he competed in Denmark's junior championships for tennis, soccer, table tennis, speed skating, and handball.

Huh. We're suddenly feeling very...lazy.

Originally posted Jul 30, 2004 Published in issue #776 Jul 30, 2004 Order article reprints
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