Tim Nudd
July 20, 2006 07:55 PM

Matt Dillon, one of Hollywood’s most eligible bachelors, may finally be ready to settle down.

With his career newly revived following an Oscar nomination for Crash and a star turn in You, Me and Dupree, Dillon tells Parade magazine he’s found the courage to open up to the kind of change – personal and professional – he once feared.

“I’m open to life now, even to marriage,” he tells the magazine. “I’m open to the idea that things will work out. I absolutely value change now. I don’t fear it. I accept it.”

Dillon, 42, calls the last several years of his life a “rebirth.” “Ultimately, I had to find my place in the world again, and I had to do it by myself,” says the actor, who’d fallen into a professional slump before Crash.

“I was dissatisfied with where I was as a man, with my relationships, with my career,” he says. “I thought my career was who I was. It wasn’t until later that I discovered I was more than that.”

Of his personal life, Dillon reveals that the one time he fell in love – with former girlfriend Cameron Diaz – changed his life.

“It’s a very powerful thing when you feel that way about somebody,” Dillon says. “Cameron was a muse for me.”

The couple’s intense three-year relationship ended in 1998, shortly after they costarred in There’s Something About Mary. When the relationship fizzled, the former teen heartthrob forced himself to re-examine his life.

Now, Dillon says he’s got a new outlook. “When I look at what has happened to me in the last few years I have a kind of guarded optimism. And that’s what faith is, isn’t it? You don’t shut the door on hope.”

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