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Matt Damon News Column
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Calendar:
27 July 2016 - Matt on The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon
28 July 2016 - Matt on Live with Kelly
29 July 2016 - Jason Bourne to be released
October 2016 - Suburbicon to start filming in Los Angeles
17 February 2017 - The Great Wall to be released
25 December 2017 - Downsizing to be released (date TBC)
  • Videos and photos from the Oklahoma City charity screening are at News9.com and KOCO.com.

  • The Today Show interview with Matt, Paul and Alicia is at YouTube.
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  • Reports and photos from the Boise charity screening are available at the Idaho Press and KTVB.com. There is another charity screening Thursday in Oklahoma.

  • Interviews: Red Bulletin, Stylist magazine, Yahoo, USA Today from the premiere and the Reddit AMA. BBC Radio 1 interview with the full interview here with a hungover Matt at 1.39 and BBC's "Movies that made me" (UK only). If you can't access the BBC site, the Malkovich anecdote is on BBC's Facebook page.

    Matt Damon: Movies That Made Me
    Find out how Robin Williams was responsible for Matt becoming Private Ryan, why John Malkovich told him he was a terrible actor in Rounders and how we nearly didn't get more Jason Bourne.

  • From a long Financial Times interview with Paul Greengrass:

    Among a stack of photographs is one of Greengrass and Damon on set, grinning at the camera under a spotlight sun. “Our bond is pretty tight,” Damon says.

    Having admired Bloody Sunday (2002) — a scalding account of the 1972 killing of 13 civil rights marchers by British troops in Derry — Damon supported hiring Greengrass for The Bourne Supremacy despite his relative obscurity. But the actor was uneasy about the script the producers had bought from Gilroy. To him, it never felt ready. His anxiety mounted. Finally, he phoned the director to say he was quitting the film. “And Paul,” Damon says, “who I really didn’t know that well, said: ‘OK. Do you have the script there? Turn to page one.’ And he starts telling me about the movie we’re actually going to make, not the one on paper. Just between him and me.” When I ask Damon if he would make a Bourne without Greengrass, he says “No,” before I’ve finished speaking.

  • From an interview at the Sydney Morning Herald:

    Theoretically speaking, we could be having 3 billion different versions of this 15-minute interview, across 3 billion different simulations. Or we could be not speaking at all, which would suit him fine. "Anything I say about myself can only detract from people's enjoyment of my performance," he says, politely.

    "I've always lamented that you have to go out there and you have to promote and support your movies, or else it's going to get drowned out in everything else that's coming out. But I felt from before I was famous that the less I know about an actor, the more I am going to believe them in any role.
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  • Photos of Matt and Lucy (in custom Naeem Khan) at the Las Vegas premiere of Jason Bourne are at the Daily Mail, more at the Daily Mail, PopSugar and Zimbio. A new skit for Kimmel was filmed before the premiere at the casino and aired later on Kimmel's show.

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  • Matt's US GQ interview is now online, with the fashion special here and a style retrospective here. Part of the feature:

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    Matt Damon: I was sitting at George Clooney's pool in Lake Como, and Brad Pitt walked in, sat down next to me, and said, “Do you want to do a Martin Scorsese movie in Boston?” [Brad] was a producer on The Departed, and he felt like he had gotten too old for those roles. It's one of the most absurd things that's ever happened in my life.

    Martin Scorsese (director, ‘The Departed’): He comes from Boston; he's familiar with that world. When we were cutting The Departed, my editor, Thelma Schoonmaker, used a term to describe Matt's presence on-screen that's stayed with me: He's seated as an actor. He enters a movie grounded and at ease in his character and in the world of the story.

    Soderbergh: One of the first thoughts I had when I met Matt was, Okay. This guy was very well raised. I don't mean that in a pejorative sense. I was just like, “He's a good kid.” Like, “They raised a good kid.” Which is what you would want anybody to say about your child.

    Emily Blunt: I have never played a board game with the Damons. The four of us hang out constantly and drink way too much together. Red wine for the three of us, and John's allergic to red wine, so he has to take down the bottle of white by himself. Which is not an issue.
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  • Photos from the Berlin fan screening are at Daily Mail.

  • The UK Esquire interview is now available, including:

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    When I fished about for Damon stories among his friends and colleagues, what came back were ultimately just confirmations of what a nice guy he is. Words like "lovely, intelligent, hard-working, humble" (Julia Stiles), or "genuine, talented and fucking funny, even though he doesn't know it" (Kristen Wiig). Clooney said "he's a terrific actor and a great guy, but you already knew that." Yes we did. But thanks anyway. It's yet further confirmation that niceness is core to Damon's brand.

    The fun started in November 2014 in Jordan, shooting The Martian (2015) with Scott, which brought Damon his fourth Oscar nomination. Then they flew to China for five months for The Great Wall (2016) with Yimou — "a giant monster movie basically, set in 1100AD". They then moved to Tenerife for this summer's Jason Bourne — which also took them to Greece, Berlin, London and Las Vegas. And then, after six measly days rest, they shipped off to Toronto for Downsizing, by Alexander Payne (Sideways) and due out next year, which is why we're here.

    "It's a really big arthouse movie," says Damon. "Like a Charlie Kaufman movie. It might be the best movie I end up being in in my career."

    Set in the near future in Nebraska, Damon is an occupational therapist whose marriage to Kristen Wiig has seen better days: they can't afford the house they want, it's hard to make ends meet. However, Norwegian scientists have discovered how to shrink people down to 5ins in height as a way to offset climate change (tiny people consume less). So they "downsize", because big houses are even bigger when you're that small. But Wiig's character bails out at the last minute, leaving Damon at 5ins tall — and now she wants a divorce. "In one scene I have to sign the divorce papers, and I'm literally standing on the contract," he laughs. "It's such a great metaphor for divorce!"

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    Damon grew accustomed to watching himself, since he was always considered as much a writer as an actor. He was frequently invited into the problem-solving huddle with directors and producers, to watch dailies and cuts. And the experience shows. Neill Blomkamp, Elysium director, says Damon has "directorial instincts, he gets the bigger picture." And from a sheer skills perspective, his praise is higher still. "He would do the first couple of takes exactly how I asked. And if I wanted options for the editing room — he was like a computer. Anything I asked, he would just do. On a professional talent level, that was the first time I'd run into that."

  • Matt will do a Reddit Q&A on 19 July.
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  • Photos from the Paris premiere are at the Daily Mail, PopSugar and Paris Match.

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  • An interview with Matt and Paul Greengrass is at the New York Times.

    Ms. Langley at Universal doesn’t betray any doubts about the new movie’s prospects. There are no current plans for a sequel to “The Bourne Legacy” with Mr. Renner, nor are there designs (as had once been considered) to spin off other characters in other clandestine government operations, she said.

    “Look, here’s what I think the goal is: to keep Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass doing Bourne movies till they can’t do them anymore,” she said. Lassoing the two men again will require more of Ms. Langley’s horse-whisperer skills. Mr. Damon said that the franchise would need to go off in another direction and that Mr. Greengrass must be involved.
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  • Matt and Lucy (in Marchesa) attended the European premiere of Jason Bourne in London on Monday. Photos are at the Daily Mail, including video, Zimbio and PopSugar.

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  • Photos of Matt, Lucy and Pedro Pascal after dinner in London a few days ago are at the Daily Mail.

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  • Matt's interview from Australian GQ is available online, including:

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    Hailing from Massachusetts – you only need watch his and Ben Affleck’s Oscar acceptance speech for Good Will Hunting to instantly realise his roots – the Boston boy and his five girls now call LA home; a plac where oestrogen levels and Frozen songs hang with more importance than any suggestion of so-called fame. “Oh god, which song do you want to sing? You have no idea how many times I’ve watched Frozen and The Little Mermaid,” he offers of the enforced viewing of kids’ flicks.

    The glee (no, seriously) in his voice makes us compile the unlikeliest of wants – to witness a Damon daddy day-care session and belt out a duet of ‘Under the Sea’. “Now that we live in LA and drive to school, I’ve been able to transition them to other music. At the moment they’re on an Adele kick, which is fine by me. I could listen to that woman sing all day long.”

    “I overbooked myself for this twoand- a-half-year stretch, because five of my favourite directors had stuff on. It just lined up that way, but it has been really tough on my family,” he says, a bittersweet admission. “I did The Martian with Ridley Scott, then a movie called The Great Wall with Chinese director Zhang Yimou.

    Then I went right into Bourne with Paul and now I’m doing a movie with Alexander Payne [Downsizing] before I go straight into one [Suburbicon] with George Clooney.

    “The family came to China and lived there for six months with me, and we were in London in autumn and, look, all these places are wonderful but, at a certain point, I’ve got to stay home,” he says, the previously languid tones swapped for serious ones.

    “Priorities are always changing in the sense that I have these great loves in my life – my family, which is the most important, and then my work and my foundation [water.org]. “All require time and attention and deep engagement. So far we’ve been able to juggle all three, primarily because my wife is awesome and we do this all together, but it’s hard and sometimes you overload in one area. Right now, that's work."

  • The start of the GQ France interview is available here.
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  • Photos from the Seoul press conference and premiere via Zimbio and UPI Korea. The press tour now moves to London.

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  • Matt and Alicia are now in Seoul, South Korea, to promote Jason Bourne. The local premiere will be on Friday.
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  • Matt and Alicia Vikander attended the Sydney premiere of Jason Bourne on Sunday. Photos from Universal and Hoyts. A report is at the Daily Mail.

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  • Upcoming covers: Esquire Middle East, Esquire UK (via theovdb and XL Semana (via Fernando Goitia):

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