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Premiere reports, various - Matt Damon News Column
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Premiere reports, various
  • Reports from the Los Angeles premiere are at LA.com, E Online, IBN Live, and ITN. Actor Julian Lewis-Jones also discussed the premiere and party here. Photos are at PopSugar, Bauer Griffin, Socialite Life and here.

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    Team Clint celebrated lavishly at the after party, held in the Beverly Wilshire Hotel ballroom, with the Eastwood family filling one couch pit, the Damon crew taking over another (with Orlando Bloom in tow), and even Nelson Mandela's daughter Zindzi and grandson Zwaloba ensconced in a third. The party was made complete with a jazz band, groaning tables of filet mignon and salmon, and gaggles of gigantic guys who star as the rugby players in the uplifting flick. Even the real captain of the South Africa Springboks, Francois Pienaar, the guy Matt Damon plays so convincingly in the film, was on hand.

  • Official production notes for the film are available here, via the official site. An article about Freeman and Eastwood is at the LA Times, and a separate article with Eastwood is at the Times Live. A video interview with Francois Pienaar is here, and an interview with writer Anthony Peckham is here.

    "Matt may not be the same height as Francois, but he has the same tenacity and power," Eastwood remarks. "He also worked out very hard and got himself in terrific shape for the film. And," the director adds, "by structuring set-ups and camera angles, you can make a person look the way you need them to look."

    Damon needn’t have worried, as Pienaar says he was immediately impressed by the actor. "He's a great bloke. I was struck by his humility and his wicked sense of humor. He wanted to learn everything he could about me, my philosophy as a captain and what it was like for us in 1995. We also chatted about the game of rugby, what happens in training and about the technical aspects. We had a lot of fun."

    For the cast, preparing for the rigorous demands of actually playing rugby, "the training was very intense," Damon states. "I did a lot of weightlifting and put on a lot of muscle. I also did sprints, which I’d never done before, and some boxing. When I got to South Africa, Chester said, 'You look really fit. What have you been doing? I said,'Well, I've been weightlifting, boxing and sprinting.' And he looked at me for a while and then goes, 'Why didn’t you just play rugby?'" he laughs.

  • The article at Parade and a behind-the-scenes look at the interview and photo shoot by Janice Kaplan are now available - excerpts:

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    Now that he’s a father, Damon cares more than ever about encouraging tolerance. He and his wife, Luciana, are the parents of Isabella, 3, and Gia, 1, as well as Luciana's daughter from a previous marriage, Alexia, 11.

    "I don’t think it's a natural state for children to be prejudiced," he says. "A case in point: I was trying to explain segregation to my stepdaughter. We talked about Alabama in the '60s, and she was utterly baffled. Alexia is very dark—her father is Cuban, and my wife's Argentinean—so I tried to explain that she probably would not have been able to use white water fountains. She goes to school with all types of kids and plays with everyone, so it was a lot for her to grasp."

    Janice Kaplan:
    Matt arrives first and gives me a big hug. We'd spent time together a few weeks earlier when he wrote a terrific PARADE cover story on charitable giving, and now he graciously greets me as if we're old friends. Intensely focused, he has energy that can light up the room. As we pour cups of coffee, he's relaxed. He chats easily about his daughters and the new movie he's working on in New York.

    A few minutes later, Clint Eastwood and Morgan Freeman come in together. For two guys in their 70s (79 and 72, respectively) they look pretty good. Eastwood, typically, has driven himself over to the interview. Like Damon, he's a straight shooter--a caring, sincere guy not much interested in the trappings of celebrity. We've also worked together before, and he was as cordial and courteous as I'd remembered.

    Damon, 39, isn't intimidated by the older stars, but he wants to make it clear how much he admires them. In fact, he once got a meal with Morgan as a gift.

    "I used to talk about him so much that, about 10 year ago, my previous assistant arranged for us to have dinner together," he says. "It was a gift to me for Christmas. We didn't have a project to talk about or anything--it was more like a 'Make-A-Wish' dinner where I asked him questions about acting and he politely answered."

  • During press junket interviews Matt confirmed that he will not be doing Bourne 4 without Paul Greengrass - reports are at EW and Collider, in which Matt also confirmed that Liberace is still expected to shoot next summer. During an interview at MTV Matt talks about why he had to withdraw from last year's Milk.

  • An article at the Wall Street Journal praises Matt's acting as part of a new style in Hollywood representing the end of the method actor.

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  • From Entertainment Weekly's 100 best of the decade list:

    60. Matt Damon as action star
    When he first signed on as the ass-kicking amnesiac Jason Bourne in 2002, no one would've predicted that Damon would become the decade's best mixer of brawn and brains. Shows what we know.

    62. "I'm F---ing Matt Damon" video
    A talk-show host's famous comedian girlfriend confesses in a catchy song that she's shtupping No. 60? Yeah, that'll go viral.

  • A quote from New Zealand's Dominion Post from Melanie Lynskey about Matt:

    "He has this prosthetic nose, a funny thing in his cheek, a hilarious wig and he put on a significant amount of weight. In a way that liberated the audience because he's so handsome that it's almost distracting. He's sort of built to be a movie star. He has the perfect face and it would be really hard to look at that face and be like 'OK, here's the bumbling guy.' So it was really wonderful to be working with him and see him change physically. You were able to see how great a character actor he is. He could do anything. If he was an uglier guy he would be the greatest character actor alive."

  • Finally, Chris Moore discussed The Adjustment Bureau during an interview about The People Speak with Josh Brolin at Coming Soon:

    CS: Chris, what's the next project for you?
    Moore: I'm currently producing a Matt Damon movie called "The Adjustment Bureau."

    CS: Is that based on a Phillip K. Dick story?
    Moore: It sure is. It took a long time for me to get the job and I finally got it. It is and it's George Nolfi's directorial debut. It's Matt and Emily Blunt. It's a lot of fun.

    CS: George worked on "Bourne" movies?
    Moore: He wrote the last "Bourne" movie and "Ocean's Twelve." That's how he knows Matt. It's a very sort of big Hollywood movie and so we have to deliver on that.
  • 8 comments or Leave a comment
    Comments
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: December 7th, 2009 06:04 am (UTC) (Link)

    People Speak

    Interviews with Matt for People Speak from Boston papers:

    http://news.bostonherald.com/track/inside_track/view/20091207howard_zinn_fan_matt_damon_speaks_up_-_at_last/srvc=home&position=also

    http://www.boston.com/ae/celebrity/articles/2009/12/07/a_fun_time_with_the_ladies_and_two_ladies/

    Needless to say, the 10-year-old’s history lesson was delivered at a progressive school in the “People’s Republic of Cambridge,” Damon laughed. But now he’d like the rest of America to learn what he learned at an early age from his former next-door neighbor, Boston University political science professor Zinn.

    So Damon executive-produced - and, we hear, largely bankrolled - this Sunday’s The History Channel special “The People Speak,” a collaboration between Zinn and some of the biggest names in Hollywood, to put a new twist on some old history lessons.

    And Will Hunting’s monologue about why he shouldn’t work for the NSA (“It’ll be some kid from Southie over there taking shrapnel in the ass.”) was inspired by Zinn’s work.

    “Ben and I were laughing our asses off writing that,” he recalled. “We liked it that the smartest guy in Boston was reading Howard Zinn.”
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: December 7th, 2009 07:12 am (UTC) (Link)

    Invictus interview

    The first press conference interview with Matt and Morgan for Invictus is here:
    http://www.buzzine.com/2009/12/matt-damon-morgan-freeman/

    During a new Toronto video interview with a NZ journo Matt referenced Invictus and how he discussed with Clint that the movie 'was not going to play [do well] in NZ':
    http://www.3news.co.nz/The-Informant---Full-interview-with-Matt-Damon/tabid/367/articleID/133039/Default.aspx

    Junket interviews with Clint, Morgan and Matt by Leonard Maltin are at ET's site:
    http://www.etonline.com/video-224.php?slate=%2Fmedia%2Fvideo%2F2009%2F12%2F126167%2Fet_invictusjunketrev_091207_large.jpg&vid=81672&config=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.etonline.com%2Fmedia%2Fvideo%2F2009%2F12%2F81672%2Findex.php&sitesection=etonlinemain&videoasset=81672-et_invictusjunket_091207&title=Invictus+Junket+12%2F07%2F2009

    Clint is praising Matt during his interview ("I've always liked Matt as an actor...") when Matt and Morgan come in the room, so Clint starts rubbishing him. And there's a cute moment at the end where Matt imitates Clint.

    http://bventertainment.go.com/tv/buenavista/atm/index.html
    The review from 'At the movies' is now available at the site - two positive responses. Matt's performance is specifically praised.

    Edited at 2009-12-07 12:25 pm (UTC)
    From: (Anonymous) Date: December 7th, 2009 07:10 pm (UTC) (Link)

    Re: Invictus interview

    I was really happy to hear A. O. Scott, the critic from the New York Times on "At The Movies", describe Matt's performance as "fantastic". He, even more than Phillips, seems to have appreciated the subtle shadings of Eastwood's direction. It takes someone with real expertise to see the architecture of movie construction and to appreciate a master at work. Great review!

    I.B.
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: December 7th, 2009 10:10 pm (UTC) (Link)

    Re: Invictus interview

    Thanks. I saw the clip but only recognised Michael Phillips and not Scott. Definitely a quote to put on the Invictus honor roll (and website).

    From: (Anonymous) Date: December 7th, 2009 06:19 pm (UTC) (Link)

    WSJ article

    The Wall Street Journal article about acting was very interesting, although I'm not sure I agree with it. It strikes me that one thing Matt and Meryl would seem to have in common is that they are basically happy, secure people who work from a place of joy and not from 'inner struggle'. But it made me very curious about Matt's approach. I've seen a number of interviews with him (thanks for the great site!), but don't remember him ever talking in an extensive way about his "process". Does such an interview exist?

    Paula
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: December 8th, 2009 09:48 am (UTC) (Link)

    Re: WSJ article

    Only the Actor's Studio interview probably. But I think Matt would mostly say he's not trained and that De Niro and Clint have told him to think as little about acting as possible, and to just 'react'.

    There are reports around that Matt attended acting classes in New York, but I think they're false.
    From: (Anonymous) Date: December 8th, 2009 04:52 am (UTC) (Link)
    Don't know if you've already posted this positive review from the AP.

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20091208/ap_en_mo/us_film_review_invictus

    I.B.
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: December 8th, 2009 09:49 am (UTC) (Link)
    Thanks I.B. As the AP review is so widely copied and distributed, it's the review I keep seeing for months afterwards. Happily this one was positive (as was the AP review for The Informant).
    8 comments or Leave a comment