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We bought a zoo, interviews - Matt Damon News Column
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We bought a zoo, interviews
  • An early feature on We bought a zoo is at USA Today, including a feature, music focus and photo special. Some highlights:



    Matt Damon's Benjamin proudly unveils a poster touting the zoo's grand reopening, which features a drawing of a tiger by 14-year-old son Dylan (Colin Ford). "The way Matt is as a youngish father is so powerful, that is who he is," says Crowe, who met with the actor when Damon was shooting True Grit in Texas. "And that is who I wanted Benjamin Mee to be. I wanted to do this real, and when I saw how real Matt is, I said to him, 'You've got to play this father.'"

    What reeled Damon in?

    The actor, who has ridden horseback in films such as last year's True Grit and even spoke for an animated stallion in 2002's Spirit, hasn't had many other animal encounters on-screen. The rat in the final shot of TheDeparted? "Small potatoes compared to this," he declares. But Damon, a father of four — including a 12-year-old stepdaughter — is quickly making up for lost time.

    "I've done a scene with a lion and an up-close scene with a tiger. And two days ago, I did one with a grizzly bear." That means, he says with a chuckle, "I've done lions and tigers and bears. Cameron and I have joked about how you are never supposed to work with children and animals, and how we decided to just get it all done with just this one film."

  • Good videos from the rally: Matt talks about charter schools at Gotham Schools, Matt introduces his former CRLS history teacher Larry Aaronson and the highlight of the Reason.tv interview.

  • More photos of Matt in Washington and arriving back at Vancouver airport at 2am are at I'm not obsessed, Radar Online, Lavoz libre and Celebslam.

  • 40 comments or Leave a comment
    Comments
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    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: August 2nd, 2011 02:24 pm (UTC) (Link)

    Photos

    If only for the photo of Matt and his mom, an article titled 'The 6 hottest pictures of bald Matt Damon':

    http://www.bestweekever.tv/2011-08-02/bald-matt-damon/

    The Reason interview is going viral - here's a good summary of the issues:

    http://boingboing.net/2011/08/02/matt-damon-explains-non-financial-motivations-and-the-education-sector.html?dlvrit=36761

    Edited at 2011-08-02 02:46 pm (UTC)
    loganx2 From: loganx2 Date: August 3rd, 2011 01:10 am (UTC) (Link)
    The amount of love that Matt has been getting all over the web and tv today about his views on teaching makes me very happy.
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: August 3rd, 2011 01:47 am (UTC) (Link)
    Great, isn't it! And a little overwhelming on Twitter. What TV shows did it make? I've seen references to MSNBC and others but I'm not sure if they were online only.

    (As an Australian I cannot comprehend the antagonism towards his comment regarding higher tax rates for people on the greatest incomes - it's just an accepted principle here.)
    This is a good segment - (Anonymous) - Expand
    reason.tv Interview - (Anonymous) - Expand
    taxes - (Anonymous) - Expand
    From: (Anonymous) Date: August 3rd, 2011 01:49 am (UTC) (Link)
    The juxtoposition of the photo of Matt (the one with the water bottle) and his recent wonderful comments makes me think: Matt it isn't really fair for you to be both the conscience of your nation, and so utterly and completely RIPPED!
    Ah, be still my heart<3
    Paula
    From: (Anonymous) Date: August 3rd, 2011 07:56 pm (UTC) (Link)
    He IS the perfect man! :D
    From: (Anonymous) Date: August 3rd, 2011 08:08 am (UTC) (Link)
    I loved the Lawrence show as well! So clear, smart and concise and gave Matt all the credit he deserves.

    My favorite parts of the SOS march was Matt's super-sweet hug with his Mom, and the look on her face when he was taking down that 'Reasontv' reporter (who didn't seem very reasonable to me). She looked SO proud of him!!

    I love that he is bold enough to speak out about any issue he's passionate about without being afraid of bad publicity or backlash, and is so raw and honest about it. Like, straight-up angry! He must be the only celeb in the world who doesn't give a crap about his reputation, he just does what he knows is right. Amazing.

    Grace
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: August 3rd, 2011 08:59 am (UTC) (Link)
    True to everything. Very few actors would dare to make the comments he does for fear of backlash (Sean Penn is one exception).

    And remember that Matt says his mom is never 'proud' of him, but that 'she affirms him.'

    Interesting comments and links at Daily Kos:
    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/08/02/1002231/-ROLFMAO!-Matt-Damon-gives-PERFECT-defense-of-teachers!

    Edited at 2011-08-03 09:01 am (UTC)
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: August 3rd, 2011 01:22 pm (UTC) (Link)

    More articles

    As outlets continue to pick up the video, here's a few more interesting articles/commentaries about Matt:

    http://weblogs.baltimoresun.com/entertainment/movies/blog/2011/08/damon.html

    http://www.badassdigest.com/2011/08/02/matt-damon-is-incredible
    loganx2 From: loganx2 Date: August 3rd, 2011 01:35 pm (UTC) (Link)
    The story is the top story yahoo's homepage right now in America with over 7,000 comments. It's funny that no one really cared or covered the sos march until this interview. People complain a lot about celebrity involvement in stuff like this but if Matt was famous nne of this debate or coverage would be going on now.
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: August 3rd, 2011 02:36 pm (UTC) (Link)
    Diane Ravitch (a key speaker at the rally and the real superstar of the day) wrote on Twitter that SOS didn't have enough funds to employ any PR. It's worked out amazingly well for them (if you're considering that debate and discussion is healthy as consensus is impossible).

    A few other tweets from her about Matt:

    DianeRavitch: Matt Damon's great talk: t.co/YR6dNMP
    DianeRavitch: Must see! Another reason to love Matt Damon: t.co/WXCLFZG ("Maybe you're a sh**Ty cameraman,")
    DianeRavitch @WonderTeach One of stupidest articles I've read in long time #ilovemattdamon
    DianeRavitch: @rpondiscio Without Matt Damon, the media would have ignored SOS March. Was great to have him. Lots of experts there too.
    DianeRavitch @jmvarner Haha. I did help when the TV crews began barraging Matt backstage with wonky questions. Great guy! Our superhero

    Edited at 2011-08-03 02:37 pm (UTC)
    From: (Anonymous) Date: August 3rd, 2011 02:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
    Needless to say that this my fav video out of all the other interviews he gave
    As it is for many it seems. Couldn't help but be embarrass for the reporter. She seemed
    Out of her element. Does anybody else find it funny the cameraman jumped into
    The conversation? Great job with the updates.
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: August 3rd, 2011 09:42 pm (UTC) (Link)

    Release date for Margaret

    loganx2 From: loganx2 Date: August 3rd, 2011 10:29 pm (UTC) (Link)

    Re: Release date for Margaret

    If Matt wants to do another Bourne movie Universal will be more than happy for write him back in.

    btw as immature as it is I am side-eyeing everyone involved in this new movie. Traitors!! ha!
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: August 4th, 2011 12:17 am (UTC) (Link)

    More videos

    This is good - another video capturing what happened after the quote to the cameraman (the reporter claims she's as qualified as Matt's mother):

    http://gothamschools.org/2011/08/03/remainders-what-happened-after-reasons-cameras-cut-off/

    An interview with the reporter (who was on her first field assignment):

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/reliable-source/post/matt-damons-clash-with-libertarian-journalist-michelle-fields-on-education-is-a-viral-hit/2011/08/03/gIQAYMNisI_blog.html

    Update - Nancy wrote to the Boston Globe criticising their superficial coverage of the rally:

    http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/editorial_opinion/letters/articles/2011/08/04/not_a_photo_op_but_a_real_protest/?comments=all#readerComm

    Edited at 2011-08-04 02:28 am (UTC)
    From: (Anonymous) Date: August 4th, 2011 11:37 pm (UTC) (Link)

    Re: More videos

    I LOVE Matt's mom! No wonder he turned out the way he did. Now I understand why he loves strong women (as he once said).

    When I first read articles online that dealt with the march, I felt the same way as her. I thought most of them were quite superficial, and didn't discuss the real issues, the root of the educational problem in the US. Though I thought the Lawrence O'Donnell's segment was amazing.

    Despite disagreeing completely with the young reporter, I feel sorry for her; she is just confused, and should question her own beliefs a bit more. Maybe trying to open up her mind to new ideas would help her, and lots of other people could do that too.

    I'm from Argentina, and these kind of problems are also present here. It's really sad how teachers are look down by some. In my country they have really low salaries and are not as respected as they should. I didn't know that this happened in the US as well, apparently it's a global issue.

    I feel really connected with this cause because my mother is a teacher. Matt's speech, eloquence and commitment with the community makes me respect him even more! :D

    I am sorry if my english is not so good,
    Cecilia.
    From: (Anonymous) Date: August 5th, 2011 03:52 am (UTC) (Link)
    Absolutely loved the Lawrence O'Donnell and Anderson Cooper clips! As for Matt, his speech and interview with the Reasontv reporter make me love him even more - what a guy!
    Karen
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: August 5th, 2011 04:20 am (UTC) (Link)
    In the long version of the video, how did he not lose his cool? It frustrates me how Matt is criticised for 'sexist comments to a female reporter' when he should be praised for his control in the face of her stupidity.
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