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Harvard Arts Medal - Matt Damon News Column
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Harvard Arts Medal
  • Matt received the Harvard Arts Medal 2013 on Thursday following a Q&A with actor John Lithgow. Lucy and Matt's mother Nancy were in attendance. A detailed summary is at the Harvard Gazette, with other reports at the Harvard Crimson, Boston Herald and the Boston Globe. Matt later introduced a screening of Good Will Hunting on campus and visited his old dorm room. Photos are from Zimbio and Faded Youth Blog.



    Harvard Gazette
    The lecture hall and performance space was jammed with members of the Harvard community who turned out to hear Damon and watch as Harvard President Drew Faust gave him the Harvard Arts Medal.

    In her remarks, Faust praised Damon for both his acting ability and his humanitarian efforts. “He is, as director Gus Van Sant recently put it, ‘a local kid risen to become a global star, an everyman who is also exceptional, a person we all relate to, even as we aspire to emulate him.’ ”

    Like most people, Damon said he struggles with failure, admitting that he suffers when a project he has put his heart into doesn’t strike a chord with either audiences or critics. But he tries to understand how “something didn’t work here.” He also turns to his wife for support, he said, and for her total honesty.

    Another audience member asked why the arts are important. Damon referenced his work on a current movie project about a group of soldiers tasked with saving works of art in Europe during the Nazis’ reign. Art, said Damon, “is a celebration of our common humanity.”

    “As we launch our annual celebration of the arts at Harvard,” said Faust, “as we feel inspired by the people of Boston and the power of the arts to heal and renew us, we are especially grateful for the wonder of our ongoing dialogue with Matt Damon, on and off the screen.”

    Boston Globe
    Earlier, Damon, looking well-scrubbed in a blue suit and white shirt, had an entertaining sitdown with fellow actor — and actual Harvard grad — John Lithgow. Damon was relaxed and without pretense as he talked about his enormous success — and occasional failure.

    Looking out at the college students filling Sanders Theatre, Damon made one request. “Please hold onto your humanity as you go out into the world.”

    Boston Herald
    Matt, who came to Cambridge with his wife, Luciana, just a little over a week after the two renewed their vows in a lavish celebration on the island of St. Lucia, described, at a student’s request, how he first proposed to her. He said they had been together a while, owned a home together and Luciana was pregnant with their now 6-year-old daughter.

    “We were walking on Second Avenue (in Manhattan), and I turned to her and said, ‘You know, we really ought to get married,’” he said.

    Then Damon turned to the student and added, “I’m sorry if you were expecting more than that.”

  • Steven Soderbergh discussed Behind the Candelabra with his gay brother Charley at Out magazine.



    Out: We see that with the plastic surgery Scott undergoes.
    Steven Soderbergh: I managed to get a hold of the depositions, some of which are in the film, and Scott and Lee tell completely different stories about how Scott’s surgery came to be. So somebody is not telling the truth. We went with Scott’s version because I love the image of Lee bringing the painting over and saying, “I want him to look like this.”

    Charley Soderbergh: I thought about it as a gay man: What it would be like to step into Scott’s shoes, someone who doesn’t have much stability, and all of a sudden, you’re sitting in this wealthy man’s house, and he’s just made a big meal for you. You’re eating it, and he’s looking at you adorably and goes, “Come here, you.” I thought, Oh shit. Here we go—what a wild ride. I texted Steven after I saw it: “Thank you for making this, I just loved it.” He called, and I told him, “Wow, what a great thing to go out on. It’s fun, it’s interesting, it’s beautiful to look at.”

  • There's an article about Behind the Candelabra in the latest issue of Emmy Magazine (not available online):
  • 18 comments or Leave a comment
    Comments
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: April 26th, 2013 12:37 pm (UTC) (Link)

    John Krasinski

    A long interview with John Krasinski by Sam Jones (who has photographed Matt many times):

    http://offcamera.com/john-krasinski-the-off-camera-interview/
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: April 26th, 2013 12:51 pm (UTC) (Link)

    Harvard visit

    CALLmeDADDY ‏@Jordon_Nolan
    Adam hung out with Matt Damon today. He came back to Harvard to see who in his old room.
    https://twitter.com/Jordon_Nolan/status/327766011812143104/photo/1
    From: (Anonymous) Date: April 26th, 2013 04:19 pm (UTC) (Link)

    Harvard Arts Medal

    LOVE Lucy's outfit.
    From: (Anonymous) Date: April 26th, 2013 05:34 pm (UTC) (Link)

    Re: Harvard Arts Medal

    Ditto, I think in the last year or so Lucy has been more into fashion and into her fitness regimen. She's at her thinnest and just looks more confident in her fashion choices not to mention the people they've been keeping company with are into fashion and the social night life.
    From: (Anonymous) Date: April 26th, 2013 05:14 pm (UTC) (Link)
    Does anyone know if there is a room, program or center named after Matt at Harvard or any other Boston school?
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: April 26th, 2013 08:37 pm (UTC) (Link)
    I don't think so. There was an article a few years ago that a local councilor (and I think a school friend, Marjorie Decker) wanted to name a Cambridge street after Ben and Matt, but it wasn't heard from again (I think).
    From: (Anonymous) Date: April 26th, 2013 07:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
    Article about why Damon renewed his vows:

    http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20694826,00.html
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: April 26th, 2013 08:41 pm (UTC) (Link)

    Harvard

    A tweet from the man Matt met (and maybe hugged) on arrival at the venue on Thursday, a program director at Office for the Arts at Harvard.

    Thomas Lee ‏@Artseminator 9m
    Welcoming—and honoring— #MattDamon @Harvard yesterday. He's the best.
    https://twitter.com/Artseminator/status/327881920635621376/photo/1

    Edited at 2013-04-26 08:43 pm (UTC)
    From: (Anonymous) Date: April 26th, 2013 09:28 pm (UTC) (Link)

    Re: Harvard

    I was wondering if a video or even a transcript will be posted. I didn't get to see the entire event. I don't think I missed too much but I didn't see what he said when he was presented with his medal.

    I saw a tweet that said not only did he introduced goodwill hunting he sat in the audience and watched the movie. Didn't see anything else much said. Is he back in ny? I saw a possible sighting from this morning in ny.

    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: April 27th, 2013 01:45 am (UTC) (Link)

    Re: Harvard

    He's definitely back in NY - currently at dinner with Robert de Niro in Il Buco (a favorite spot).

    There were various sightings of Matt staying to watch (all or part of) the movie last night, and then walking around campus, including visiting his old room. They must have made an overnight/early morning flight back, as he was still on campus past midnight. The only comments I heard from the film introduction was via this Facebook posting:

    Kenneth Parreno
    "A lot has changed since twenty years ago... but at least the Hong Kong is still there. Yeah, that's cause for celebration... Funny story. Ben and I used to have 'business lunches' there... We didn't conduct too much business there."
    - Matt Damon, introducing Good Will Hunting on the Science Center Plaza

    No links yet to the archived ceremony on Harvard's website: http://www.harvard.edu/live-stream
    From: (Anonymous) Date: April 27th, 2013 01:57 am (UTC) (Link)

    Re: Harvard

    Found this link of him introducing the film.

    http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=IZfA7-pLy3Q
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: April 27th, 2013 02:15 am (UTC) (Link)

    Re: Harvard

    Great to see - thanks for the link.
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: April 26th, 2013 08:55 pm (UTC) (Link)

    Soderbergh

    An interview about various films, including Behind the Candelabra, and the reason for Matt's three 'ass shots':

    http://www.pridesource.com/article.html?article=59891

    A Variety article on the design and architecture of Behind the Candelabra:

    http://variety.com/2013/more/news/liberace-houses-palm-springs-1200409928/

    Edited at 2013-04-27 02:11 am (UTC)
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: April 27th, 2013 07:39 am (UTC) (Link)

    Behind the Candelabra

    In this copy of the screener, you can see that both Matt and Michael Douglas are in the Best Actor category for the Emmys:

    https://twitter.com/TheJillKushner/status/328033731824721921/photo/1/large
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: April 28th, 2013 01:40 am (UTC) (Link)

    Behind the Candelabra clips

    A 30 second preview for 'The making of Behind the Candelabra' which will air on Friday 3 May at 9.45pm.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xxlQKlJZXO8&feature=youtube_gdata

    One part of the special is already online - Invitation to the set:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JMakc7l8grc&feature=youtube_gdata

    Soderbergh gave a talk today at the San Francisco Film Festival, and said he hoped it was the last time he talked about film. He wouldn't let it be recorded (it went for 43 minutes as a 'rant' and then he left the stage), but there's a series of twitter posts at:
    https://twitter.com/cinejoe

    Joseph Beyer ‏@cinejoe
    "We only needed $5M to make the Liberace movie, but the studios needed it to gross $70M to even wanna do it. That doesn't work." Soderbergh

    Edited at 2013-04-28 02:01 am (UTC)
    From: (Anonymous) Date: April 28th, 2013 02:43 pm (UTC) (Link)

    Re: Behind the Candelabra clips

    http://statigr.am/p/443652965046871852_344107744

    What mag is this from?
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: April 28th, 2013 09:22 pm (UTC) (Link)

    Re: Behind the Candelabra clips

    Saw that yesterday and couldn't work it out. A UK magazine?
    18 comments or Leave a comment