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India visit for water.org, environmental award - Matt Damon News Column
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India visit for water.org, environmental award
  • Matt is no longer attending the screening of Behind the Candelabra at the Deauville Film Festival on Friday. Matt has returned to LA following a trip to India for water.org, with an article about the trip at the Business Standard.

    Hollywood superstar Matt Damon, who found fame with his role of a mathematically gifted janitor, is on a mission in India to help more than a million people have access to safe water and sanitation in the next three-and-half years. The 'Good Will Hunting' star and also the co-founder of non-profit organisation Water.Org, has been working in India since 2008 to help needy people access small loans for water and sanitation purposes through its micro finance institution (MFI) partners.

    "The target for spring 2016 is to reach an additional eight lakh people, which will put us over a million in total, which is great and we are on track to do it," Damon told PTI in an exclusive interview.

    Besides, it is also aiming to reach out to around two lakh people for sanitation purposes till 2016, he added. Damon's US-based Water.Org started 'Water Credit' initiative in India in 2008 after it received a USD 4.1 million grant from PepsiCo Foundation, the philanthropy arm of beverages and snacks major PepsiCo. In 2011, the non-profit organisation received another grant of USD 8 million from PepsiCo Foundation to scale up the project. It works with over 20 MFIs across seven states in the country and helps poor people get loans in the range of Rs 5,000 to Rs 10,000 under 'Water Credit' initiative.

    The 42-year-old actor who first came to India about ten years ago to shoot a part of his second Bourne series movie "The Bourne Supremacy", is touched by his experience and life in rural India.

    "I love it here. I love coming here. I first worked here as an actor. I love the energy and going into these villages, I mean the children. I am a father... It is impossible not to see your children's faces in these kids and the village visits are incredibly exciting... So that part of it is very good, very moving," Damon said.

    When asked about his philanthropic journey in India so far, Damon said the visible change in the life of those benefited from the project makes all the effort worthwhile.

    "Form a selfish personal standpoint, (it) is just wonderful and it's the best part of the whole thing. (When) we started with the first grant, the target was 1.6 lakh people and we blew through that target, which was great for us and we ended up with 2.5 lakh people," Damon said.

  • Unsubstantiated rumors of Matt and Paul Greengrass returning to the Bourne series have been denied by Universal - via The Playlist.

  • Elysium remains at the top of the Australian box-office after Matt's one-day visit to promote the film in Australia.

  • Matt will be honored at the Environmental Media Association's Environmental Media Awards in LA on 19 October for his work with water.org.

  • Harry Knowles has written a very positive review for The Zero Theorem at Aint It Cool News.
  • 11 comments or Leave a comment
    Comments
    From: (Anonymous) Date: August 27th, 2013 05:48 pm (UTC) (Link)

    Various

    Just re-watched this UK radio interview and noticed that Matt mentions (at about the 9:50 mark) that he was acting in another language the previous night. Could it be that this means Matt will be speaking French in Monuments Men? Oh, be still my heart. When Matt speaks another language I positively get weak! This has made my day.

    http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=AMtYxVT-kTQ

    And did everyone notice the video at x17 of Lucy and the girls meeting the Afflecks the other day? I saw that you had posted the link but didn't scroll down and catch the video until today. Anyway, it's pretty cute, with Ben giving Isabella a little kiss on the head. Obviously the LA paps haven't figured out who they are yet. Wish it could stay that way.

    I don't quite know what to make of Zero Theorem. The review praises Waltz's liberal use of twitches and ticks, which sounds like an incredibly annoying and affected performance to me. Like Peter Stormare in Brothers Grimm, which was waaaay over the top. Matt will certainly look amazing in it, though.

    Matt may be attaining some kind of record in terms of extreme movie looks in a single year.

    - golden bronzed bethonged boy toy
    - tatted bald ripped criminal
    - zebra suit and bleach blond hair for Theorem
    - 1940's straight lace

    Lol. Shouldn't he get some kind of award for this?

    Paula
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: August 27th, 2013 09:26 pm (UTC) (Link)

    Re: Various

    Thanks for the video tip, very cute.

    http://www.x17online.com/video.php
    From: (Anonymous) Date: August 27th, 2013 10:14 pm (UTC) (Link)

    Re: Various

    And the interaction between jen and lucy! I seriously dont know how The National Enquirer made that story up
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: August 27th, 2013 10:40 pm (UTC) (Link)

    Re: Various

    Matt and family have already been photographed by the paparazzi more in the last couple of weeks than in the whole of last year's stay in LA (2-3 months).

    I doubt Zero Theorem is as good as the review (there are rumors on IMDB Harry was paid to write a positive review!), but hopefully it's interesting rather than just bizarre.

    I did note that comment in the radio interview but didn't mention it (I think Rorimer spoke French in the book?)

    Edited at 2013-08-27 10:52 pm (UTC)
    From: (Anonymous) Date: August 27th, 2013 11:22 pm (UTC) (Link)

    Re: Various

    Yes, if I'm remembering correctly Rorimer spoke fluent French. Of course, they may not feel compelled to stick to those personal details if they are changing the names. But obviously one of the actors is French and I assume Blanchett's character will be also. So it's more likely to be French than anything else.

    I read that rumor someplace. Of course, being a cynic I assume that many of those websites are open to some inducement either to hype some studio's movie or to trash some other competing movie. Nobody's watching the store. Of course, somebody could also be paid to anonymously post vicious and untrue rumors, as well.
    Paula
    4mattdamon From: 4mattdamon Date: August 28th, 2013 12:22 am (UTC) (Link)

    Re: Various

    those girls are adorable!! they look like the woke up from a drowsy unicorn filled pink wistful dream!
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: August 27th, 2013 09:23 pm (UTC) (Link)

    Articles

    Interviews from India, including Matt asked about Ben as Batman, with a lovely dig that Batman isn't King Lear and it's within Ben's skills set (which has upset Batman fans):

    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/entertainment/hollywood/news-interviews/Eating-spicy-Indian-food-is-such-a-luxury-Matt-Damon/articleshow/22096120.cms

    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/entertainment/regional/kannada/news-interviews/Matt-Damon-visits-Bangalore-for-clean-water-initiative/articleshow/22094090.cms

    Edited at 2013-08-28 02:55 am (UTC)
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: August 27th, 2013 11:52 pm (UTC) (Link)

    Back at LAX, India photos, fundraiser

    Matt returns to LAX after another long trip.

    https://www.pheed.com/paparazzi/32378839/2449

    Photos of Matt and Gary White in India:

    http://www.telegraphindia.com/1130828/jsp/nation/story_17282021.jsp

    Matt and Ben are involved with hosting a benefit for Senate Democratic hopeful Cory Booker:

    http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/matt-damon-ben-affleck-host-615157

    Edited at 2013-08-28 01:21 am (UTC)
    From: (Anonymous) Date: August 28th, 2013 05:59 pm (UTC) (Link)

    Various

    In this video, Matt talks about his hernia surgery once again:
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-23752157
    (I can’t understand the question asked at the 2’18; if somebody could transcribe what she said, it would be nice)
    I read all your comments about Matt's choice of script, and I agree about the weakness of Elysium: they have good ideas in the hands but don't drive them at the top. Otherwise, Elysium is a good entertainment movie, and it's what they wanted to do (or Matt says that after watching the movie, maybe he is himself a bit disappointed, but he missed Avatar and certainly didn't want to miss another great sci-fi movie!)
    I would say that whatever the movie, Matt's performance increases it! Every movie in which he acts is better by his presence. (Maybe a little subjective and not impartial...but I think I'm right) And don’t forget “Promised Land” which was a good movie without guns and any violence, but didn’t work! It didn’t find his audience.
    So, imagine Elysium without Matt, ..?

    Do you know why he doesn't come in Deauville? Happily, I didn't program a trip: I really hesitated, it's only 300 km from my home and the journey of Mel gave me an idea!

    Here some quotes from an interview in my Belgian TV magazine:
    Q: did you special trainig for this role?
    A: The first time I saw a drawing of my character Max, I scared ! It didn't look like me at all !
    Q: By the time, what kind of Dad did you become? A "papa-poule?" (I don't know how to translate a hen-dad!! a very sweet-hyper protective-dad?)
    A: Three years ago, I went to a pediatrician; I was in tears because my kids were often sick. He said to me: listen, in October, your kids begin to cough until April, and then at school, they will catch many sickness. It's time to get used to and let them live! So, today, I try to play down and not jumping on the phone as soon as one of my kids is sick! And I'm now much more in peace with myself!
    Q: Do you think your life is perfect?
    A: perfection doesn't exist! Everybody has his problem that he has to learn to manage. It's difficult in the show-business to get a balance, it’s difficult to know when you have to stop to work to remain with your family: my family comes first!
    It’s a personal translation with my poor English, sorry, I’m sure that Matt speaks a very better English! But if he speaks French in Monuments Men,I fall down: he is too cute with his american accent!!
    B.
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: August 29th, 2013 04:13 am (UTC) (Link)

    Re: Various

    Thanks very much B, there are some new quotes in that interview I haven't seen before.

    I don't know why he isn't going to Deauville when he previously was attending. It could be to do with the new projects announced today or maybe he has done enough traveling for a while.
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