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Martian interviews - Matt Damon News Column
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Martian interviews
  • Interviews from visits to The Martian set in Budapest in December and February have been released at a number of sites including Newsweek, Collider and JoBlo, including:

    Image and video hosting by TinyPic

    Matt Damon looks terrible. But that’s the point. The make-up department has slathered his face in scabs, bruises and dirt. The black circles under his eyes match his outfit and sneakers (he hasn’t donned his spacesuit yet). His hair and beard are matted and pinned with barrettes. “I have these hair extensions in,” he says. “I look like I should be playing in a rock band.”

    Damon might look like he would fit in at a Bushwick dive bar, but he’s actually impersonating an astronaut. It’s February in Budapest, Hungary, and we’re on the set of The Martian, which he’s making with British director Ridley Scott of Alien, Blade Runner and Gladiator fame and Exodus: Gods and Kings infamy. The shoot is nearly complete. The story is structured around Mars days (called Sols, which are 39 minutes longer than Earth days), starting at Sol 6 and ending on Sol 549. “Today, I think we’re on 547,” Damon says. “I’m living on Mars time.”

    Damon is the obvious choice for Watney. He’s perhaps the most likeable actor in Hollywood not named Tom Hanks. When he speaks, he opens his eyes wide and smiles. He likes to laugh, and when he laughs, his eyes crinkle. New York Times film critic Manohla Dargis once called him the contemporary ideal for the “American character.” No other actor “can better vault across rooftops and in and out of genres and make you care greatly if he falls. He’s so homespun that he could have sprung wholly formed from a corn silo.” Damon might be the only actor capable of making Watney seem more like your lovable but slightly inappropriate cousin than a misogynist frat boy.

    Did you have to lose weight?
    I talked to Ridley about it because I’ve lost weight before for movies. We had about six months. And I said, “That’s perfect. I’ll lose about 30 or 40 pounds, and we’ve got to shoot all that stuff first.” And he went, “Fuck that.”

    Your character is offbeat and kind of raunchy.
    And yet really capable and smart. The writer Drew Goddard said he read the book and he fell in love with it, and he wanted to do because it was like a love letter to science. And he wanted to make that cool. In one sense, the guy’s an incredible nerd. He’s a botanist. But that’s really what’s cool about the character in the movie. He needs every single one of his skills to save his life. It’s fun to play a character who’s smarter than you. He gets to the right answers quicker than I would. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve sat in my surface suit on set thinking, I wouldn’t last 20 minutes on Mars. Every mistake is life-threatening.

    Collider
    One of the many things I love about Matt Damon is his infectious charm and easy-going attitude. While he’s one of the biggest movie stars on the planet, he never acts like one. He’s always grounded and honest, willing to answer anything with a smile.

    So was that year and a half off by accident or intentional?
    The first six months was intentional because we moved from New York to LA, so just to be around the kids for that transition I took time off. And then I couldn’t find anything that I wanted to do. I mean you see what’s out there…it’s tough. The movies that have really been my bread and butter for twenty years, they don’t make them anymore. They really don’t. It’s really very hard to get the money together. A lot of that stuff is migrating to television. They’re more apt to take a huge risk on a high concept idea than on a kitchen sink drama or something. When this came along, I went ‘how many of these movies will I be able to really do that I’ll like, that are original and aren’t just a knockoff of something else?’

  • New Danish screenwriters have been selected by Matt and producer Jennifer Todd to write the script for RFK.
  • 15 comments or Leave a comment
    Comments
    From: (Anonymous) Date: June 18th, 2015 05:54 pm (UTC) (Link)

    The Martian

    That interview with Newsweek is the best so far.

    "... a love letter to science." Sigh. Nice. The movie by all appearances is also a love letter to the book. Everyone involved in the film seems interested in a faithful adaptation. And Weir is very cannily promoting the movie to his nerd readers (like me:-)

    According to Variety, the movie continues to attract lots of attention from social media. Second this week to Jurassic World:

    http://variety.com/2015/digital/news/digital-audience-ratings-jurassic-world-still-soaring-the-martian-momentum-continues-1201522044/

    Paula






    4mattdamon From: 4mattdamon Date: June 19th, 2015 04:15 am (UTC) (Link)

    Re: The Martian

    This will Matt's first foray into 3D. Can we talk about THAT for a second?
    Nice articles all around if I may say so.
    Gregory

    Edited at 2015-06-19 04:16 am (UTC)
    From: (Anonymous) Date: June 19th, 2015 10:50 am (UTC) (Link)

    Re: The Martian

    Well, you know I can't resist an invitation like THAT! :-)

    I don't know much about the technical side of 3D, but this article about Scott's use of it in Prometheus was very informative.

    http://www.cinemablend.com/new/3D-Or-3D-Buy-Right-Prometheus-Ticket-31278.html

    The attraction for studios is obviously the premium ticket prices, but it seems Scott makes intelligent use of it mostly to create increased depth and a more immersive experience. There is obviously also a shot in the trailer which will be a 'kapow, right at ya!' shot, which he used very sparingly in Prometheus (I didn't see Exodus). Maybe he's getting bolder with it. This will be his third movie in the format, so hopefully that side of it is amazing.

    I will, of course, be paying the premium right off (Matty -in 3D!!!), and hoping that it's good enough to lure me back for the cheaper format, too.
    Paula
    4mattdamon From: 4mattdamon Date: June 19th, 2015 11:30 am (UTC) (Link)

    Re: The Martian

    Generally not a fan of 3D here, but I did find it useful in Avatar. If the film is shot in 3D it makes a huge difference from being done post prod. I haven't seen Prometheus, and I did see Exodus but not in 3D (didn't realize it was even in 3D).

    I've never seen Matt in 3D but I have seen him in 4D, hahaha, sorry couldn't help myself.
    Anyone making plans to come to LA @ the end of September for THE MARTIAN premiere? You know you want to!
    Gregory
    From: (Anonymous) Date: June 19th, 2015 07:19 am (UTC) (Link)

    just a few pictures

    just spotted these and thought that I'd share:

    http://iconosquare.com/p/1010549368872073369_195176885

    http://iconosquare.com/p/1010531698406667710_284854940

    And from a Danish perspective the screenwriters for RFK sounds great - they have made some really amazing movies. Can't wait to see if that is going to happen - also because Matt has mentioned on several occations that he'd love to make a movie about RFK. - S
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: June 19th, 2015 07:22 am (UTC) (Link)

    Re: just a few pictures

    Thanks, I was just going to post the photo with the cast. The first pic of Matt and Willem I think.

    http://ww1.sinaimg.cn/bmiddle/e06b3e2djw1et95pv459zj20zk0k4wmy.jpg

    A story about the photo:
    http://ent.sina.com.cn/m/c/2015-06-19/doc-ifxefurt9410939.shtml

    Edited at 2015-06-19 12:57 pm (UTC)
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: June 19th, 2015 08:08 pm (UTC) (Link)

    Julia Stiles

    Julia Stiles is back for Bourne, Alicia Vikander still in talks, and Viggo Mortensen possibly involved:

    http://variety.com/2015/film/news/julia-stiles-to-reteam-with-matt-damon-in-next-bourne-identity-film-1201524072/
    From: (Anonymous) Date: June 19th, 2015 11:02 pm (UTC) (Link)

    Re: Julia Stiles

    Great news!

    Laura.
    4mattdamon From: 4mattdamon Date: June 19th, 2015 11:19 pm (UTC) (Link)

    Re: Julia Stiles

    YES!!!
    From: (Anonymous) Date: June 20th, 2015 04:34 am (UTC) (Link)

    Re: Julia Stiles

    OHHH MAHHH GAWD! yay!!! i wonder if joan allen will be back?
    And im also wondering if stiles (nickey parsons) will be a pove interest for bourne/webb... their last movie nicky dropped some hints of a possible former thing they may have had.
    So excited!
    Thanks for sharing this!!

    -H
    From: (Anonymous) Date: June 20th, 2015 07:30 am (UTC) (Link)

    Re: Julia Stiles

    Interesting new. Parson and Bourne were an efficient and friendly duo (and maybe more...). I love Viggo Mortensen, great actor,he certainly can bring a lot of weight in the movie. I wondered where they stand with the script, if they hire people, it means it's done.
    B.
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: June 20th, 2015 07:42 am (UTC) (Link)

    Re: Julia Stiles

    It's sounding remarkably familiar - an assassin looking for Bourne. They're not going to deviate much from the formula.
    From: (Anonymous) Date: June 20th, 2015 12:18 pm (UTC) (Link)

    Re: Julia Stiles

    Oh, yeah, the A team is back in charge! Nicky is a great person to have as a resource, since we can assume she knows most of Bourne's backstory. Mortenson would be great in a Bourne movie.
    Paula
    From: (Anonymous) Date: June 20th, 2015 12:24 pm (UTC) (Link)

    The Martian

    The Martian (the novel) has just made it to #1 on the NYT bestsellers list. That is a HUGE plus for the size of the potential audience. This thing is rolling like gangbusters. Ridley Scott, if you screw this up millions of people will never speak to you again!! ;-)

    Paula
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: June 20th, 2015 12:41 pm (UTC) (Link)

    Re: The Martian

    That's great news. I wonder if more people reading the book will lead to more people being disappointed with the trailer, knowing it shows so much.

    Andy hasn't mentioned any of the cast talking about him, the book or the script.
    15 comments or Leave a comment