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NY Times interview, New York premiere

Photos from a New York premiere for Stillwater are at the Daily Mail.

A new podcast interview with Marc Maron is available at Spotiy etc and YouTube (thanks Hanna). There's also a new Bill Simmons podcast interview.

The Last Duel will premiere out of competition at the Venice Film Festival.

There's a new long interview with Matt at the New York Times with lots of interesting quotes, including some copied below. Photos from the interview are tagged on Instagram:

Instead, Damon the man can almost disappear. As both a performer and a public figure, he’s a type we’ve seen plenty of times: the regular guy, an All-American, the nice fella who could live next door. But there is also an underrecognized Nicholsonian edge, a darkness, to many of his roles, which perhaps bespeaks the relish with which he offered his impression. All of which is to say that in ways both subtle and not, intentional and un-, he has complicated his relationship with audiences, elaborated and often inverted the idea of Matt Damon.

Yet despite being a hugely famous, sympathetic and very bankable American movie star, Damon has always felt distant, hasn’t he? Which is odd, because he has never floated away into the realm of remote screen deity like his contemporaries Leonardo DiCaprio or Brad Pitt or George Clooney — he’s too solidly earthy for that. Nor has insisted on the mysteries of his being in the manner of Tom Cruise. Instead there’s a cipherlike aspect to Damon, a deeper impenetrability to who he is and what he does that even now, after a quarter-century of watching him, has become so entrenched that we take both it and him for granted.

Damon is an amiable, if cautious, interviewee, and to a degree that’s almost disorienting, his vibe is deeply normal. Talking to him was like making conversation with a former classmate or colleague whom maybe you didn’t know all that well but of whom you always thought fondly.

“He has a willingness to rip apart his boyish, all-American exterior,” says Soderbergh, who has directed Damon in nine films. “He’s self-aware enough, and secure enough, to riff on that.”

For fun while in Australia, he’d been doing some surfing (“I’m pretty terrible,” he said) and horseback riding. The last nonfiction book he read was “Hate Inc.: Why Today’s Media Makes Us Despise One Another,” by Matt Taibbi. The last novel: “The Searchers,” by Alan Le May, which was made into the classic 1956 western and which he’d been sent by producers mulling a remake. “What else do I do? ” Damon said when I nudged for more. “I don’t know, I sound like a pretty boring guy.”

Nowadays, Damon’s solution to the problem of picking is to go with strong directors — a star’s prerogative and nice work if you can get it. Earlier in his career, he wasn’t in a position to be so choosy, but even then he had opinions. His agent, Whitesell, told me a story about young actors competing for the part of an arrogant hotshot alongside Hackman, Sharon Stone and Russell Crowe in the buzzy 1995 western “The Quick and the Dead.” It was a competition that, according to Whitesell, Damon won, blowing the producers away with his audition. “This was a movie that, on its surface, everybody wanted.” He remembers sitting with Damon, who had his doubts, saying: “Sharon Stone — great actress but a female gunslinger? You’re not going to believe the movie.” So Damon removed himself from consideration for the part, which was ultimately played by Leonardo DiCaprio. His instincts were accurate — the film failed at the box office — but it took a pretty confident 25-year-old to bow out of the running like that. “Probably too cocky for my own good,” Damon said.

Firmly into middle age and thick in the middle of his career, Damon has fully become the actor he hoped to be back at Rindge and Latin — one that Gene Hackman would, and does, admire. Hackman sent Damon a complimentary letter after seeing him in “The Informant!” But Damon has a different Hackman story to tell. In 1993, shortly after leaving Harvard, Damon found himself acting with the man himself. It was on “Geronimo,” and maybe “with” is a stretch. “I’m in one shot with him,” said Damon, who plays the film’s fifth lead. “Hackman plays General Crook, Jason Patric plays the first lieutenant and I’m the second lieutenant, Britton Davis. I’m eight horses back.” Watch the scene now, and it’s conspicuous how the baby-faced Damon, clad in his character’s U.S. Cavalryman’s costume, subtly guides his steed out from behind an Apache warrior on horseback. “I’m trying,” he explained, “to get into the frame so that I could be in the same shot as Hackman.” On that dusty day, Damon even got to meet the older actor when Hackman’s stand-in made an introduction. The two made small talk, and then, by way of saying goodbye, Hackman said, “Well, it’s great to meet you, Mark.” Remembering that moment now, Matt Damon flashed his movie-star smile, then slipped back into self-effacement. “It didn’t have to be the right name,” he said. “I was just happy to be there.”
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The Last Duel trailer

A trailer for The Last Duel has been released.



Variety's article included some quotes by key creatives:

Written by Nicole Holofcener, Affleck and Damon, the movie is based on actual events, unraveling the long-held assumptions about what happened between the two men. The project adapts Eric Jager’s book “The Last Duel: A True Story of Crime, Scandal, and Trial by Combat in Medieval France.

This film is an effort to retell the story of a heroic woman from history whom most people haven’t heard of,” says Holofcener, Affleck and Damon. “We admired her bravery and resolute determination and felt this was both a story that needed to be told and one whose drama would captivate audiences the way it moved us as writers.”

“As we further explored the story, we found so many aspects of the formal, codified patriarchy of 14th century Western Europe to still be present in vestigial ways (and in some cases almost unchanged) in today’s society,” the trio continued. We chose to use the device of telling the story from several character’s perspectives in order to examine the immutable fact that although often multiple people who experience the same event come away with differing accounts, there can only be one truth.”

“I love working with Matt [Damon starred in 2015’s “The Martian”], so it was an added bonus to be able to work with him and Ben as both actors and as screenwriters, along with Nicole Holofcener, and I knew it would be a great result,” says director/producer Ridley Scott. “I had admired the show ‘Killing Eve’ and had been looking for the opportunity to present Jodie Comer with a challenging role. Her performance as Marguerite will make her one of the great actresses of her generation.”

Matt's Masterclass interview from Cannes is available at this link.
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Stillwater premieres at Cannes Film Festival

Stillwater has premiered at the Cannes Film Festival, with Matt, director Tom McCarthy and co-stars Camille Cottin and Abigail Breslin attending. There are mixed reviews but mostly positive reviews are at Deadline and Variety. Photos of Matt earlier in the day are at the the Daily Mail.

A detailed interview with McCarthy was released prior to the premiere at Deadline, including:

DEADLINE: How hard is it to get Matt Damon to sign on?

McCARTHY: Probably me offering about every other movie I made, and him saying no for a good seven, eight years until he finally said yes. That’s literally what happened. I’ve been courting him for a while, been a fan of his work and heard great things about working with him. He’s just an actor that I felt I would connect with. This was just the right script at the right time. I remember I ran into Matt, who’s as you know, a pretty self-effacing, at one of the awards things around Spotlight, when he was there with The Martian, a terrific movie. I had approached him about Spotlight, we’d talked about it, and he just wasn’t in the space to hear the movie at that time. But he said, you keep sending me great scripts, I’ll keep saying no, you go make a great movie, and then, I’ll regret it, and then, we’ll just rinse and repeat. I said, I will.

I sent him Stillwater. He read and liked it, called me and said, I want to do this. We met for coffee in LA three days later, talked about it and that was it. It was really that quick. I think he just connected with it and saw in the script and in the story, a chance to do something he hadn’t done before. I can’t speak for Matt but I think most good actors, that’s what they’re looking for. Soon after, we were in Oklahoma together hanging out with roughnecks, eating a lot of barbecue, driving around to a lot of different cities and just sort of soaking it in, and talking through the movie. I think Matt’s work started there, that early, just understanding the physicality, the approach to character. He’s a quick study. He’s a smart guy and when we got to set and we got into rehearsals in France a few months later, I was like, boy, he paid attention. He’s ready.
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Dalkey Book Festival interview

Matt was interviewed for the Dalkey Book Festival and detailed quotes are available at The Irish Times. On meeting Lucy:

“I really did see her across a crowded room. And I swear, there was a beam of light around her. I was out [in Miami] with a bunch of guys on the crew of a movie. It was Saturday, our night off . . . I was just going where everybody was going and they went to this place and she was bartending there. And when I saw her there really was this light . . . she subsequently told me ‘that was just the light in the room, you dummy’ . . . that was 2003, so it was before iPhones and phone cameras, people had those, remember, wind up digital little disposable Kodak ones? So people were coming up to me and taking pictures and stuff. And the manager [Hank] said, ‘you could go stand behind that bar’, which I thought was great because this woman was back there. And so I went in behind the bar and the very first thing she ever said to me was ‘you can’t be here’ . . . we’re past 18 years together now. So I guess I’m glad I didn’t listen . . . she had a pretty low opinion of celebrities, because she said, most of them came in and were arrogant, and none of them tipped and they were crappy customers . . . she goes ‘alright, well, if you can be back here, you got to work’ . . . it was great, because I tended bar before . . . so I just started really berating all of the customers. It was all these Miami smooth guys, with their Saturday night duds on, coming up and being big shots. And then I just started abusing them about how little they were tipping. So they would start shelling out, taking back the $5 bill and putting out $100 bills and so I made the whole bar staff a lot of money that night, which was good, because she kept talking to me. She was like, alright, I see you are serving an actual function back here. So you can come bartend with me anytime.”

A potential return to Dalkey:
“We did make a deal [with his children] both times we left Ireland saying we’ll come back and finish the movie and then we’ll get to travel. We had a plan to take a caravan all around the country. We had all these grand plans and then the second time it was straight into lockdown again and then we had to leave again. So we made a bargain with the kids that when this all ends we’re going back and we’re gonna do our trip . . . we all really want to do it, we just felt comfortable there . . . the town is so beautiful and we’re just walking up Killiney Hill, walking over to Mugs [cafe] and getting coffee. It was just the best . . . I even got a pint at Finnegan’s before they shut. Like the day before the lockdown, I went over and had one pint so and then it was closed literally the rest of the six months that I was there. But Lucy and I did get one pint there . . . and I hope to come [to the Dalkey Book festival] in person next year. That would be great.”
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Stillwater trailer and interview

The first trailer for Stillwater has been released:

EW posted some photos and an interview with director Tom McCarthy, including:

McCarthy, who won an Oscar with Josh Singer for their Spotlight script, says to prepare for the film — which was filmed on location in Oklahoma and Marseille — he and Damon spent time with career roughnecks. "Matt and I started going [to Oklahoma] early on to get a taste of the place and the people and spending time with roughnecks, in particular," he recalls. "They really opened up their lives to us, and their worlds and their families. They were incredibly instrumental in helping us shape the story."

Also helping to shape the story were the multinational crew — largely consisting of people from France, Canada, and the U.S. — and his co-writers, Marcus Hinchey, Thomas Bidegain, and Noé Debré. "It was just exciting," McCarthy says. "You could feel the collaboration, and I think we all learned a lot from each other. We all really united behind the movie, and behind Matt's performance, which is, I think, stunning."

Matt was interviewed from a pub in Australia by Today about the film:

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Stillwater release date

Matt's drama with Tom McCarthy now has a confirmed release date and title of Stillwater. From Deadline:

Focus Features said Friday that it will release its dramatic thriller Stillwater, directed by Spotlight Oscar winner Tom McCarthy and starring Matt Damon, in domestic theaters on July 30, 2021.

The pic, from Participant and DreamWorks, centers on an American oil-rig roughneck (Damon) from Oklahoma who travels to Marseille to visit his estranged daughter (Abigail Breslin), in prison for a murder she claims she did not commit. Confronted with language barriers, cultural differences and a complicated legal system, he builds a new life for himself in France as he makes it his personal mission to exonerate her. Camille Cottin also stars.

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Filming Thor sequel in Australia

Matt has arrived in Australia with his family to film a role in the new Marvel film Thor: Love and Thunder. Matt will be in Sydney for several months, according to a press release quoted at the Daily Mail.

Hollywood superstar Matt Damon and his family touched down in Australia on Saturday and began 14 days of privately-arranged quarantine in New South Wales.

And the actor says he is thrilled to be spending time Down Under as he joins the cast of Thor: Love and Thunder.

'I'm so excited that my family and I will be able to call Australia home for the next few months,' Damon, 50, said this week. 

With the threat of COVID-19 as a paramount consideration, the Damon family entered Australia under the direction of the NSW Government’s COVID-19 Quarantine Program over the weekend.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison welcomed the announcement of Matt Damon this week.

'Hollywood superstar Matt Damon joining our homegrown talent to film such a major movie in NSW is a big win creating thousands of jobs for locals. Australia’s management of COVID-19 and our Government’s tax incentives have ensured that our film industry is booming with many new jobs for actors as well electricians, carpenters, cooks, security staff, bus drivers and a massive boost for NSW.'

Other stars known to be joining the fourth Thor film are Tessa Thompson (Valkyrie), Natalie Portman (Jane Foster), and Christian Bale (villain Gorr the God Butcher).