?

Log in

No account? Create an account
entries friends calendar profile The Matt Damon Column Previous Previous Next Next
Matt Damon News Column
mattdamoncolumn
mattdamoncolumn
Interview, Photos
  • A new interview with Matt from the Globe and Mail to promote the upcoming One X One event - excerpts.

    "It's the most pointless thing," says Matt Damon, speaking of fame. "If not for something like this, if it can't be used to try to shine some light on some issues, what could celebrity possibly be for?"

    He's on the phone from Los Angeles, trying to reflect some of that light onto a handful of issues that are among the toughest facing the people of Africa today: institutionalized poverty, AIDS, water-borne illnesses. From Brad to Bono, Africa is taking up more room on the pop-culture radar these days, thanks largely to the celebrity globe-straddlers who attract spotlights wherever they step off a plane.

    Last summer, Damon's friend Brad Pitt sat for an interview with Diane Sawyer to talk up Africa (and to grimace as he was asked about Jen and Angelina).

    "Brad took a lot of heat," he says. Still, "in the prior year, Africa had been talked about for about four minutes in prime time, and Brad had gotten it out for 60 full minutes, talking about these issues, and it had a huge impact."

    "People were reaching out, saying: 'What do I do to help?'"

    In April, Damon visited Zambia as the guest of DATA, where he spent a week travelling from village to village getting educated about the continent's challenges.

    And though he realizes he's no expert -- "one week, and here I am preaching to you about it," he says with a chuckle -- anything that brings attention to the problems is worth trying.

    "Two-million people a year are dying from water-related illnesses," he says, noting that the wells cost perhaps $15,000 each. "I visited a village with one of these wells and collected water with a girl there. Just listening to the impact that the well had on this one village and looking at how many wells we had a chance to put in by me participating in this event, it wasn't something that I could say no to."

    The Sept. 10 gala will also help raise awareness for Damon's own Africa project, a $2-million-plus documentary called Running the Sahara.Produced by his company Live Planet, the film will shoot this winter, around the same time Damon will be in theatres with a clutch of features: Martin Scorsese's Irish mafia story The Departed, Kenneth Lonergan's drama Margaret and Robert De Niro's CIA thriller The Good Shepherd. His documentary will follow three ultra-marathon runners, including Canada's Ray Zahab, as they run the equivalent of two marathons a day, for about 75 days, to cross the Sahara Desert. Damon hopes to bring the completed film to next year's TIFF.

    As for her One X One host, [organiser Joelle] Adler has nothing but praise. "I would put my hand in the fire for this man and his partners. There have been situations where I have asked certain things and the answer always comes back from Matt: Whatever you do, make sure it maximizes the moneys for the charities," she says.

    "He'll stay at a Holiday Inn Express, if it means saving money. This is a very charitable man."

    Note to paparazzi and wannabe stalkers: Damon will not, in fact, be staying at a Holiday Inn Express. Other accommodations have been secured.

  • Larger photos of Matt and family in Los Angeles are below, thanks to Clooney Network.

    Free Image Hosting - www.supload.com Free Image Hosting - www.supload.com Free Image Hosting - www.supload.com Free Image Hosting - www.supload.com
  • 11 comments or Leave a comment
    Comments
    From: (Anonymous) Date: August 30th, 2006 09:34 am (UTC) (Link)
    Fantastic work he's doing with DATA, I hope the event raises tons of money. I also love the fact that he's paying his own expenses, I work for a UK charity and celebrities do expect the charity to pay their expenses which can run into thousands of pounds, the Charity Commission had to put a cap on what celebrities can charge because a minority were charging up to £50,000 ($92,500) to host events.

    Personally I've always thought the desire for fame should be classified as a mental illness, why would a sane person want their whole life splashed across the internet and countless magazines, to be stalked by photographers everywhere you go, your family and friends constantly hassled. The price you pay for fame is simply too high for what you get in return. MP

    From: (Anonymous) Date: August 30th, 2006 06:05 pm (UTC) (Link)

    Fame

    People who crave fame for its own sake are usually looking for validation. As Conan said on the Emmy show the other night, "Don't thank your parents if you win. If you had been raised in a nurturing environment, you wouldn't be in show business!" Matt's upbringing seems to have been filled with love and giving to others--his mom has been especially other-directed. Matt cares, and that's one of the reasons we care about him. Not only is he really talented, he's a good person as well.
    From: (Anonymous) Date: August 31st, 2006 04:15 pm (UTC) (Link)

    Re: Fame

    Great quote from Conan. My thoughts exactly. Matt does seem to be the exception that proves the rule. He really tries to keep his feet on the ground and give back to society, rather than sitting at home counting his millions. MP
    From: (Anonymous) Date: August 31st, 2006 08:37 pm (UTC) (Link)

    Re: Fame

    I agree with both of you. Well said by both of you!
    Yeah one of the reasons i do like & love about him, like both of you have said 'tries to keep his feet on the ground and give back to society' and 'been filled with love and giving to others' and he does care.

    ...'Not only is he really talented, he's a good person as well'..<-so true.
    ~Cass
    From: (Anonymous) Date: August 30th, 2006 12:46 pm (UTC) (Link)
    Hi. I asked you about the comment made by AJMcNeil about Isabella and you deleted the entire post. Why?
    I wont ask if it is inappropriate, but I just didn't understand why you did that.
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: August 30th, 2006 09:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
    It just wasn't worth an explanation.
    From: (Anonymous) Date: August 31st, 2006 03:20 am (UTC) (Link)

    Hee! And thanks!

    Note to paparazzi and wannabe stalkers: Damon will not, in fact, be staying at a Holiday Inn Express. Other accommodations have been secured.

    HA! Love it! You're the best, Felicity -- thanks again for all your hard work keeping us up to date with all the latest Matt news. :-)

    - Jeff in Salt Lake City
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: August 31st, 2006 03:31 am (UTC) (Link)

    Re: Hee! And thanks!

    Thanks Jeff - good to hear from you again.
    From: (Anonymous) Date: September 2nd, 2006 08:28 am (UTC) (Link)

    http://www.news-record.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060902/NEWSREC0101/60901027/-1/NEWSREC0201


    "Running across the Sahara" is making some noise :)
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: September 2nd, 2006 08:51 am (UTC) (Link)
    Thanks, just saw the article and will post it soon as a new item.
    From: (Anonymous) Date: September 2nd, 2006 08:52 am (UTC) (Link)
    You're welcome :)
    11 comments or Leave a comment