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Matt Damon News Column
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Interview, review
  • The best interview as yet with Matt about matters other than The Departed is at the Inquirer - excerpts:.

    Matt Damon, casually dressed in polo shirt and white tee, came into the room lugging a cup of Starbucks coffee but a waiter promptly served him a cup of the hotel’s Java. "I have a lot of coffee!" he said with a grin that reminded us of what director Anthony Minghella said about him: "There’s something so apple pie about him."

    He turned serious when a reporter asked him about a "kind of competition" with Leonardo in terms of getting roles and awards. "I have never defined myself based on the awards I have or have not received,” said the Harvard-educated actor and screenwriter (he was two semesters short of completing a degree). "My success is not dependent on other people’s failure so I don’t root against people. Leo and I are smart enough to know that the best version of this movie happened only because there was no competition. We were absolutely working to make each other better. If my co-actor isn’t good in a scene, I am not good in the scene."

    Matt, who has an Oscar and a Golden Globe for his "Good Will Hunting" screenplay (shared with Ben Affleck), continued: "I have the highest regard for Leo. I have absolutely no interest in competing over an award. I don’t care. I have all the awards. I have too many things to think about. I have a kid. I’m enjoying the process of making movies too much. If you want to give awards, give them to him. I mean it. He’s great in the movie and he deserves it anyway. Or give them to Marty. I know you guys already did (he won a Golden Globe Best Director Award in 2002 for "Gangs of New York") but..."

    As expected, this Sunday’s press con was a virtual toast by the young actors to Martin, who is perhaps the best living director in America (and yet, strangely enough, the Oscar Best Director Award has eluded him). Matt’s praises are specific: "Among other things, he has an incredible eye for human behavior. He will sit there, cut and mine all the bad takes that an actor like me does (laughter) for the one moment of truth. You can turn off the sound in his films and still know what’s going on despite the fact that he’s cutting all over the place and across time."

    Reporters then steered Matt to other, uh, more "interesting" topics such as Brangelina and Bennifer. He is only one degree separated from these pairs—the former going strong while the latter is history. Of Angelina Jolie, his co-star in the upcoming "The Good Shepherd," he said, "It was great working with Angie. She is an amazing actress. She’s just so powerful. Angie’s role in ‘The Good Shepherd’ is unlike any role she’s ever had. She’s much more demure and obedient. You’ve never seen Angie like this."

    As for his childhood friend Ben Affleck, who won the Best Actor Award at the recent Venice Film Festival for his role in "Hollywoodland," Matt jokingly dropped hints to the writers in front of him: "After he wins the Golden Globe this year for ‘Hollywoodland’ (laughter), and after that, the Oscar, maybe he’ll be ready to come back and work with me again." Nice try, Matt.

    "I just love that Ben is only 34 and he’s already having a comeback," Matt quipped to more laughter. "That shows how crazy this business is, right? I think Ben made some bad choices with some of the films he did. Everyone assumed that meant he wasn’t talented. I never worried for a second about it. I know more than anybody how talented he is. I wrote a movie with him. I spent thousands of hours with him. I grew up with him and watched him act as a kid. I know how good he is. He made some movies that didn’t work. That’s all it was."

    Matt sounded like a regular dad gladly taking his entire family on an out-of-town trip when he said, "Everyone’s coming with me." Except that the Damon family is going to a location shoot for a new "Bourne" movie and daddy is the star.

  • A four-star review by Peter Travers of Rolling Stone, including, with minor spoilers:

    All the actors bring their A games to this triumphant bruiser of a film, its darkly wanton wit the only defense against complete chaos. DiCaprio and Damon give explosive, emotionally complex performances, but it must be said that Jack Nicholson reaches undreamed-of heights of decadent devilment as Irish mob kingpin Frank Costello.

    Damon, building on his no-bull turns in Syriana and the two Bourne films, brings a coiled-spring intensity to Colin, whose double life is taking its toll (for one thing, he's often impotent).

  • A 20-minute preview of The Good Shepherd will be shown at the upcoming Rome Film Festival.
  • 8 comments or Leave a comment
    Comments
    From: (Anonymous) Date: September 29th, 2006 08:39 am (UTC) (Link)
    Thanks for the interview with Matt - Enjoyed that, cool read. Hes just sounds so friendly & down-to-earth bless him. And that inteview i did enjoy that, i liked it so thanks for that.

    and thanks for other updates aswell.

    Your cool Felicity thanks.
    ~Cass
    From: sunnysanstar Date: September 29th, 2006 03:01 pm (UTC) (Link)
    >I know more than anybody how talented he is. I wrote a movie with him. I >spent thousands of hours with him. I grew up with him and watched him act >as a kid. I know how good he is.

    Awwwwwww! God, I love to hear Matt talk about Ben! I also believe he'll get the Golden Globe and the Oscar. Of course, without even seeing The Departed or The Good Shepard, I think Matt could give him a pretty good run for his money!

    You're absolutely right, Felicity. This is the best interview to come along. It addressed everything going on with Matt in a very condensed format. Love that part about coffee, too. It's comments like that that remind you how relatable and likeable he must be in person.

    -Stephanie (forever now sunnysanstar :D)
    From: (Anonymous) Date: September 29th, 2006 05:31 pm (UTC) (Link)

    Family?

    Aside from what is "shown" to the media, he obviously doesn't appear to be that close to "his" family. Why do you suppose this is?
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: September 30th, 2006 01:04 am (UTC) (Link)

    Re: Family?

    I'll pick up the bait. Just because they're not photographed (they wouldn't sell) doesn't mean they're not around.
    From: (Anonymous) Date: September 30th, 2006 09:19 pm (UTC) (Link)

    Re: Family?

    Depending on the bait you tend to jump at, I'd say your jumping at the wrong bit(and occasionally at the incorrect fisher). Appreciate your response with attempting to provide a viable excuse for him. And although your response is accurate, it is an elusive answer nonetheless.

    The truth is his family aren't around his immediate circle and time in day- at least in this day in age, and have become not like his spouse's. I was merely inquisitive as to why this was, or has it always been this way and we've only been shown the "up in up" in the past media for image's sake? True, he has his own family now but "his" roots seem to have dissipated to him. This is probably not the best arena to pose these questions but curious to a real answer regardless.
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: October 1st, 2006 03:29 am (UTC) (Link)

    Re: Family?

    My response really is how the hell would we know?
    From: (Anonymous) Date: September 29th, 2006 05:53 pm (UTC) (Link)

    Great Stuff

    This is a really meaty interview--your whole report is very satisfying to this Matt-admirer. It's like chocolate decadence dessert! Thanks, Felicity.

    Joyce
    From: (Anonymous) Date: September 29th, 2006 06:48 pm (UTC) (Link)
    Thanks for the interview, really enjoyed reading it. I agree with his comments about Ben. He's a better actor than he's given credit for. He made poor choices in the past, but has come through the whole Bennifer thing, and seems to be back on track with his life and career. Well done to them both for keeping their heads on straight in an industry that eats you up and spits you out. MP
    8 comments or Leave a comment