Matt Damon: Being a Dad 'Defies Description'
Even though his daughter Isabella is already 6 months old, Matt Damon still has a hard time describing what it's like to be a dad.
Admitting that the overall feeling is, "Great, great. That's been just amazing," Damon – speaking at a press conference for his new movie, The Good Shepherd, which costars Angelina Jolie – says that fatherhood "defies description, actually. I don't really know how to talk about it, because I don't really know – I feel like I got made a member of a club that I didn't know existed."
Isabella is the first child for Damon, 36, and wife Luciana, who married in December 2005. Luciana, 31, also has a daughter, Alexia, from a previous marriage.
"I didn't think that this would happen to me," Damon continued. "Other people were always showing me baby pictures or trying to hand me the baby, and I was like, 'Get that thing away from me. I don't want to touch your kid. Give me a break.' But I'm totally into it now."
At first, the "scared" actor was "kind of excited for my daughter to be 2. I was excited for her to start kind of talking and walking and toddling around hanging out, but I didn't realize how much personality little people have right off the bat. So it's just been fun."
His favorite activity with his daughter, he said, is getting her to laugh. "You do this thing where you can either give her (a raspberry) on the stomach or if you sort of act like you're going to munch her underarm, and she laughs like a little machine gun. And it's like I could do it forever."
Non-Cinematical Question: Give us an update on the filming of The Bourne Ultimatum. Is Bourne ever going to be happy?
"We're almost halfway through. I don't know if that guy can ever be happy. Does he know who he is this time? He will by the end of this one. I don't know how long we can ride that pony. Maybe he'll get a bump on the head at the end. Paul is directing it again, which is huge. That's the reason to do it. He's a really great filmmaker, and we have a story. We have a story to tell. But looking at it, to be fair, I think this should be the last one. I'm half-joking, but his search for identity is going to definitely come to an end. I think the only way to do another Bourne movie would be twenty years down the road."
Non-Cinematical Question: Talk about the aging makeup and the aging of your character.
"We didn't do a lot with makeup. We did little things like shave my hairline back a little bit and then added to it for the 1939 stuff. But really subtle. A little bit of aging stipple around the eyes. You can see mostly in the one shot, where I have the magnifying glass, there are some wrinkles that are makeup, and they look really good. But he [De Niro] didn't want to do anything more than that, because he didn't want anything to distract. Also, the character is only 41 or 42. I'm 36, so I actually had much further to go to get to Yale, than the other way. But then there were the glasses -- those glasses had a real prescription. So I would wear a negative prescription contact lens. It's all details with Bob. The aggregate effect of all those things adds up and makes you go 'I belive what I'm watching.' I've heard stories of him from prop people. On The Departed, the prop guys said the last time they worked with De Niro, he came in to look at a little prop -- it was a little trinket like a cigarette case or something. And he came in on his day off just because he wanted to touch it and hold it and see if he liked it. Everything was like that."
Non-Cinematical Question: Did you witness any of that good-old-boy stuff at Harvard?
"I did. I was in the Delta Club at Harvard and I did see some of that. But now, with Skull & Bones for instance, this new generation of kids have totally debunked all of it. There's now a lot of writing about Skull & Bones. 'Okay, here's this right of passage and there's that, and you have to do that, etc..' Starting with around my generation, people stopped taking all of that stuff quite so seriously. Whereas, in 1939 it was of the utmost importance. But nowadays, all of those secrets are out in the open. Skull & Bones is co-ed now."
Non-Cinematical Question: When are you going to write something else?
"I don't know. The acting roles have just been so good. All these people I've been able to work with. But Ben and I have been talking about it, and there's one project in particular we're interested in maybe directing together. That's one thing we're looking at. And he just directed Gone, Baby, Gone and I've seen pieces of it and it's just fantastic. And Casey is really great in it. Casey's great in The Assassination of Jesse James actually, too. It's going to be a good year for Casey."
Robert De Niro interview
Non-Cinematical Question: Talk about the casting process, and how you arrived at Matt and Angelina.
"I was originally going to do it with Leonardo DiCaprio, but it didn't work out schedule-wise. So I went to Matt and he gave me a quick answer and said he would do it. There were only a few actors I would do it with and Matt was one of them, if it came to not doing it with Leonardo. I was very lucky to have him come on board and do it. He's been great on every level.