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Matt Damon News Column
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Departed update, Japan press
  • NBC's "Tsunami Aid: A Concert Of Hope" telethon last Saturday raised $18.3 million in relief - details in this official press release.

  • Information about awards consideration for the Howard Zinn documentary which Matt narrated is from here.

    Middlebury College professor Deb Ellis' most recent documentary, "Howard Zinn: You Can't Be Neutral on a Moving Train," made the short list for nominations for an Academy Award, one of 12 that will be narrowed down to five on Jan. 25.

    Another big name in the project is actor Matt Damon, who narrates parts of the film. According to the First Run Features interview, he became involved in the project after Mueller learned that Damon had grown up next to Zinn in Cambridge, Mass., and that his mother was a friend of the family.

  • Details about location scouting for The Departed is here, which negates this earlier Herald scare-mongering article.

  • Another article about the O12 cast in Japan here.

  • A quote from USA Today celebrity columnist Donna Freydkin in a recent online chat:

    Tampa, FL: Hey Donna, where is Matt Damon living these days and is he still with his girlfriend?

    Donna Freydkin: Matt Damon lives here, in NYC, and is still with Luciana. He is, quite possibly, the nicest guy I have ever interviewed.

  • An article about Matt's visit to Japan from accessonline.com.

    Brad Pitt is Matt Damon's choice for coolest dude in Japan

    By Daniel L. Smith

    TOKYO -- Actor Matt Damon is one of those cool Hollywood stars that seem to know a good thing in the entertainment industry when he sees it. He's the talk of two hit movies opening in Japan, and is so at ease at this point with the accomplishments of his own film career that he can turn a media frenzy over pal Brad Pitt into just another day at the office.

    The star of the hit movie "Bourne Identity," and the sequel, "The Bourne Supremacy," Damon talked about the high energy films, the first one a surprise sleeper hit, and then talked about the superstar hordes of media in Japan were scrambling to cover Pitt his co-star of the hugely popular Ocean's Eleven and Ocean' Twelve movies.

    “My life is like this all the time all these cameras. It's a little overwhelming," Damon joked as he opened his press conference packed to capacity with media from Japan and abroad. "Thank you for this incredible reception," he added.

    He said the appeal of his character in the movies, former CIA agent Jason Bourne, is such that most people can only dream about it.

    "I think the appeal for a lot of people is kind of like wish fulfillment in a way with the first movie. You wake up and you have amnesia and you don't know who you are. As things come back to you suddenly you speak every language. Nobody can beat you in a fight. You are incredibly intelligent. A beautiful woman falls in love with you. It's like a dream come true. So I think it is some of that wish fulfillment as an appeal," Damon said.

    In Bourne Supremacy, his character makes good on a promise from the ending of the first movie to make good on his threat to get back anyone from the agency that comes looking for him.

    That is just what happens after a CIA operation goes bad. Like the first movie, the action is nonstop and Damon seems to relish the chance to kick butt as the cool and deadly Bourne.

    When Damon was asked whom he considered the ideal cool guy, he said Pitt. "Probably Brad Pitt. Yeah, Brad Pitt," he said to loud laughter from the audience.

    Damon continued. "Well let's see -- why Brad? He is very kind. He is very intelligent. He's very talented. He's down to earth. I would say all the reasons that people wouldn't think. People think that Brad Pitt and go, 'Oh he is so beautiful' and all this. But Brad is just a heck of a nice guy," Damon added.

    He quipped, " Does it sounds like I am running for Miss America?"

    Running around is more like it. Damon joined Pitt and George Clooney the following day for a whirlwind press conference and Japan premiere of "Ocean's 12." Media frenzy has surrounded the event, with reporters from around the world converging on Japan in the hopes of shedding light on the ongoing saga of Pitt's recent high profile separation from wife Jennifer Aniston.

    For Damon, high profile is a nice change from his days starting out as an actor.

    "I love my job. It doesn't feel like work to me. If I had free time I would just go make another movie. To be able to work consecutively on different movies is a huge luxury. I'm 34 years old. I have been in the Screen Actor's Guild for 18 years. I know how lucky I am to be able to work consistently. Part of me never wants to stop because I know that someday it is going to stop. It stops for everybody. It is a nearly impossible career to maintain for throughout your life, so I'm expecting it will be an ebb and a flow to it and right now it is just flowing well."