"The Departed," a twisty gangster movie set in Boston, was nominated for six awards, including best motion picture (drama), best director (Martin Scorsese ), best screenplay, and three acting awards: Leonardo DiCaprio for best actor, and Jack Nicholson and Mark Wahlberg for best supporting actor. Matt Damon was robbed.
San Francisco Chronicle
Overlooked by the usually starstruck Hollywood Foreign Press was Matt Damon, who gave strong performances in "The Departed'' and "The Good Shepherd.''
And just as he was surprised at his own nom, his eyebrows were equally raised that co-star Matt Damon didn't receive one. "I think Matt did a great job," he said. "I don't think Matt is all too disappointed. He certainly has a lot to be proud of and be happy about."
The character of Edward Wilson is a composite of several real-life CIA operatives, and it was Damon’s job to bring life and humanity to a person who almost never allows his emotions to show and who can watch the torture of a suspected spy with steely objectivity.
“I was nervous about that, and I think with another director I would have given into my fear and pushed it more and been a little more over the top,” Damon says.
De Niro has commented approvingly on the “minimalism” of Damon’s performance. Damon says he helped fashion it simply by observing De Niro, a much admired Oscar-winning actor.
“He’s a student of human behaviour,” Damon says. “I’ve never seen an actor as famous as him walk into a room and do what he does — which is that he just disappears. He absolutely disappears and sits there and watches everything - just downloading human behavior.
Damon’s popular Jason Bourne thrillers also plunge him into the murky world of spying _ he’s currently at work on the third — but he views these as escapist entertainment and “not realistic.” But their success helps allow him to do more demanding projects. “I felt that bookended by the Bourne movies, I’ve had the chance to make the movies I really wanted to make.” Movies like Syriana, The Departed — and The Good Shepherd.
“I’ve always been very very cautious because it doesn’t last,” he points out. “I’ve never wanted to get swept up in it because then you get lazy or you start making safer bets or you start to try to protect your beach head and that’s kind of a recipe for disaster.”
He prefers to see the film business and his career as something in transition “because that’s the way the industry is looking at its actors. We are kind of like commodities, so it’s not something you should take for granted.”
Last fall while shooting The Good Shepherd, directed by Robert de Niro and co-starring Matt Damon, Jolie “fell” pregnant. “It was a busy weekend on the set,” she says, “Matt’s wife also got pregnant, and we had the same due date.”
Damon is friends with Billy Bob Thornton and has known Angelina socially for years, but they never done a film together. “With someone who is that kind of supernova,” he says, “it’s easy to forget why so many people are interested in them, and so the first kind of big scene that we did, I remember the cinematographer widening his eyes because, he, like everyone else was just kind of blown away by the power that she has as an actress. It was a reminder of why she’s Angelina Jolie."