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Matt Damon News Column
New project with Paul Greengrass
  • In an interview at MSN Matt talked a new project with Paul Greengrass (although no details were specified) and a little more about plans to direct with Ben.

    Damon has played controlled characters like this before, most notably in "The Bourne Supremacy" series and "The Talented Mr. Ripley," but "Shepherd" was much more grueling. Director Robert De Niro had waited nine years to make the film that led to a long shoot of 18-hour days. Damon says De Niro's stance was, "'OK, so this is the last chance we're ever going to have to do this scene.' So, we'd do it over and over and over again. There was one night where we came back to the scene the next day, because he had fallen asleep."

    The 36-year-old actor rarely picks a part that doesn't challenge his creativity, and "Shepherd" is no exception. Yet, he has pretty much put his writing career on hold since "Good Will Hunting." So, it was a surprise when he told me, he and his long-time buddy and writing partner, Ben Affleck, are planning on co-directing a movie.

    "I know we can do it creatively in terms of us working together, because we have really similar tastes and we have written together successfully and by that I don't mean the result, I mean the process," Damon says. "Its not like we'd be pissing money away because we're bickering over what the shot will be."

    When this mystery project will occur is unclear because Damon already has a busy two years ahead of him. He'll be shooting "The Bourne Ultimatum" until at least July (He's semi-joking; it has an August 3 release date and director Paul Greengrass loves to re-shoot) and is scheduled to begin filming "The Informant" with Steven Soderbergh in October. He then plans on shooting another movie with "Bourne" director Greengrass immediately after.

    With his work in "Shepherd," and this fall's surprise box office and critical hit "The Departed," Damon is the center of awards buzz again. Does he still pay attention to the insanity of it all?

    "It's hard to answer a question because you end up sounding like such a jerk. I always think about people who say, 'Oh, I don't think about awards!' Go [expletive] off," Damon says laughing to himself. But then he admits, "I definitely hope Marty gets an Academy Award [for "The Departed"]. And I'm hoping that Ben gets nominated for "Hollywoodland." I have things to root for this year."
  • 13 comments or Leave a comment
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: December 19th, 2006 12:51 pm (UTC) (Link)


    The Larry King transcript:

    Quotes we've heard before but a nice interpretation:

    Liz Smith reports on the film and premiere (all positive):

    Can anyone provide some comments on the Charlie Rose show? A few people on the web have said that it was much better than Larry King, which was awfully disjointed and had a heavy focus on Angelina's personal life.
    From: (Anonymous) Date: December 20th, 2006 09:53 am (UTC) (Link)

    Larry King & Paul Greengrass

    Larry King was on CNN in the UK yesterday. It reminded me of why I always turn his show off when I'm stuck in a hotel room in Europe and CNN is the only English language channel! I really don't think he is a particularly good interviewer - he couldn't bring out the best in the 3 of them. So, to be honest, the interview was really rather boring. The emphasis was far too much on Angelina Jolie and she was the main focus of the interview I felt. Matt was really quite quiet I thought and rather subdued - perhaps feeling inhibited in the presence of Robert de Niro. He shows a deep respect for de Niro. None of them looked particularly comfortable.

    Very pleased to see that Matt will work with Paul Greengrass again beyond Bourne. I saw United 93 and he is just the most amazing director.

    Happy Holidays to all! Jan
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: December 20th, 2006 10:19 am (UTC) (Link)

    Re: Larry King & Paul Greengrass

    It was a very awkward interview, and certainly had no flow.

    It was also conducted on the Monday following three full days of interviews. Matt had taped 'Inside the Actor's Studio' on the previous evening, in which he had answered questions for two and a half hours. Hardly conducive to a fourth day of intense interviews and a premiere that evening.
    From: (Anonymous) Date: December 20th, 2006 10:43 am (UTC) (Link)

    Re: Larry King & Paul Greengrass

    I think Larry King's interviews are always disjointed and boring. He always focuses on the gossip rag kind of stuff.
    From: (Anonymous) Date: December 20th, 2006 12:57 pm (UTC) (Link)

    re: Larry King

    I agree with all the comments above -- Larry King is a bad interviewer. I watched the excerpts from the Hardball interviews on MSNBC - it was fairly good. At Chris Matthews had some interesting questions. I look forward to seeing Inside the Actors Studio - James Lipton is an awesome interviewer!

    Thanks again for having this site - you are awesome!
    From: (Anonymous) Date: December 20th, 2006 04:51 pm (UTC) (Link)
    Here is an interesting story about Matt.


    The actor’s Good Shepherd costar Mark Ivanir, 38, tells Us Weekly that Damon, 36, saved his life while filming the Cold War-set drama.

    In one scene, Ivanir, who plays a KGB officer, is tortured by three CIA agents who cut off his clothes with scissors, hold him down, put a burlap bag over his head and douse his naked body with freezing water.

    “Matt told me, ‘We should have a warning sign if you feel like you’re really in danger. You really could get hurt with that mask suffocating your face,'” Ivanir tells Us.

    “Sure enough, if Matt hadn’t thought of an alert to stop filming, I really would have passed out and died. It would have been great publicity for the film, but not so good for my career!”

    -Thanks, Jess
    From: (Anonymous) Date: December 20th, 2006 08:52 pm (UTC) (Link)

    Charlie Rose

    Saw the Charlie Rose interview the other night. Rose is one of the U.S.'s intellectual elite, and he is most often very well informed, somewhat unforgiving of vagueness and stupidity, and comes off very patrician and often argumentative. All the more amazing, then, was the interview with Matt, DeNiro, and Jolie. He praised everyone's great work in the film, praised the film so eloquently and thoroughly that you'd have thought he had stock in it. All those present were treated with equal and high professional esteem. The questions were essentially the same as you've heard in other interviews, but the answers were given more time to develope. Matt praised DeNiro profusely as the best friend an actor coul have watching his back-the "best safety net". Matt and Angelina kibitzed about being friends who know each other's spouses well and barely being able to look at each other during intimate scenes. DeNiro stuttered through every answer (as he usually does) but so friendly and relaxed was the atmosphere Rose facillitated that everyone just seemed to be having an interesting chat about themselves and the film. I expected Rose to quibble about certain things, but the interview was extremely positive.

    The Early Show interview was brief but had Harry Smith saying that TGS was "terrific" and that Matt had "Oscar buzz" about his role which he said was being characterized as "your best work. People are saying it's Oscar worthy." Asked how he felt about being talked about in terms of Oscar, Matt said, "There's no way to answer that realy without sounding like a jackass." They both laughed. He praised DeNiro again and when reminded how well his life is going right now with a happy marriage, great film work in The Departed and TGS, and a new baby, Matt said he knew how good things were right now and was trying to stay focused,"...keeping the big ship going in the right direction."

    Larry King, though halting and uneven in his questioning (although I felt he gave Matt plenty of time to talk)was robust in his praise of the film (although he couldn't remember the film's title at first--age will get us all!)

    Hardball was too political. Only liberals would take some of the comments made by all--Matt chiefly--well. The CIA advisor also shook Chris' tree pretty hard. Chris did praise the film. So far, I've heard almost no negatives among the major reviewers. Perhaps those reviews are yet to come.

    Island Boy
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: December 20th, 2006 11:44 pm (UTC) (Link)

    Re: Charlie Rose

    Many thanks Island Boy - a great summary of recent interviews.
    From: _peachtrees_ Date: December 20th, 2006 11:44 pm (UTC) (Link)

    Charlie Rose interview

    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: December 21st, 2006 12:30 am (UTC) (Link)

    Re: Charlie Rose interview

    Awesome - thank you.
    From: (Anonymous) Date: December 21st, 2006 03:53 am (UTC) (Link)

    Re: Charlie Rose interview

    I also enjoyed the Charlie Rose interview much more than Larry King or Hardball. Hardball was too political just like Island Boy said.
    From: jeff_in_utah Date: December 23rd, 2006 11:06 pm (UTC) (Link)
    I just watched the Charlie Rose interview, and it was interesting comparing Matt's appearance this time for The Good Shepherd to his previous visits on the show, including his first (I believe) for Good Will Hunting, his solo interview with Rose about four years ago for The Bourne Identity, and his appearance with Jerry Weintraub for Ocean's 12 in 2004. On those previous visits, Matt was energetic, upbeat, and obviously really excited to be there, whereas this time he almost seemed to have an undercurrent of annoyance and impatience with Rose's questions -- which I'm assuming is the result of this being one of a deluge of very long interviews he did back to back within a very compressed time period. (Were you saying that the Larry King appearance and his two and a half hours with James Lipton on Inside the Actors Studio were perhaps right before this, Felicity?) It must be seriously unpleasant having to answer the same questions over and over again for so many different interviewers on these junkets!

    Even though I'd gleaned much of what they had to share from other sources already, I still found the Rose interview enjoyable and fairly enlightening. But then, I'm a big fan of Charlie Rose and his show, and watch it every chance I get, so I always look forward to Matt's appearances on it.

    - Jeff in Salt Lake City
    From: jeff_in_utah Date: December 24th, 2006 12:40 am (UTC) (Link)
    Oh yeah, forgot to mention -- I really, really want to know what the mystery project after Bourne Ultimatum is with Paul Greengrass! :-)

    - Jeff in Salt Lake City
    13 comments or Leave a comment