Champagne, PJs for Matt Damon on Oscar night
Why he didn't see 'Departed' take it all
When Martin Scorsese finally won his first directing Oscar, and his film "The Departed" won best picture at this year's Academy Awards, one of the stars of the movie was noticeably absent from all of the celebrations.
"We were home, in Miami," father of one year Matt Damon explains. "My daughter was actually sick, so we didn't fly out for the show. But my wife and I were watching it in bed."
More details, please.
"Well, I was out of bed before the best director category came up. I was too nervous to stay in bed. It was 12 at night or whatever, and I was standing in front of the television. I just threw my arms up when he won, like Rocky. I was just so happy for him.
"And then when it won best picture, I was amazed. I was so focused on Marty winning his Oscar, I hadn't even thought of the prospect of the film winning best picture. And then when it won best picture, I turned to Lucy, and I instantly regretted not being there.
"I'd never been in a best picture winner before! 'Saving Private Ryan' was nominated but didn't win. 'Good Will Hunting' was nominated but didn't win (though Damon and Ben Affleck got Oscars for their script). That was as close I'd come.
"So I said, 'You should be in a gown! We should be at the Governors Ball!' You know? But it was wonderful. We had some champagne in our pajamas."
"I'm very ready to move on," says Damon. "But the reality is that the story for this trilogy, this guy's search for his identity, is over. He's got all the answers. So what would the fourth one be about? ... Paul said we could call it 'The Bourne Redundancy.'"
Q: You’re involved in so many charitable organizations. Does your work involve a lot of appearances and schmoozing, or do you try to stay behind the scenes?
DAMON: Well, I'm trying to focus on certain things and do what I can as much as I can. Right now, I'm working a lot with the ONE Campaign. I'm going to keep doing that, keep going to Africa, and try to spread the word about issues surrounding extreme poverty.
Q: What’s your favorite or most memorable thing you’ve done on behalf of a charity?
DAMON: Last year, I went to Zambia and that was an amazing, wonderful trip. I met some incredible people and I learned a lot. It wasn't a public trip, it was a very quiet trip so I could get educated about some of the issues that people are facing in some of these countries in Africa.
Q:How do you feel when George Clooney classifies you as a "whore for money"? [Clooney was obviously joking when he said this.]
DAMON: I'd worry if George Clooney were nice about me in public. That's when I'd really worry that something was wrong.
[Matt on future sequels]
For me I kind of feel like the story that we set out to tell is has now been told. I love the character, and if Paul Greengrass calls me in ten years and says, ‘Now we can do it, because it’s been ten years and I have a way to bring him back,’ then there’s a world in which I can go, ‘Yeah, absolutely.’ We could get the band back together if there was a great idea behind it, but in terms of now and this story, that part – the story’s been told, if we came out with a fourth one, suddenly I got bonked on the head, you guys would be like, ‘Are you kidding me?’ Actually, I was talking to a journalist yesterday, who suggested that we could the fourth one about Bourne losing his keys. And we could do for the entire movie, ‘Where are my keys?’ And that kind of illustrates how out of story we are at this point in terms of what was good about these first three films.
Q: And being a dad?
MATT: Being a dad is still great. It's been just amazing. I mean, these stages just go by at such a...I mean, it's like it's incredibly fast, you know? The little discoveries every day, so much is happening, so much changes, in the first year that...I mean, she's walking around now. She's 13 months old, so it's just amazing. It happens at warp speed. I see why people, when parents see little babies, they get that thing, they go, "I want another one," Because the stages all just fly past. And if you're with her every day, which I'm lucky enough to be...You know, it's only if you're taking pictures or it's only if people you haven't seen for a couple months, that you even realize, because it's just...It's happening in front of you, and you don't even see it.
Q: Do you have it figured out?
MATT: Well, I try to figure out what it is...I mean, right now, she kind of sounds like a crow. She kind of goes like [makes crow sound twice]. Like that. And points at things. And this morning, like she pointed at the ceiling, and there was nothing on the ceiling. And she just went [makes crow sound] like that. And I was like, "Well, that's the ceiling." And she went [makes silly laugh]. And I was like, "I don't know what's funny about that." So I'm trying to figure out what's going on in her head. Like sometimes you know. Sometimes she goes [makes crow sound] and you go, "Oh, you want some milk?" And she goes [makes silly laugh]. And you go, "All right, she was thirsty. That's good, she communicated." But then sometimes she just has these things that I just have no idea what she's thinking. So I'm working on that.
Get Greengrass or any member of the cast going about the Bourne movies and the word "real" comes up quite a bit: Jason Bourne uses on-the-fly skills to get himself out of a jam; basically, he's just a guy trying to figure things out. Greengrass thinks this is why audiences care.
"Plus, Matt really delivers a quality of emotional realism," he says. "The heart is married to the action."
"[Any political statements] are like a dash of Worcestershire sauce, or the little bit of chili, but it's not the whole meal. When I go off to do my [other] movies, then I make the chili the whole meal."
"Matt has been a great, loyal, vocal fan who has courageously worn his Red Sox jersey in rival regions," Sox spokesman Charles Steinberg told the Track. "We are grateful."