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Matt Damon News Column
Oklahoma City premiere, reviews and interviews
  • A report on the Oklahoma City premiere, photos and video coverage from Newsok and yahoo:

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    Actor Matt Damon and producer Frank Marshall lent their Hollywood appeal to an Oklahoma City area charity Tuesday.

    The pair appeared at a benefit premiere of their new movie "The Bourne Ultimatum” at Harkins Bricktown Cinemas 16. They walked the "red carpet," which was actually dark purple, down the east hallway of the theater, while people stood on tiptoes to catch a glimpse or a snapshot.

    Along the way, reporters asked Damon questions ranging from his advice to any secret assassins living in Oklahoma ("Turn yourself in.”) to the need for environmentally friendly movie sets. ("You hear actors huff and puff about global warming, but you'll go on a movie set and see like 8,000 Styrofoam cups laying around.")

    At least 1,000 people packed three theaters to see the film, which opens nationwide Friday. The event raised about $192,000 for The Children's Center, a nonprofit Bethany hospital that provides medical care, rehabilitative therapies and special education to children with medical and physical disabilities.

    "That's great," Damon said when he heard the amount in an interview at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art before the movie. "It just makes it pretty much a moral obligation of ours to come and to do it, you know. It's having such a real effect, and there's such a tangible thing when you start seeing programs and buildings and people's lives are changing because of this."

  • From the Boston Globe. NOTE: this anecdote is apparently false and an incorrect interpretation of Philbin's comments on the show.

    We knew Matt Damon was a big Bosox fan, we just didn't know how big. On "Live With Regis and Kelly" yesterday, cohost Regis Philbin said he bumped into "The Bourne Ultimatum" star at the movie's premiere and that our man Matt revealed something kind of weird: He wants to be buried in a Red Sox uniform, and not just any Sox uni. When this diehard is dead, he wants to be dressed in a No. 8 Sox jersey in honor of his hero Carl Yastrzemski.

  • A new interview from the AP:

    Damon and his wife had a daughter in June 2006. Fatherhood has Damon thinking more about doing a children's film, something he could show his daughter, unlike the "Bourne" flicks, which he said "she's not going to see for quite a while."

    Becoming a parent also has reinforced the values that have guided Damon over choosing roles in general.

    "Those are the kinds of things where I say, 'Well, do I want my daughter exposed, knowing that her dad makes movies like this or that?'" Damon said.

    "There are so many movies that drive my mom just totally crazy, because there are these thousands of acts of violence. The movies are rated PG-13, but the toys are marketed to ages 4 and up. So you get these kids who are just getting pounded by this imagery from a very young age. I don't want to be a part of that."

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    "This is his time," said Paul Greengrass, who directed "Bourne Supremacy" and "Bourne Ultimatum."

    Greengrass said he could not have inherited a better actor to play Jason Bourne.

    "He's got a particular skill set as an actor that makes him perfect for this," Greengrass said. "He's a brilliant actor of duality. He's done it on a number of films back from the beginning. 'Ripley's' a classic example. Because he's got that open face, and yet it's capable of dark actions. It makes him very, very morally ambiguous.

    "I think he's been at his best on the screen when he's explored that. Particularly so in 'Bourne,' because the character itself is a duality, with the dark past and the renounced past."

    Co-star Joan Allen, reprising her "Bourne Supremacy" role as a CIA spymaster sympathetic to Bourne, said Damon packs as much conflict into the character as the movie packs action.

    "When I look at some of the moments that he has, I can't believe the number of things he has going on simultaneously," Allen said. "Here's a character that has these super powers, he's very smart, he doesn't really understand, he's confused and he's tortured. And sometimes, I see all that in Matt in just a look...

    "I think he's also very sexy as he does it. Even though there's very little overt sexuality, these are very sexy films, and he is very sexy in them."

  • Another interview from AP Idaho:

    "I miss screenwriting a lot. I wouldn't have been able to make it through these last 10 years if there wasn't some amount of that in all these roles I've played," Damon, 36, said over coffee at the boutique Hotel 43. "Not that I rewrite other writers, but as an actor, your job is to make your part your own and that's always going to involve a little bit of what some people would call writing."

    "I'm leaning toward adapting and writing something myself to direct," he said. "I'm reading all this nonfiction."

    Finding good source material isn't a cakewalk, however. With a 9-year-old stepdaughter, Alexia, and 13-month-old daughter, Isabella, time to read is limited at best. Damon normally reads on planes, when he's not with his family. When Isabella was born last year, Damon and his wife Luciana Bozan Barroso decided to travel as a family unit as much as possible.

    "I do all my reading these days when I'm not with my family so I'm reading really rarely right now. I have a backlog of scripts that I have to read. It's really hard," he said. "I've got to find the right thing, and it's really all about material."

  • The Ebert and Roeper video review of Ultimatum is here. Details of a screening in the Hamptons is here. A video interview with Matt is at Reelz Channel. The end of Matt's junket interview is from Latino Review:

    Who else would you like to work with?
    Damon: There are a lot of people.
    One name.
    Damon: Clint.

    Are you doing the commentary for the DVD on this?
    Damon: Maybe if Paul invites…yeah, Paul said he wanted to do it with me. The question would be if we can get together to sit and watch it and do it. I'd love to do it with Paul. I don't think it would be very serious if we did it together.

  • A few reviews - Cindy Adams at the NY Post and the NY Observer (below):

    The first 20 minutes of The Bourne Ultimatum, the third and final chapter in the trilogy about the baby-faced C.I.A. operative with amnesia, are better than Transformers, Pirates of the Caribbean I, II and III, and anything with Bruce Willis all put together. From there, it’s uphill all the way. A knockout roller-coaster ride custom-made for adrenaline junkies, it’s easily the savviest and most satisfying spy movie in years, besting both of its preceding Bournes—Identity and Supremacy.

    But they all lend support in the truest sense, because it’s Matt Damon’s show all the way. Bourne is a bit of a cipher; his whole identity is that he has no identity. In the hands of a less accomplished actor that might be a recipe for blandness. But Damon is a hard-working beaver who brings such intensity and singularity of purpose to the role that you can’t take your eyes off him. Not too difficult, since he’s in almost every frame of film, but still quite an admirable feat to demand and get the kind of serious attention that is justified.

    Village Voice

    But where Bond movies are juiced by a conflict of egos, the Bourne adventures are all about competing intelligence systems—as manifested through action set-pieces. In the case of Ultimatum, make that flabbergasting, mind-boggling, next-level action set-pieces.
  • 10 comments or Leave a comment
    From: (Anonymous) Date: August 1st, 2007 11:45 am (UTC) (Link)
    I watched Regis and Kelly yesterday and can say without a doubt the Boston Globe got that story mixed up. Regis lives in New York so he wouldn't have been in LA for that premiere. What he said was that he went to a screening in New York and sat next to a reviewerer (whose name I don't remember now) but that was who he was talking about, not Matt.
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: August 1st, 2007 11:54 am (UTC) (Link)
    Thanks for that clarification. I thought Regis being at the LA screening would make little sense, and I don't think Yaz was Matt's favourite player.
    From: (Anonymous) Date: August 1st, 2007 12:28 pm (UTC) (Link)

    Regis and Kelly

    The quote about Regis and Kelly is inaccurate. It was a movie critic Regis was sitting next to during a screening of "Bourne". You can watch their live host chat on regisandkellylive.com to hear it for yourself. By the way, Regis raved about the film
    dissention_1 From: dissention_1 Date: August 1st, 2007 04:22 pm (UTC) (Link)
    He certainly loves that suit. I think it's adorable how it's become his uniform for every premiere from the past year.
    From: jennaz123 Date: August 1st, 2007 06:26 pm (UTC) (Link)

    Great comments

    I loved reading Greengrass's comments regarding Matt's ability to express duality. Ripley was a great example. The Departed is another. To some extent, even Good Will Hunting had a sense of it.

    It's so gratifying to read that so many reviewers and fellow actors are appreciating his talent. He has always excelled in conveying emotion and intelligence with just a look or subtle gesture. However, too often, it's the characters who shout, cry, and chew the scenery who get the notice and nominations.
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: August 2nd, 2007 01:47 am (UTC) (Link)
    Matt and family in NY at Celebrity Baby Blog:

    Matt being followed by the paparazzi in NY:
    From: (Anonymous) Date: August 2nd, 2007 04:24 am (UTC) (Link)

    Matt on Letterman

    I just watched Matt on Dave Letterman. Funny and entertaining, of course. When Dave asked about a fourth Bourne movie, Matt definitely did not rule it out. The ending of Ultimatum, they said, was ambiguous, and leaves a fourth a definite possibility.

    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: August 2nd, 2007 04:42 am (UTC) (Link)

    Re: Matt on Letterman

    Thanks for the update. Matt, Paul and the producers must be so overwhelmed with the positive reaction to the film and pressure will no doubt be exerted (by the studio) for a follow-up.
    From: jeff_in_utah Date: August 2nd, 2007 06:56 am (UTC) (Link)

    Matt on Late Night with David Letterman

    I saw our favorite "hard-working beaver" on Letterman tonight, too, and while he didn't seem as relaxed as he did the last time he was on (although maybe it was just his suit -- what appeared to be a very crisp, formal black one, complete with tie!), and only had one interview segment instead of two, it was of course enjoyable to see him nonetheless.

    Before Matt's interview, when he would normally be waiting backstage in the green room, Letterman did a silly bit where he asked audience members (who were obviously either actors or actual people from the audience who were coached as to what to say) to ask questions of him, and the fourth and last "audience member" asked Letterman who his favorite actor was, and Letterman answered by saying something to the effect of, "Well, you know, that's tough, because there are so many great ones, but if I had to pick only one, I guess I'd have to go with Tom Hanks" -- at which point they immediately cut to a reaction shot of Matt, who was sitting in the audience, and who put on a lot of grumpy airs for the camera, shaking his head and looking both glum and pissed off, as if unable to believe the disrespect of not being named by Letterman as his favorite actor. Fun!

    Also fun? Letterman got him to reprise his Matthew McConaughey impression yet again. Matt was obviously unprepared to do so, and didn't have any sort of practiced line ready to trot out, but he gamely went for it and made a brief, nonsensical statement in his best McConaughey voice (pretty close paraphrase: "You know, the Bourne Ultimatum is coming out this Friday...I think I might have to take my shirt off.") that brought the house down. :-)

    I could describe more of the goings-on, but I'm sure there'll be a YouTube clip of it soon enough.

    - Jeff in Salt Lake City
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: August 2nd, 2007 07:32 am (UTC) (Link)

    Re: Matt on Late Night with David Letterman

    Thanks Jeff. The interview (but not the skit) is available at Just Jared:

    10 comments or Leave a comment