At noon today, the Oscar-winning acting pals Mr. Damon and Ben Affleck will saunter down a red carpet in Toronto into the private screening for Running the Sahara, a $2-million-plus documentary that they co-produced and Mr. Damon narrated.
Not officially part of the Toronto International Film Festival, the doc chronicles the gruelling expedition of three extreme marathoners (one Canadian) who ran 170 marathons in 111 days.
Inspired by this incredible physical feat, the film was also made to raise awareness and drum up funds for clean water and wells through a charity led by Mr. Damon, H2O Africa. So far the group has raised more than $500,000 (U.S.) for 50 well projects in Africa.
Larry Tanz, a 20-year friend of Mr. Damon's from their Harvard days who co-produced Running the Sahara, points out that "celebrities have gotten bigger and better platforms. They're known all around the world. But the way they're getting involved now is smart. They don't claim to be experts."
When Mr. Damon finishes his duties at One X One, he's hopping a plane back to Africa with Mr. Affleck where they will join Bono's DATA organization on another tour. Proving, he's more than window dressing.
Joey - who has also appeared in Batman Begins as a warrior - admits he is still getting used to his new found fame.
"When we were filming in Tangier it was basically me, Matt Damon and Julia Stiles," he said. "I spent two months with those guys - and they're A-list celebrities. We had dressing rooms next to each other and I was sandwiched between them. It was just very surreal, but ultimately very cool."
After filming the scenes and seeing the release of the film, Joey said he now considers Matt Damon to be a "mate", who he keeps in regular contact with.