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Matt Damon News Column
Mwanza clinic visit, 30 Rock, Jake
  • Here's the first story from Matt and Ben's visit to Africa - from US Aid Tanzania, including:

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    Rock star BONO’s group DATA (Debt Trade AIDS Africa) recently introduced Hollywood A-list actors Matt Damon and Ben Affleck to development in action during a trip to Tanzania and the Makongoro Clinic in Mwanza. Situated on the shores of mammoth Lake Victoria in north western Tanzania, Mwanza is also known for the many large yet picturesque boulders resting along the shoreline and surrounding hills. During their visit the actors learned how activities supported by the U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative and other donors are helping to reduce the prevalence of malaria among pregnant women and children under five (those most vulnerable to malaria). They learned about the different types of malaria, modes of transmission, prevention and treatment, especially via the newly launched Artemisinin- based Combination drug known locally as Alu.

    Overall the day was a huge success. Mothers, clinic staff and NGO representatives were happy to share their stories and pass on information. Everyone was impressed with how much the two Hollywood actors cared. They were especially surprised at how simply they dressed and the way they tried to interact with everyone present. Most importantly, Matt and Ben (as they are now known by many in Mwanza) promised to take the messages back home and find more ways to help.

  • Matt may appear on comedy show 30 Rock (which he recently said was his favourite show at the moment) - details in an interview with show creator Tina Fey.

    Q: On that subject, when you were last here, we talked about the top guest stars you'd like to have for the show, and you mentioned Ben Affleck. Any progress there? I would think for a show like this, having Jerry Seinfeld on is even better than Ben Affleck.

    TF: We'll find out tomorrow...I hope so! Often, we're in the writers room and we say, "We should try to get Affleck to do this!" kind of forgetting that Affleck is a movie star and is busy making movies. But then we heard from somebody that Matt Damon might agree to be on the show. So we might have to ditch Affleck for Damon if Affleck doesn't start answering the phone.

  • Jake Gyllenhaal discussed his admiration for Matt's performance in The Good Shepherd at the press conference for his new film Rendition - details here.

    On developing his character
    And so a lot of it was actually watching movies of people who played CIA agents and officers and a couple of movies of people who've played alcoholics. The Spy Who Came In From the Cold - which is a merging of the alcoholic and the spy (literally and in the movie!) - and then also The Good Shepherd actually, which is think - just a little shout out to Matt Damon - that's a pretty incredible performance. More about less he does, the more he does. That's the kind of performance I look up to. So I just tried to copy it.[laughter]

  • Matt's apparently listed in the 'thanks' section for Ben's film Gone, Baby, Gone, which is not surprising as he was involved (as previously mentioned in a German interview) in an early draft of the script, as mentioned here. Ben's movie will have its US premiere in LA on Matt's birthday next Monday.

    When Affleck first bought the rights to Dennis Lehane’s novel, which concerns two Boston detectives investigating a young girl’s kidnapping, Ben and Casey, along with pal Matt Damon and another of their high school friends, Aaron Stockard, collaborated on the first screenplay adaptation.

  • Expect a few of these opportunistic and erroneous tabloid stories as this quote is taken out of context. Matt made this comment many times during the Ultimatum press junket, always stated in a joking manner.

  • Bourne producer Frank Marshall and partner Kathleen Kennedy have been awarded the David O. Selznick Achievement Award in Theatrical Motion Pictures by the Producers Guild of America, and Matt may attend the ceremony next February.
  • 6 comments or Leave a comment
    From: (Anonymous) Date: October 5th, 2007 02:51 pm (UTC) (Link)
    Hi, thanks for all of the recent news and updates!

    It's nice to hear that jake looks up to matt's good shepherd performance since so many people have criticized it.

    I love the show 30 rock also and it would be great if matt could make a guest appearance.

    From: (Anonymous) Date: October 5th, 2007 05:49 pm (UTC) (Link)
    Hello and thanks for all the news!

    The article on Matt and Ben's visit to Tanzania was really impressive. It's amazing that things we take for granted, such as mosquito nets, can save so many lives. It's just shocking for those that aren't confronted with this on a regular basis, but sadly, it's the reality.

    On the Gyllenhaal comment, that is exactly how I felt about Matt's performance in The Good Shepherd, although I must admit I enjoyed the movie more upon a second viewing, when I was able to take in all the infomation that was offered to me and concentrate on the things I hadn't understood before.

    Well, it could have been expected that Ben would ask Matt for some help in adapting Gone, Baby, Gone and I'm glad to see that they still collaborate on creative issues, but as a good friend he is, I'm sure Matt won't take any credit in the making of the script.

    By the way, could we assume Matt will be at Ben's premiere on Monday, since tha guys have always supported eachother or maybe he'd rather spend his birthday with the family? What do you think?

    Thanks again and take care.


    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: October 5th, 2007 10:51 pm (UTC) (Link)
    I don't think Matt would attend the LA premiere of GBG, but he may attend a Boston or NY screening.
    From: (Anonymous) Date: October 6th, 2007 12:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
    Hi. Just to let you know Ben will appear on Leno on Monday. Maybe some Matt references from him?

    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: October 6th, 2007 12:56 pm (UTC) (Link)
    And George Clooney is on Letterman Monday.
    From: (Anonymous) Date: January 12th, 2008 12:05 am (UTC) (Link)


    Thanks for information.
    many interesting things
    6 comments or Leave a comment