August 3rd, 2007

paul greengrass deauville

Bourne Ultimatum opens, EW interview

  • The Bourne Ultimatum opens today in the US and Canada. It is one of the best reviewed wide releases of the year, with overall ratings of 84/100 at Metacritic, and 93% positive at Rotten Tomatoes, including 96% cream of the crop (top critics), at the time of writing. This includes perfect scores of 100 from the Village Voice, USA Today, Empire, Slate and the New York Times.

  • Matt's on the cover of the new issue of Entertainment Weekly - the article is online here - excerpts:

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    There are so many locations in the film: Madrid, Morocco, London, Paris, New must have been exhausting. I mean, you look tan and rested now, but in the movie you look like crap.
    Yeah, well, that was two things. One, it was harder work than I've ever done because it was so unrewarding. There's a buzz you get when it's working, and we didn't really have that.

    It sounds like the exact opposite of making an Ocean's movie.
    Exactly. That's just fun. There were days of fun on Bourne, but a lot of it was gallows humor.

    Was it that vague when you signed on to do it?
    I did the whole movie that way. In any given scene I didn't know where I'd just come from or where I was going. Which, as an actor, you kind of need! And Paul's only direction was "Butch-er and more intense!" Finally I was like, "If you give me the f---ing 'butch-er and more intense' note one more time, I'm gonna kick your ass!" It's incredible that we've been able to pull the rabbit out of the hat three times.

    Generally, I get the feeling that people think you're a good guy like Tom Hanks.
    I don't know why people say that, Hanks is a f---ing d--- [laughs]. I don't hold myself to some higher standard of behavior. You don't have to do a lot to be seen as nice. I guess some of these people must be such rampant pricks that people are amazed when you say hello. I don't know why people like me, and I don't know if I want to know. That might be the kiss of death. I'd rather people not know a lot about me and go see the movies.

    Was it strange for you guys to be in Hawaii together this summer with your wives and kids? Was there ever a moment where you just laughed and said, Jesus, look at us?
    Yeah, seeing the kids playing together, that was a trip.

  • Video of the Today Show appearance is here, with a commentary by a producer here, including:

    We interviewed Matt Damon today. He was charming and entertaining, but to be honest, expectations for this one were low. Damon has a reputation for being a "bad" celebrity interview. He doesn’t bring the requisite couch-jumping, finger-pointing, boiling-over-insanity that makes for good TV...

    Damon, in his classy reticence, is onto something. Being a "bad" celebrity interview might reflect good judgment.

  • Video of the Daily Show with Jon Stewart interview is here. Photos of Matt outside the studio before the show (below) are at PopSugar. PopSugar also has more photos from outside the Letterman studios yesterday.

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  • From an interview at UGO:

    On spending time with the Ocean's cast:
    "Well, you know, it's different. I have a different relationship with each of those guys. To us, it feels less like a boys club. We're all friends and we see each other in quiet times away from all the insanity. And we all care about each other, but yeah, I mean they're different. I have a much different relationship with Don [Cheadle] than I have with Brad [Pitt] or with George [Clooney], you know. I think if there's a perception of what things are, it's never quite like that. An outside perception of any friendship is never gonna quite capture what that friendship is, I guess.

  • Matt talked about his extended family and speaking Spanish at home in this interview:

    Matt: "I don’t think [the extra weight] hurt the performance. In fact, Paul said, ‘What’s great about you having a newborn while we’re shooting is that you’re never sleeping. That’s really good for the character (laughter). The existential pain the guy’s in—that’s right where you are. It’s perfect.’"

    Matt was clearly loving the Argentinean touch in his life. He offered this anecdote: "It was clear to me that things were different in her family around the World Cup last year (laughter). Her 80-year-old grandmother came up from Argentina. Her brother came from Spain. As we watched the games, I realized that I had never seen an 80-year old woman pointing at a television screen and saying something unmentionable (laughter) every time some other country had the ball. That was when I became aware that I had married into a different type of family."

  • Video of Matt answering questions from People readers is at People online (text to follow in the magazine). It includes his response to Jon Bon Jovi saying Matt and Ben should play Jon and Richie Sambora in a biopic.

  • Matt and Paul Greengrass are featured in a Time magazine interview, including:

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    "You need to be butch! Butcher and more intense." That's darned good advice for an NFL lineman, a carjacker ... or an action-movie star forced to start filming while awaiting pivotal script pages. It was Paul Greengrass's direction for Matt Damon when they commenced shooting this summer's globe-galloping thriller The Bourne Ultimatum without a finished screenplay.

    "I didn't know where I had come from. I didn't know where I was going--which are things you really need to know as an actor," says Damon, who reprises his role as conflicted assassin Jason Bourne for the third movie in the series.

    Luckily, Damon and Greengrass share a shorthand from collaborating on the second Bourne film, as well as certain personality traits unusual in their trade, like flexibility and a lack of ego. And in a Hollywood besotted with robots and wizards, this actor-director team shares something rarer still: Damon and Greengrass are virtuosos of realism.

  • A good interview from Barry Koltnow at the OC Register, and continued at his blog.

    Lunch at the legendary Polo Lounge in Beverly Hills has to end precisely at 1 p.m. because Matt Damon has a date.

    His 13-month-old daughter Isabella is asleep in an upstairs hotel suite, and she is expected to wake at that time. Although Damon's wife, Luciana, is with her, of course, Damon doesn't want to miss a single event in his little girl's life, including when she wakes up from a nap.

    Paul Greengrass, the British filmmaker who was nominated for an Oscar for directing the 9/11 drama "United 93" and who helmed the second and third "Bourne" films, called Liman's decision a bit of "genius casting."

    "Matt is not only one of the hardest working people I've ever met," said [Greengrass], "but he has phenomenal range as an actor, which is evidenced by this rich vein of roles he's gotten to play in recent years that include both mainstream blockbusters and cerebral dramas.

    "In order to play both aspects of the character, you need an actor with conviction and precision. He must be a fantastic physical actor who can run, jump, fight and drive while conveying the inner demons that torture him. There aren't many actors around who can do that, but Matt is one of them."

    [Koltnow]: Anyway, Matt was telling me that he and director Paul Greengrass were discussing the merits of their new film in the language of "The Godfather."

    "We both felt that the first Bourne movie was Vito (pictured above, second from left). The second movie was Michael (far left). We both hoped that what we just made was Sonny (third from left). We prayed that we hadn’t made Fredo (far right)."

    Don’t worry, Matt. You didn’t make a Fredo.

  • Shorts: Dan Bradley on the movie's stunts; USA Today on Bourne v Bond, including comments by Ed Burns, James Wan and director Michael Davis; an Idaho Statesman in-depth Q&A; and a detailed interview with Greengrass at Chud. Matt is expected to be interviewed on LA radio station KROQ on Friday morning (thanks Laura).