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Matt Damon News Column
Anthony Minghella dies, Green Zone
  • Director Anthony Minghella has died at the age of 54. Anthony directed Matt in 1999's The Talented Mr Ripley and they became close friends and respectful colleagues. Photos from 2000 and quotes are below, and an obituary from the Los Angeles Times is here.

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    Anthony Minghella talking about Matt

    It (Matt being a screenwriter) made me feel honored and able to relate to him on a completely different level as a peer, not just as a director, because he’s another man who writes. That was one of many areas of compatibility. I would describe him as a really close friend.

    Matt is the best accomplice a director could have. He is an astonishing actor and incredibly smart.

    I would work with him on any project, at any time, under any circumstances.

    When I met him I was so impressed by his understanding of the screenplay, by his desire to work, by his passion for the subject of the film and his humility. He’s a marvelous man, a really exceptional man, somebody I feel very lucky to have come across. He was as excited, as conscientious and as decent on the 95th day of shooting as he was on the first and I can’t speak highly enough of him. He’s a tremendous actor and a tremendous person. I think he has a huge, huge career ahead of him.

    Damon has the world at his feet. He's incredibly talented. He's very centered," the director says. "One of Ripley's characteristics is that he doesn't recognize his own talents."

    And as for Matt, you just can't imagine the extent to which he delivered the film with everything that I could have hoped for and in such an honorable way. He's an amazing advertisement I think for young American acting. The seriousness of his work, the intensity of his work, the courageousness of it -- I could bawl for Matt Damon for an hour.

    You know he’s a no pain - no gain actor. He will go and subject himself to the torture of trying to master an entire concerto by Bach from scratch. He will run himself into the ground, literally, in order to lose weight because he felt he has to be a different shape for the film. He will push and push himself. Starve himself. Make himself cold. Any privation seems to mean to him that he’s working hard enough.

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    Matt talking about Anthony Minghella

    And Damon says the crew is just as loyal and committed to Minghella as he is to them. He attributes that to the way the director works. "He's very aware of everybody's job and what it takes, but he doesn't try and do everybody's job for them. Instead, he augments it by understanding and supporting it and giving ideas, and then giving you the space to do what you do."

    [I'll keep looking for quotes from Matt]

  • Actor Sean Huze gives a lengthy update about the cast, crew and locations for Green Zone at his MySpace page.

  • Matt's lack of involvement in the new Bourne Conspiracy video game is explained here, in a Q&A with Emmanuel Valdez, Chief Creative Officer of High Moon Studios.

    9) It's Not Matt Damon
    "We talked awhile. We thought we were going to get him, but ultimately we didn't, which was a challenge that we had to overcome. When we were talking to him – it must have been a year and a half ago – he was still filming Ultimatum and he pretty much gave a lot of indications to us that he wasn't going to continue on with the movies… it was kind of the trap of, say, a developer designing a Bond game and they decided to sign up Pierce Brosnan and then all of a sudden he drops out for some reason and Daniel Craig is your new Bond, and then you're left with Pierce Brosnan. So there was that danger if we would have had Matt Damon or not, and then he decided to move on and they would have hired another one because the Ludlum Estate was pretty sure they were going to continue to make new Bourne movies."

  • Photos of a solo and unfashionable Matt at Nobu in London on Monday are at INF or Just Jared.

  • A magazine scan from Us Weekly is below, thanks to Stacie.

  • 9 comments or Leave a comment
    jeka_ooie From: jeka_ooie Date: March 19th, 2008 07:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
    RIP Minghella :(... TTMR was my favourite Matt Damon movie.
    From: (Anonymous) Date: March 19th, 2008 08:30 pm (UTC) (Link)
    What a terrible loss. He seemed so fond of Matt and Matt of him. The Talented Mr. Ripley was truly an amazing movie and so was Cold Mountain.

    From: sunnysanstar Date: March 20th, 2008 03:19 am (UTC) (Link)
    I can't believe the big deal people are making over Matt's clothes. Ya know, the guy obviously wears whats comfortable for him and doesn't care one single iota what other people think. We should all be like that.

    As for the news about Minghella, he was definitely a talent taken too early. He made some fine movies, and certainly brought out one heck of performance out of Matt.
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: March 20th, 2008 10:46 pm (UTC) (Link)


    Photos of Matt on the set today in Surrey are here:

    From: (Anonymous) Date: March 21st, 2008 10:17 am (UTC) (Link)

    Madame Tussauds

    I read in The Times (UK) today that Matt will have a waxwork at London's Madame Tussauds. Jan
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: March 21st, 2008 11:52 am (UTC) (Link)

    Re: Madame Tussauds

    Saw that. It's such a strange item though it's hard to believe it.

    The waxwork of Matt Damon at Madame Tussauds is to have a camera inserted into its eye, with his vision projected on to a screen. “It’s to tie in with his films,” says a spokesman, inexplicably. Anything else we should know about? “Oh yes. Jim Carrey. You speak, and your words come out of his mouth in different voices. A chipmunk, a Dalek and Barry White.” What?
    From: (Anonymous) Date: March 21st, 2008 12:01 pm (UTC) (Link)

    Re: Madame Tussauds

    It does sound weird. I'm glad Matt finally made it there. I was disappointed the last time I visited as George Clooney and Brad Pitt are both there (you can squeeze Brad's bottom!). I don't think I shall go and see Matt though. Not only is it very expensive there are just too many people there at one time. For anyone who hasn't been before - it is worth a visit.

    Re Green Zone - I wonder what sort of scenes there are filming in Surrey? I thought the UK filming would be interiors. Perhaps Surrey is standing in for somewhere else?

    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: March 21st, 2008 12:39 pm (UTC) (Link)

    Re: Madame Tussauds

    I went to Tussaud's in 2000 and it was fun but very touristy.

    Don't know the reason for the Surrey scenes (except that Paul Greengrass has a home there), but here's some clues from IMDB.

    I saw Paul Greengrass outside a very big house in Windlesham, Surrey yesterday morning.

    Green Zone
    A little bird tells me they are shooting at the WALDORF HOTEL, on Mayfair from March 28 ...

    The casting notice for London was looking for large crowds for outdoor scenes. I initially expected it to be all interiors at Pinewood.
    From: (Anonymous) Date: March 21st, 2008 12:58 pm (UTC) (Link)

    Green Zone

    Well the Waldorf Hotel is on Aldwych not Mayfair. Very near to where Matt filmed The Good Shepherd. In fact, the Waldorf is one of my watering holes ;-) Jan
    9 comments or Leave a comment