Filming has already taken place in Decatur and will continue at Illini Country Club Sunday and Monday. The extras will also be used Tuesday for filming at the state Capitol.
Saturday evening, as “The Informant” made its way out of Decatur and Moweaqua and Blue Mound and Forsyth and Mount Zion and wherever else they found themselves and off to other places, I received a voice mail from someone connected with the production.
"I don’t know if you’re writing anything else about the show,” the individual said, “but you might - MIGHT - want to mention how happy everyone here has been with everyone. Everyone has been incredible. The hospitality they gave us and the eagerness with which they worked was incredible.
“It’s a pleasure. I’m glad that everything worked out.”
So take a bow, folks. You did well, and there’s the word right from the inside.
TMZ spies found out that Matt's been in Decatur, Ill. -- aka the Soybean Capital of the World -- to shoot "The Informant" with Steven Soderbergh, and we hear that he's been every bit the good shepherd in town. After one dinner at Decatur's Beach House, Damon and his posse left $180 for each and every person -- servers, cooks, bar staff -- who worked that night.
And everyone we talked to say Matt has been incredibly gracious with his time and signs for absolutely everyone.
He's a fan of two spy movies and stars: Daniel Craig as the new James Bond and Matt Damon as Jason Bourne. They both represent the character-driven moviemaking that Spielberg helps revive with Indy IV.
"I'm really happy to go back to the old-school, action-adventure filmmaking, where you become collaborators in the process, where you respect the audience and you want them to know exactly where they're at, at every moment along this journey."
It started when we crossed the border from Jordan at the Allenby Bridge. All of us had EU or American passports and most us got through immigration in less than an hour. Then we waited for our colleagues with Arabic names. One hour, two hours, three hours. Khalid Abdalla, the actor, got out first; a conversation about his co-star Matt Damon seemed to be key.
Rule one: Be nice to everybody.
Years ago, before he had reached supernova star status, Matt Damon once approached me, politely, on a flight from Boston to LA to ask if I wouldn’t mind switching seats with him so that he could sit next to his girlfriend. Not a problem, I told him. He thanked me. And he made a point to come up to me, after we landed and I was straggling down to baggage claim, to thank me again. “I like that Matt Damon,” I said to myself — I sound a lot like an old lady when I talk to myself — and from that day on I’ve always rooted for him. I’m not planning on becoming an executive with a suede sofa, but I do participate in various guild and academy awards processes, and let me tell you, he’ll always get my vote.