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Matt Damon News Column
Informant, Good Will Hunting
  • Photos of Matt on the Los Angeles set of The Informant are at PopSugar. New articles about the making of The Informant in Decatur are at the Herald & Review.

  • An article about the filming of a lie detector scene for The Informant is at the Pantagraph, including the picture below with the lie detector expert and his wife:

    Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

    Since the production has been filmed at all the exact Decatur-area locations where the original events took place, Woody’s big scene was shot in the city’s former Holiday Inn (now the Decatur Conference Center) and fully reverted to early-’90s Inn décor. Damon and the other actors even stayed in the hotel to further up the reality ante.

    For his big scene, Woody wasn’t given a script, just verbal directives from director Steven (“Traffic”) Soderbergh.

    The action required that he wire Damon up with the blood pressure pads and sensors, and then conduct an authentic polygraph test on camera, as the FBI agents played by Bakula and McHale pitched in with questions, and Damon supplied the answers.

    Woody says Damon and the other actors came off “as just regular guys, very cordial, very nice, just sitting around talking.”

  • Good Will Hunting will be remembered at the following event in Los Angeles. Interesting to note that Lawrence Bender is involved when a kind word has never been spoken about his involvement.

    The 1997 Best Picture nominee “Good Will Hunting” will be screened as the next feature in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ “Great To Be Nominated” series. The story of a mathematical genius searching for purpose in his South Boston life will screen on Monday, June 2, at 7:30 p.m. at the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater. Following the screening, editor Pietro Scalia, producer Lawrence Bender, co-producer Chris Moore, and production designer Melissa Stewart will participate in a discussion about the film.

  • The MTV Movie Awards will be held this weekend, with Matt and Bourne up for a few awards. Joey Ansah spoke with MTV France about his nomination with Matt for Best Fight.

  • An honest comment from Ben Affleck in an article at The Guardian.

    But either he was never offered, or never said yes to the sorts of strange, eclectic roles that were going to those men with whom he admits to enjoying a "healthy competitiveness" - his brother Casey, and Damon.
  • 12 comments or Leave a comment
    From: (Anonymous) Date: May 30th, 2008 01:25 pm (UTC) (Link)

    An honest comment from Ben Affleck

    That Guardian article is very similar to the interview printed in the Times last Saturday. From that article I got the impression that he chose his roles depending on his payday rather than whether the roles were any good or not, and his career as an actor has suffered as a consequence.

    I read somewhere a while ago that someone who knows them both very well described Matt as more of an artist and less concerned with money, whilst Ben is the reverse, whether that is true or not I don't know, but looking at how their careers have diverged, I do see some truth in it.

    As an actor and as a person he I don't find him appealing or attractive; Casey is the more talented and better looking for me, and nicely modest with it. I find it impossible to forgive Saving Christmas (don't ask why we rented the DVD, it must have been in a very weak moment, I drew the line at Gigli though!) and sadly his film CV has far too many duds for me to rate him as a talented actor. Hollywoodland was a return to some kind of form, though too little to late for me.

    He did give the tabloids a gift in 'Bennifer' and raised their circulation and revenue, and ever since we've had to suffer from the cult of vacuous power couples (TomKat and Brangelina etc). Anyway, just my opinion, Im sure most will disagree.Marcia

    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: May 30th, 2008 02:44 pm (UTC) (Link)

    Re: An honest comment from Ben Affleck

    I should not start commenting about Ben because everyone gets upset. However, even a simple comment about wanting another child sounds sleazy and it appears he's even lying about the property he owns. I find in every interview another reason to dislike him. I thought him dreadful in Hollywoodland and didn't like Gone Baby Gone. OK, all the haters can go again.

    And this isn't the anti-Ben site so nothing too off-topic please.
    From: (Anonymous) Date: May 30th, 2008 07:03 pm (UTC) (Link)

    Re: An honest comment from Ben Affleck

    I think, Felicity, that sometimes people get a bad first impression and afterwards no matter what that person does, it will merely reinforce that position. Just human nature, and we're all human, right?

    I thought Ben was just fine in GWH--his real-life friendship with Matt really informed that performance. He did about as well as anyone in Dogma (sorry, Matt included). Unlike Matt, he's never given a great performance, though I liked him in The Sum of All Fears, and frankly, I thought he was touching in Jersey Girl. Gigli wasn't THAT bad. The media (ready to destroy him after they got what they wanted from the Bennifer period) made people hate Gigli before they saw it. Granted it was lightweight, but didn't you get a few smiles from it?

    I think Ben said it best while he was flaming hot popularity-wise, and Matt was still struggling. He said (and you may remember, although I paraphrase) "Matt is an actor who happens to be a movie star; I'm a movie star who happens to be an actor." This is a humble acknowledgment of Matt's talent vis-a-vis his own. After Hollywoodland and Gone Baby Gone, I expect a journeyman actor/director to emerge. We all get a second chance, don't we?

    Look, I don't know if Ben can ever do what Matt did in TGS--that's a performance of rare depth and complexity for any actor, or the intensity and power Matt brought to Bourne--but I think he'll do good work now. Life is about growth. Matt has grown as an actor exponentially--he's always seemed a fine , centered person. Ben has had a lot of self-discovery. I'm ready to see how he incorporates it in his work. I'd hate to be judged on some of the craziness in my own life earlier on. Thank God people have forgiven me and found a way to accept me. I try to live up to and continue to earn their respect.

    I love your site, Felicity. You do great work. Try to forgive Ben. I think he's going to get better.

    I. B.
    From: (Anonymous) Date: May 30th, 2008 08:38 pm (UTC) (Link)

    Re: An honest comment from Ben Affleck

    Even though your comment was directed to Felicity I just want to say that I really appreciate your comment and I agree with what you've said.

    We all have likes and dislikes and sometimes mine can be quite irrational. Like you say everyone deserves a second chance, and I'm as flawed a human being as anyone else, and if I'd been in his place maybe I would have been the same.

    As an actor/director he'll always work. His career may or may not hit Matt's dizzy heights but their friendship has survived and continues to thrive, they're obviously best friends for a good reason.

    I don't know why the tabloids went after him the way they did, but he may even subconsciously have wanted the attention, and then things clearly spun out of his control; he has paid the price for it though, only now is his career starting to recover.

    I wish him all the best for the future. M

    From: (Anonymous) Date: May 30th, 2008 09:17 pm (UTC) (Link)

    Re: An honest comment from Ben Affleck

    Thanks, M. It was nice of you to say that. I appreciate your comments as well.

    I. B.
    From: jennaz123 Date: May 31st, 2008 05:01 am (UTC) (Link)
    For a while there, Ben was touted as the Next Big Movie Star. And you could see the succession of roles that were supposed to prove that -- the blockbuster "Armageddon," the patriotic SPV wannabee "Pearl Harbor," the proven franchise film "Sum of All Fears," the superhero flick "Daredevil." Studios and the media treated him as a superstar, awarding him big roles and lavish media attention. The Bennifer situation was part of that, establishing him as part of a "hot" power couple. And honestly, he seemed to enjoy the spotlight, the fame, the glamorous, public movie star lifestyle.

    Problem was...and I know others may disagree...a lot of people knew his acting didn't quite measure up, and I think there was a bit of resentment that someone so clearly untalented, could achieve such A level status. So many were waiting for him to fail, and when he did, they feasted on him and relished it.

    Was it undeserved? Personally, I think he had a smugness and cockiness about him that contributed to the sentiment against him. That's fine if you're Jack Nicholas or even Tom Cruise, but if you just don't have have the acting chops backing you up, it doesn't go over well.

    But I can't help but wonder if his recent downturn has been good for him. I saw Hollywoodland, and I thought he was O.K. Not Oscar-worthy, but more understated than usual for him. I haven't seen Gone Baby Gone, but the reviews were good, and perhaps he may be a better director than actor. It will be interesting to see what happens next. It does appear that he's begun to gain back a little more respect. But whether he'll ever return to his previous career height is anyone's guess.
    From: (Anonymous) Date: May 31st, 2008 03:22 pm (UTC) (Link)

    Ben and Matt

    I think the quote about Matt being the actor and Ben the movie star may be attributable to Kevin Smith, although Ben may have said it, too. I think Ben's frequent movies with Smith may have undermined people's perceptions of Ben's acting ability. Sorry to anyone who loves Smith, but personally I think him a fine comedy writer but a dreadful actor's director. Almost all the actors (even Matt) come off looking amateur in his movies. Ben's better with other directors (OK, not the Michael Bay movies, but he's a terrible director too, and the fact Ben made two movies for big money with a director that Matt has openly mocked tells you everything). I thought Ben was very watchable in Bounce and much less so in Jersey Girl, and because they were basically the same type of movie, I lay that problem at the feet of the director.

    As I have gotten older I have come to believe more and more that you simply can't underestimate the impact of a person's upbringing in their later life decisions. Matt was fortunate to have a wonderful childhood and that undoubtedly helps him to delay gratification and take the long view about his career. Someone whose background is more insecure (like Ben) has a much more difficult time separating short term rewards, like praise or money, from true lasting value. Anyway, my 2 cents.
    jjthomas10 From: jjthomas10 Date: June 3rd, 2008 01:12 am (UTC) (Link)
    I really like the comments at the Tangled site: "he looks like my dad", "he looks like the pervy guy at my office", pretty funny. And someone is right, the academy loves actors who change their looks for their art, so here's hoping hiding his good looks under fake noses and toupees will finally earn Matt a best actor oscar.

    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: June 3rd, 2008 02:57 am (UTC) (Link)
    But the IMDB is currently claiming (unknown proof) that the movie will be released in March 2009. That's not Oscar time.
    From: (Anonymous) Date: June 3rd, 2008 06:36 pm (UTC) (Link)

    March, 2009 release

    First paragraph of your newly posted article at http://www.decaturmagazine.com/arts_extra-extra.htm

    has Warner Brothers also saying March, 2009 release.
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: June 4th, 2008 02:15 am (UTC) (Link)

    Re: March, 2009 release

    I know - this post was dated the previous day.
    12 comments or Leave a comment