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Matt Damon News Column
OneXOne event, Human Factor
  • Matt hosted the OneXOne event in Toronto on Monday night. Lucy did not attend, and Matt was accompanied by his mother Nancy Carlsson-Paige at the press conference and concert. The first photos are from Yahoo, Celebrity Mound and Faded Youth blog.

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  • Press conference interviews are from AP and OK magazine, including:

    Matt Damon says becoming a parent has changed his outlook and reinforced his commitment to helping kids through charity work.

    "At a certain point it becomes difficult to look at other children and not see your own," Damon said Monday, a few hours before hosting the annual OneXOne charity gala.

    Damon's wife Luciana gave birth to a girl, Gia Zavala, about three weeks ago. They also have a two-year-old daughter, Isabella, and the actor is stepfather to his wife's daughter from a previous marriage.

    "Something does change in you once you become a parent. ... There definitely is a shift there that makes you, I think, a little more obsessed about helping children," he said.

    Then the actor flashes his trademark grin: "But it's not like before I had kids, I was like: 'to heck with those kids!"'

    Damon, who was accompanied by his mother during a round of media interviews Monday, said he feels strongly about using his celebrity status to bring about positive change.

    "I think you get a certain amount of celebrity capital... you can spend it how you choose. You can sell shampoo - you have your own choice and it's a personal choice," he said.

    "A lot of my friends and a lot of the people I admire in the business choose to spend their celebrity capital trying to raise awareness about things and improve the conditions in people's lives ... We'll all be lying on that bed one day, and you have to make your peace with who you've been."

    So what does the two-time dad enjoy most about having kids? "Well that's a tough question because there's a lot to love about it," he explained to OK!. "It's probably the indescribable way that a new child opens up your heart. It sounds kinda corny but it's true."

    Meanwhile, Matt told OK! about a milestone in the new life of baby daughter Gia, who was born on Aug. 20. "She smiles now... mostly when she goes to the bathroom. That's natural."

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  • The Globe and Mail has a report on the event and an interview with Matt.

    In many ways, the evening is not exceptional: There's the roast beef tenderloin dinner, the long speeches and the silent auction packages. But One X One is one of the few galas that puts its celebs to work. Mr. Damon did double duty as a serious voice for change and the consummate live auction ham (comedians Joel McHale and Russell Peters joined in with their typical button-pushing antics).

    Matt Damon is a tad bleary-eyed. A condition, the Bourne bruiser readily concedes, due largely to the birth one month ago of his third daughter, Gia. “We've just had a baby so that's dominated everything. And I'm a bit sleep deprived,” the Oscar-winner says. But not as sleep challenged, he's quick to note, as his buddy Brad Pitt, who as the world knows, just celebrated the arrival of twins with partner Angelina Jolie.

    Damon's back in town to resume his hosting duties at the annual TIFF charity gala, OneXOne, a job that the actor has signed up for in perpetuity. Or at least, he says with a grin, “until they replace me.”

    Damon has just completed shooting on two new films, Green Zone and The Informant. The latter, a Steven Soderbergh thriller, required Damon, normally a pretty fit guy, to pack on the beef. To the tune of roughly 30 pounds.

    “Steven just said he wanted me to be doughy,” chuckles Damon. “And it turns out, if you just pretend you're in college – and you're 37 years old, you can become doughy very, very quickly.” Damon's menu of choice? “Late-night burgers are an excellent option. They will catalyze your doughy.”

    In early February, he heads to Cape Town and Johannesburg to begin a movie about the country's national rugby team based on a book called Playing the Enemy, by John Carlin. It's a heartwarming tale, he says, centred on the rugby world cup, which dovetailed with the beginning of Nelson Mandela's presidency at the time of reconciliation in his country. “It's one of those scripts that I read, and I was just, ‘I'm in.' The Hollywood people said, ‘Wait a minute. You're not the lead role.' And I said, ‘You don't understand. I'm in.'”

    So, for this film, doughy is not an option? “No,” sighs Damon. “I've started working out again.”

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