Q: What’s it been like filming The Informant with Matt Damon and Steven Soderbergh?
McHale: Damon is an amazing guy—it’s stunning to see such a huge movie star who’s so down-to-earth and likable. I mean, I’m a host on basic cable, and I’m a complete jerk. And Soderbergh is so easy to work with—he’s already got his movie edited in his brain, so he isn’t terrified that he needs to shoot everything from 12 different angles.
Paul Greengrass’s newest film has a script credited to Academy Award-winning writer Brian Helgeland and Greengrass himself. Yeah, big whoop - reading it will give you absolutely no idea about the lines in the final film, Jason Isaacs laughed.
“There’s a script but that’s no more than a start for improvisation. There’s no blocking. There’s no continuity,” he said. “It changes every single time. [Paul] just throws you into the deep end. He creates what feels like chaos but is actually far from it. The whole thing is live organic storytelling. As an actor it pulls the rug out from under you.”
“Green Zone,” formerly “Imperial Life in Emerald City,” is a critical look at the US reconstruction in Iraq, particularly in Bagdad, starring Matt Damon as a CIA officer in search for weapons of mass destruction.
As anyone who knows his work in the “Bourne” films could tell you, of course, Greengrass likes to go for a gritty realism in his films. That’s especially true here, Isaacs said, as Greengrass’s controlled chaos has his stars “re-acting” rather than “acting.”
It was a quintessential Cambridge night last night, as Howard Zinn joined retired Rindge and Latin School history teacher Larry Aaronson and Lesley University professor Nancy Carlsson-Paige, a.k.a. Matt Damon's mom, at a fund-raiser for Social Justice Works! The event was held at Hotel Marlowe. Zinn showed clips from "The People Speak," the Chris Moore and Damon-produced film based on readings from his famous text. Rindge alums Fanshen Cox Emilio Flores, and Justin Lynch received grants for their ongoing social justice work. (Cox started a multicultural film fest in LA, and Flores and Lynch are working with South End teens to build a playground and center.) Aaronson said he wants to support former students who are out doing good in the world. "It just overwhelms me, how many of these kids are out there working in the high schools, the police departments, in public law," he said. Damon, an honorary event chair, wanted to be with them last night, but he's been busy with relief efforts in Haiti, said Aaronson, his former teacher. "That's what these kids do."
The OneXOne trip did succeed in attracting international attention and aid, including from former American president Bill Clinton. The Clinton Global Initiative is a non-profit organization run by Clinton's charitable foundation, the William J. Clinton Foundation.
McKenna was able to call on some high-profile help from the political arena just as Jean and Damon recruited celebrity help from the entertainment industry.
"Through former president Clinton, we were able to get access to the resources of his foundation," McKenna said.