"I took time off from acting until the end of the year to be with my family and enjoy our new daughter," Damon told PEOPLE at a jam-packed Barack Obama rally Sunday in West Palm Beach, Fla. "But it is very important for me to do what I can to help the Obama campaign so people will go out and vote. We need change in this country and now is the time to be sure that happens."
Damon, 38, wearing jeans and a white T-shirt under an open, short-sleeved, gray shirt, just returned from participating in a food bank in San Francisco, where he got a taste of reality.
"I learned that only 10 percent of the people at the food bank were actually homeless," Damon told the crowd at the rally. "And 90 percent were people who work and play by the rules yet can't afford to feed their kids. We have to change that."
"I cannot tell you how great it is to be home with my family and enjoy our new daughter, [2-month-old Gia]," Damon tells PEOPLE. "But it is my responsibility to thank the American people for taking an interest in the political process. And in the next two days, I am asking them not to get complacent."
Asked if he thinks his celebrity can sway voters, Damon said: "I don't think it'll change anyone's opinion necessarily. I think what hopefully people will look at is not the celebrities but rather the issues and what this campaign stands... less about the superficiality of celebrity involvement and more if you look at the issues."
A number of us who were involved in the making of "Ripley" are now pursuing an effort with Paramount Home Video to restore a new extended version of the movie, a posthumous director's cut that has the blessing of the family and will hopefully be guided by [editor] Walter Murch, who knew Anthony's intentions better than anyone else.
I'm glad that the film, which has been singled out by many writers after Anthony's death as his best work, might be re-released with new footage, and find a new audience. It is hard to believe that it was ten years ago this month that we started shooting that movie in Italy.