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Matt Damon News Column
Running the Sahara, Mandela project
  • Matt and runner Ray Zahab filmed a large number of TV interviews from a Miami studio on Friday to promote Running the Sahara, which is now available for download on iTunes or can be seen at various screenings across the US this year. A still from one interview for San Diego 6 is below, with more interviews available online. Matt seems to have already gone blond for his new role in the Mandela project, which will start filming shortly in South Africa.

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  • New casting and filming details for the Mandela project are at this Wales Online article.

    But Julian Lewis Jones is preparing to fly to South Africa after being handpicked by screen legend Clint Eastwood to star in a new biopic of political colossus Nelson Mandela.

    The 40-year-old Carmarthen-based actor, who has also appeared in S4C soap Pobol Y Cwm and ITV drama Where The Heart Is, is flying to Cape Town this weekend to prepare for 11 weeks of filming on a project based on South Africa’s historic World Cup victory in 1995.

    Directed by Dirty Harry star Eastwood, the film will feature Morgan Freeman as Mandela and Bourne Identity actor Matt Damon playing Francois Pienaar – the man presented with the trophy in a moment widely seen as the birth of modern South Africa.

    [Lewis Jones] was aiming for a pivotal role as the leader of Nelson Mandela’s white bodyguards – a central part of the book and the film.

    The movie covers the turbulent period between 1985 and 1995.

  • From an article on how over-acting usually leads to Oscars at The Age:

    A few years ago, I was interviewing Cate Blanchett (best supporting actress, 2004, for The Aviator - and wasn't she just the dead spit of Katie Hepburn?) about her understated role in The Good German. She had just been nominated again as best supporting actress for Notes on a Scandal, in which she played a schoolteacher having an affair with one of her students. She herself pointed out the potential Oscar moment, when her character has an attack of hysterical tears and throws herself around in abandoned distress. That's the scene people always mentioned, she said, when they told her how marvellous she was.

    But it's easy to weep and rend your garments, as she went on to say, perhaps the easiest thing an actor ever has to do. The performance she had really liked that year was Matt Damon's in The Good Shepherd, which was certainly not going to win any prizes. He was on screen for the entire film, never raising his voice and barely moving a muscle, living entirely within the constraints of a character defined by dullness, but commanding our attention in some way we couldn't quite divine. That really was acting, without any visible seams or bolts, which was exactly why it wouldn't win something inextricably bound up with spectacle, glamour and razzamatazz. What clip could they excerpt to show when the nomination was read out?

  • The Informant has already received its rating classification - it will be rated R for language.
  • 4 comments or Leave a comment
    From: (Anonymous) Date: February 23rd, 2009 11:57 am (UTC) (Link)

    Cate Blanchett Comment

    I totally agree with her. Everyone I know who has seen the Good Shepherd has really liked it, and felt Matt gave an amazing performance. He really immersed his personality into that of the character he was playing, and portrayed a fully rounded personality. Even though I didn't like the character, I felt I understood him at the end, and that is the point of any acting as far as I'm concerned. I thought he was awesome. But Hollywood has always rewarded the scenery chewers. Although I am thankful that the mawkishly sentimental, shallow as a puddle Benjamin Button wasn't rewarded with any of the major awards.

    Not loving the blonde hair but at least it's only temporary. Marcia
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: February 24th, 2009 09:16 am (UTC) (Link)

    Re: Cate Blanchett Comment

    And the scenery chewers were amply rewarded on Sunday - Penelope Cruz and Heath Ledger included. Asolutely agree with you on the manipulative Benjamin Button.

    And yes, I hated the Dark Knight and couldn't watch it through to the end. So glad Matt wasn't involved.

    Edited at 2009-02-24 09:18 am (UTC)
    From: (Anonymous) Date: February 25th, 2009 12:33 am (UTC) (Link)

    Interesting Updates

    Wow! First of all, I thought that it was just me that disliked "Dark Knight", so am glad I'm not alone! I left after 45 minutes, bored out of my mind. After considering it, I think it's because the Batman character seems soul dead, lifeless. There's nothing to emphathize with. Anyway,thanks for the updates. The blondness reminds me of Matt in his first films where his hair color was much lighter than now, so I think it looks great! Thanks as always for all the great updates. Take care, Cheryl
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: February 25th, 2009 09:03 am (UTC) (Link)

    Re: Interesting Updates

    Agreed Cheryl. Bale is such a straight arrow (and not too likeable) lead, and the life comes from the supporting players.

    And also memories of Syriana with the current look.
    4 comments or Leave a comment