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Matt Damon News Column
Informant, beekeeping
  • Steven Soderbergh discussed The Informant with Coming Soon:

    Coming Soon: The next two movies you're doing are book adaptations, "The Informant" and "Moneyball," working with two actors you've worked with before (Matt Damon and Brad Pitt) albeit as part of an ensemble. Can you talk about those two movies and how you read those books and decided those would be movies you'd want to make?

    Soderbergh: We heard the story (for "The Informant") on NPR, got the rights to the book, started working on it - this is 2001, and this would've been Jennifer Fox and Ben Cosgrove, who were running Section A. We picked up the book, I sent it to Mattie, Mattie said, "I'm in." We hired Scott Burns to write the script. It was sitting there waiting for a long time, waiting for a slot for me and for Matt. Again, that's a $22 million movie and we decided at a certain point to make it a comedy, which I think was the best move. It's not "The Insider," it's more like "Citizen Ruth." I think Matt's genuinely hilarious in it, playing a kind of... sort of Willy Loman on acid.

  • Comedians Tony Hale and Bob Zany also discussed The Informant at Paste Magazine and The Gazette.

    Hale: “It’s a dramatic script, but it’s such a crazy story about what happened to this guy, played by Matt Damon, that Soderbergh brought in a lot of comic actors to add our quirky edge—what we bring to the table. We weren’t really punching up the script and making it funny. Just our mannerisms and everything we did added to the chaos of how crazy this story is.”

    Zany’s a multimedia performer, too. If you missed him shoving David Spade into a janitorial cart in “Joe Dirt,” you can see him opposite Matt Damon in “The Informant.” He’s hopeful he won’t end up on the cutting room floor. “I play an attorney who interacts with Matt Damon’s character in scenes which seem integral to the movie.”

    And yes, Damon is just as nice as everyone says. “He’s a down-to-earth guy,” Zany says.

  • The Legend of Bagger Vance inspires one person, down on their luck, to change their life around.

  • Actor Zac Efron referred to Matt when asked a question about his personal life in an article at an Austrian newspaper:

    Efron: I have a model. Matt Damon. What do you know about his private life? Probably nothing. And that is probably the reason why you believe him in each role. He’s not Matt Damon, but the character he plays. I would like to achieve that.

  • Matt's Wikipedia page claims, with an authoritative source, that Matt is a beekeeper and was taught the craft by his grandfather. It's news to me, and I'd appreciate any insight or comments. Here's information from the source article, from the website of the British Beekeepers Association:

    Another honorary member from overseas, Matt Damon was enrolled into the BBKA after giving a talk to members in 2005. Damon learnt the art of beekeeping from his grandfather as a child, and although nowadays his busy lifestyle means he doesn't always get to tend to his bees personally, he employs a full-time beekeeper at his home in Florida and often gives gifts of fresh honey to friends and relatives.

  • A documentary related to The Untitled Mandela Project has just been sold to an international distributor - from Variety:

    Paris-based SND will rep international rights to "The Challenges of Reconciliation," a behind-the-scenes look at Clint Eastwood's vision of the South Africa forged by Nelson Mandela.

    "Reconciliation," a docu-feature, was shot as Eastwood lensed his Warner Bros.-backed "The Human Factor," which stars Morgan Freeman as Nelson Mandela and Matt Damon as South African rugby captain Francois Pienaar in the story of how the South Africa-hosted 1995 Rugby World Cup helped unite the nation. Docu is directed by Michael Henry Wilson, who co-wrote and co-helmed "A Personal Journey Through American Movies With Martin Scorsese." Wilson also helmed docu profile "Clint Eastwood: A Life in Film."

    "The idea is to show how a great movie figure and a great political and historical figure both care about the ideas of justice and reconciliation in their respective careers," said Lionel Uzan, SND director of international sales and acquisitions.

    "Reconciliation" aims to be at next year's Cannes, on the cusp of the South Africa-hosted 2010 World Cup Soccer tournament.

  • Matt is expected to attend this year's Ante Up for Africa Poker Tournament, to be held in Las Vegas on 2 July 2009.

  • A recent Miami sighting:

    Celebrating Mother's Day at Smith & Wollensky Sunday afternoon: Matt Damon and family.
  • 4 comments or Leave a comment
    From: (Anonymous) Date: May 13th, 2009 10:19 am (UTC) (Link)

    Honorary Member of BBKA

    I don't know whether the story is true or not, but I do know bee keeping is hugely popular in the UK. The majority of beekeepers are individuals, rather than farmers,or agri business. A well-known British TV newsreader is a beekeeper, and has his hives in a London suburb.

    Earlier this week there was a story in the news about hives being stolen to order, due to the large amount of bees dying off. The BBC showed an excellent documentary series about the problem a few weeks back, trying to discover why bees are dying in such large numbers, and what can be done to help them. Scientists are really worried about it due to so much of our food needs to be pollinated by bees.


    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: May 13th, 2009 11:47 am (UTC) (Link)

    Re: Honorary Member of BBKA

    It's just a crazy little story that's come out of nowhere. Matt didn't spend that much time in London in 2005 and you would think someone would have made a story out of it before now if it was true.

    George Clooney's left Miami after about two weeks and there were no photos or confirmed sightings with Matt while he was in town.
    From: (Anonymous) Date: May 13th, 2009 04:44 pm (UTC) (Link)

    beekeeping with grandad and movies

    It's hard to believe there could be such an curious little sidebar to Matt's life that you didn't already know about. Interesting, if true. Wasn't one of Matt's grandfathers Finnish?

    And I am beside myself with excitement to see all of Matt's movies this year. All so different and so interesting... Willy Loman on acid? Bring it on!!
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: May 15th, 2009 12:42 pm (UTC) (Link)

    Re: beekeeping with grandad and movies

    The Finnish grandfather is definitely true - here's a look at Matt's family history (and it seems accurate):

    I just wish 'The Informant' was showing in Cannes, as once scheduled. It would be a great contrast to the majority of the movies showing there (ie light, fun) and some press before October (amidst the onslaught of other movies) would have been fantastic.

    Matt was scheduled to attend (via Internet reports) the poker tournament in Cannes on Tuesday, but he's unlikely to go, I would think, as he has no films there (and Ben was scheduled to go but he's still filming in Boston).

    There's a new photo of Matt leaving a golf course in Miami at picapp.com, with more at http://www.popsugar.com/3152489.

    Edited at 2009-05-16 03:50 am (UTC)
    4 comments or Leave a comment