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Matt Damon News Column
Toronto premiere, interviews
  • Photos of Matt and Lucy at the premiere of The Informant! in Toronto are below, from PicApp and Yahoo, with more photos at Filmicafe. Also at the premiere, and seen in this video from Pinto Pony, were Matt's mother Nancy Carlsson-Paige and family friend Howard Zinn.

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  • Reports on the various press conferences during the day are at Toronto Sun, Globe and Mail, Windsor Star, Hello magazine, Metronews, Artvoice and OK magazine. The video of one press conference is available in full at the official site.

    With journalists from around the world in stitches, the Bourne Identity star easily won over his audience at a Toronto press conference Friday afternoon.

    From an impromptu voice over on screenwriter Scott Z. Burns to a fake confession that he only took the shape-shifting role to score an Oscar nom like his predecessor Charlize Theron in Monster, it's easy to see why Matt is such a widely-loved celebrity.

    On Thursday, some jokester on the Internet posted an item proclaiming Matt Damon, star of the upcoming comedy The Informant, to be dead. At a press conference yesterday, Damon - clearly very much alive - said he had to call his wife to assure her he was, indeed, still kicking after his publicist starting fielding calls from scores of news organizations (CNN, The Boston Globe) checking to see if the Bourne star still had a pulse.

    "All my wife said was, well, that's weird," recounts Damon, shaking his head. "Then she reminded me that the same thing had happened to George [Clooney] a few years ago. What amazed me even more was that the calls we were getting were from [news groups] that were very reputable. I asked them did you even read the story on the Internet? It read like the lyrics to The Fresh Prince of Bel Air. The truth of the matter is all these mother [expletive] are lazy [and didn't do their homework to verify if the story was real]. There I said it."

    When someone address a question to "Mr. Damon," he says, "Sure, now that I’m dead I get respect! Are my angels wings intimidating you?

    On Lucy's response to his weight gain
    "There was just more of me to love. She was a good sport. We had fun. I loved parading around with my belly. My stepdaughter thought it was really funny, too, that I got all squishy."

    Other comments
    Matt Damon was on fire today - the man is hilarious. He says he only took the role of a bipolar whistleblower in The Informant! for the Oscar. And regarding the weight gain of 30 pounds, claims he called made a call to a fellow actor who knows how to pack it on. "I talked to Robert DeNiro, who put on 60 pounds for Raging Bull. He said, the first 15 pounds are really fun, then you have to go to work after that. I found all 30 pounds fun."

    When one journalist seems surprised that he would call DeNiro for this, Damon points out that they worked together before, so it wasn’t like he didn’t know the guy. He imagines how he might have sounded cold-calling: "Is this Robert DeNiro? I’m a young actor... Did you ever see Mystic Pizza? I’m in that. How about School Ties?"

  • Video interviews are at ET Online and Access Hollywood. In the Access interview, and also at a press conference, as reported at The Playlist and Collider, Matt says that due to script problems, Bourne 4 is now 18-months to 2 years away from filming.

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  • The entire interview from Letterman is available at YouTube. Also at YouTube are new clips from the movie and B-roll footage. Press kit videos with the cast and crew are at Trailer Addict, including the following quote from Melanie Lynskey talking about Matt.

    Lynskey: First of all, he is the most normal superstar in the world, it seems like. Not normal in like a boring way. He is interesting and funny and great, but just the kindest, kindest person. It’s unusual for someone to be that successful and be so interested in everyone around them and just so kind I guess. It’s really been nice to get to know him.

  • Photos from the press conference are at Filmicafe and Yahoo. Photos of Matt leaving Letterman are at Empire Movies and A Socialite Life. A clip of Matt talking about the Patriots, including his dinner with Tom Brady, and the Red Sox is at Sirius or YouTube.

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  • An interview with Matt and Steven Soderbergh is at the LA Times. Good reviews of The Informant! are at Time and Aint it cool news (written by Harry Knowles), Emanuel Levy and the Financial Times (below).

    Zestier than anything [at Venice] was Steven Soderbergh’s The Informant!. This truth-based comedy about white-collar crime jettisons all pretence to indignation or anti-capitalist sermonising; it just enjoys the laughter ride. Mark Whitacre (Matt Damon), the man who blew the whistle on his agri-industrial company’s bosses for price-fixing, was a pathological liar who in-advertently sent himself to jail for longer than his employers.

    Soderbergh has a light touch on the story tiller; composer Marvin Hamlisch’s droll jazz score punctuates big-band sound with tin whistle and penny flute; Damon dons a chestnut wig and moustache to give his best performance since The Talented Mr Ripley.

    Anchored by a splendid performance from Matt Damon in the lead, “The Informant” adds an original panel to a growing body of American films, dramas, melodramas, thrillers, and now comedies, about the unique aspects of the American corporate world, and by extension, American capitalism.

    Along with Soderbergh’s smart and astute direction, the film benefits from (actually rests entirely on the shoulders of) Damon’s natural charisma. A versatile actor, at home in every genre, he renders an effortlessly likable yet hard-to-believe performance. Damon is so well cast that it’s hard to imagine "The Informant" without him.

  • Finally, a quote from a Wall Street Journal interview with Matt, where Matt discusses his Cinematheque award for the first time.

    You’re about to get your first Lifetime Achievement Award, from the American Cinematheque society. Given that you are only 38, how does that make you feel?

    It's a little intimidating. I remember years ago, watching Robert Redford get a lifetime achievement award on TV and he was only in his early 40s. He said something like, "You know, I am going to keep working." So that's how I feel. It's a wonderful accolade, but I don't feel as if I'm even halfway done yet.
  • 10 comments or Leave a comment
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: September 12th, 2009 09:40 am (UTC) (Link)

    ET Canada clip

    Can anyone in Canada or the US access this video clip at ET Canada? I can't see it as I'm in Australia and it can't be aired here. There was a tweet earlier that it was a fun interview (and maybe, possibly, a different quote from the usual). Thanks.

    From: (Anonymous) Date: September 12th, 2009 11:12 am (UTC) (Link)

    Re: ET Canada clip

    Ilario here.

    Sorry I can't access it. Says not available in my country. But you got to go the St. Louis Post Dispatch website. They have a pic of fans wearing Informant sandwich boards on the streets of Toronto. Its the cutest thing.
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: September 12th, 2009 12:12 pm (UTC) (Link)

    Re: ET Canada clip

    Thanks for looking Ilario. Stupid site.

    I've seen a few photos of the boards (link below). And apparently whistles with Matt's face on them were handed out after the screening.

    A photo of Matt and Lucy attending a party after the screening.

    From this site: http://mrwillw.blogspot.com/ -
    After the gala, Damon treated his parents and the crew behind The Informant! to a big dinner at celeb haunt Sassafraz in Yorkville, reserving the whole top floor. It was pretty much chaos outside the restaurant, which is only minutes from my flat.

    Go to the site for a view of the craziness of the crowd looking upwards for a glimpse of Matt's group.

    Edited at 2009-09-12 02:07 pm (UTC)
    From: (Anonymous) Date: September 12th, 2009 09:29 pm (UTC) (Link)

    Re: ET Canada clip

    I can't access it either.
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: September 12th, 2009 10:53 am (UTC) (Link)

    Esquire magazine

    I encourage everyone to buy the magazine, but Matt's interview with Esquire to promote water.org is available online in full at the link below.



    Edited at 2009-09-12 10:58 am (UTC)
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: September 12th, 2009 12:56 pm (UTC) (Link)

    Venice rings

    It's taken a while but I've finally got a close-up of the ring Matt was wearing in Venice (watermarked, but not over the ring). Lucy and Matt were both wearing the ring that night, but haven't worn it in public since. It's got writing on it - Sanskrit?

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    From: (Anonymous) Date: September 12th, 2009 01:46 pm (UTC) (Link)

    Re: Venice rings

    Found this for the meaning of Sanskrit

    Sanskrit is the classical language of Indian and the liturgical language of Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism. It is also one of the 22 official languages of India. The name Sanskrit means "refined", "consecrated" and "sanctified".

    Matt was in India recently wasnt he?
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: September 12th, 2009 02:03 pm (UTC) (Link)

    Re: Venice rings

    Yes, and you can read all about it in the Esquire magazine (above). Possibly a ring for the usuals: love, peace, eternity.

    Photos and video from the Toronto premiere:
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: September 12th, 2009 01:35 pm (UTC) (Link)


    Finally, we have the expected story at People on a kids and family update. Extract follows.


    "Gia is just ready to start talking and making sounds," said the proud papa. "It's been really exciting and we are anxious to hear what she says."

    The budding linguist, however, already is a skilled walker. "She's been walking since 9 months, which is pretty incredible," he said.

    Gia's big sister Isabella is getting ready to attend pre-school – possibly leaving the star in tears. "I think I will get emotional when we take her. Her mom and I will probably be a big mess. She's ready but I don't know if I will be."
    From: (Anonymous) Date: September 12th, 2009 09:26 pm (UTC) (Link)

    Re: People

    Fatty Matty! Lol!

    Thanks so much for all the stellar work of finding, selecting, organizing, and presenting all this.

    10 comments or Leave a comment