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Matt Damon News Column
Hereafter, Informant
  • A new interview with Matt is at the Boston Globe, including:

    Twelve years ago he was the baby-faced actor from Cambridge who captured moviegoers as the troubled boy genius Will Hunting and then brought his mother as his date to the Oscars.

    Today, at 38, Matt Damon is a singular force in American culture, ubiquitous on screen and off. His global philanthropy is robust, cementing his Tom Hanks-like reputation as one of Hollywood’s good guys. Women and directors swoon (People Magazine has named him "Sexiest Man Alive" and Forbes in 2007 dubbed him one of cinema’s most bankable stars). He is as comfortable playing a pudgy, nerdy whistleblower, as he does in his latest, as a lean and ripped killing machine.

    All that said, the demands of acting are no longer as appealing for Damon as they used to be, not with his wife, Luciana, at home in New York this year with their two young daughters and his 11-year old stepdaughter. "We just can't go on the road anymore," he said earlier this week in an interview high above Central Park in Manhattan to discuss his latest film, "The Informant!"’, which opened here Friday. "I won't take six-month jobs in Uzbekistan."

    So does that mean fewer movies? Smaller movies? Or movies just closer to home? "I think all three," he adds.

    In recent years, Damon has written during the filming of movies when the screenplay needed work; he did some writing for the last two Bourne movies, and he’s done some in the upcoming “The Green Zone," a thriller set in Baghdad.

    He sees directing and writing as two ways to have what he wants, work with whom he wants, order his life the way he wants. "By the next school year," said Damon, who was dressed casually in a black V-neck T-shirt, jeans, and black shoes, "we’re going to have to pull the trigger and figure out where we want to be for the next 10 or 15 years."

    But in the meantime, he’s done with 20-hour days. "You shoot all day, have dinner and work on a screenplay until midnight and then get up at five and start all over again. I enjoyed it but I'm not going to do that anymore."

    It’s a path Damon is determined not to take. "I have a shot at living a pretty normal life," he says, "and that's what I'm hoping I can pull off."

  • French actors Thierry Neuvic and Cecile de France have already been cast in Hereafter.

  • Matt talked about The Adjustment Bureau at Philly.com:

    Damon and his wife, Argentine-born Luciana Barroso, have just rented an apartment in New York. They'll be living there with their kids for the next few months while he goes to work on The Adjustment Bureau, an adaptation of a Philip K. Dick short story, "Adjustment Team," about a guy who discovers that his world is being controlled by strange, guardian-like figures. Emily Blunt is in the film, being directed by George Nolfi.

    "George wrote the last Bourne movie, he wrote Ocean's Twelve, and it's his directing debut," says Damon. "When Philip K. Dick is done right, when it's Minority Report or Total Recall, it's absolutely brilliant.

    "This one, George went pretty far afield. It's a very original adaptation. But tonally it's definitely different from anything I've ever done."

  • Photos of Mark Whitacre and his wife Ginger at the New York premiere of The Informant! are at Mark Whitacre.com. Matt continues talking to Dave Karger of EW about the film at EW.com. Actor Kevin Pollak praised the film at his Twitter page.

    Pollak: The Informant is easily one of the best films of the year & of Soderberg's & Damon's impressive careers. Run. Run like the wind to see it.

  • Devin Faraci at CHUD praised the film and Matt's performance but noted it is unlikely to receive awards recognition.

    The role is a subtly tough one to play. Damon spends most of the film balancing buffoonery and sympathy, which is hard in and of itself, but at the end he needs to actually make us feel for this lying, cheating, possibly sociopathic little weirdo, and he manages to hit it perfectly. While there's a distinct Coen feel to The Informant! it's the way Damon and Soderbergh treat Whitacre that makes it so different from their work. The Coens never fail to find the absurdity and pettiness in all humans, while Damon and Soderbergh never fail to find the humanity in this absurd and petty person.

    Damon's performance, in fact, feels like one that should get an Oscar but will get snubbed. He's just too funny, and while he is allowed some small emotion at the end, the film steadfastly keeps us away from the interior of Whitacre. It's a performance that isn't showy, that isn't dazzling in the 'here's an obvious Oscar clip!' sense. It's a performance that is remarkable for the way it balances the ridiculous and the real.

  • The rings worn by Matt and Lucy at the Venice premiere were in support of the Save the Children Foundation.
  • 15 comments or Leave a comment
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: September 20th, 2009 10:30 am (UTC) (Link)


    The script for Hereafter by Peter Morgan is online, with the link available via the Playlist:



    A script review is here and presumably, like Adjustment Bureau (AB), it's changed quite a bit: http://scriptshadow.blogspot.com/2009/02/hereafter.html

    Matt's role isn't large as it is a three-part story with three main storylines. Matt's scenes are initially based in Chicago before moving to London, but he really has nothing to do. The script is just nothing - I hope it changes quite a bit. So predictable and tame.

    Salsa dancing must be the new trend in script devices, as it's in both this script and AB. As AB has already sought salsa dancers for the filming, they will probably have to change it for Hereafter (any bets on ballroom dancing?)

    The script for Adjustment Bureau was available a few weeks ago through IMDB. They're currently filming the Waldorf Astoria scenes, and Emily Blunt was on set (in her ballroom gown) a few days ago.

    Edited at 2009-09-20 10:45 am (UTC)
    From: (Anonymous) Date: September 20th, 2009 01:49 pm (UTC) (Link)

    Some Numbers for the weekend

    1. Cloudy 13m Sat 30mWKD
    2. Informant 4.5m Sat 10.5m WKD
    3. Tyler Perry 4.6m Sat 10m WKD
    4. Love Happens 3.2m Sat 8m WKD
    5. Jennifer's Body 2.6m Sat 7m WKD

    So 10 million is about right for the Informant. That's about where I think it should be at minimum. It was a tough sell.
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: September 20th, 2009 09:13 pm (UTC) (Link)

    Re: Some Numbers for the weekend

    I thought it did surprisingly well to beat the Jennifer Aniston and Megan Fox movies, regardless of their poor quality.

    The Informant only cost $22 million to make. It will still make money for the studio and production partners.
    From: (Anonymous) Date: September 21st, 2009 10:48 pm (UTC) (Link)

    Re: Some Numbers for the weekend

    Regardless of the numbers. There are some pretty good discussions goingon about the movie today around the net. Of course you got the "worst movie ever" people but the ones who liked are giving some in depth thought to discussions. Been quite some time that I've been able to discuss a film with some intelligent people.
    From: (Anonymous) Date: September 22nd, 2009 12:34 am (UTC) (Link)

    Re: Some Numbers for the weekend

    I agree. There are some good discussions on IMDB.
    From: (Anonymous) Date: September 20th, 2009 06:16 pm (UTC) (Link)

    Big Thank You

    I just wanted to let you know how much I love this site. Thanks for taking two weeks off work to keep all of Matt's fan up to date with his hectic schedule promoting The informant! It's all been great and so positive.

    I wish I could gift you some of the 30 days annual leave I get each year; you really have gone above and beyond the call of duty recently.

    Matt's humility and ordinaryness is the big plus for me. A case in point is the experience my manager had when she was stuck on a Greenpeace boat with Bono a few years ago. She described him as egotistical, opinionated and arrogant. She was a fan before she met him, but hasn't bought any of his music since!

    It's all the more amazing that Matt has been successful in keeping his feet firmly on the ground, despite living anything but an ordinary life. Long may it continue. Marcia
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: September 20th, 2009 09:08 pm (UTC) (Link)

    Re: Big Thank You

    Thanks Marcia. It's a good way to spend leave - just wish I could support the movie and actually see it on opening weekend.

    Nobody's got bad reports about Matt, and I've followed him for years and read thousands of encounters.

    Did anyone else think the Boston Globe profile was badly written and poorly structured? It just didn't flow and lacked sufficient knowledge to make a cohesive article.
    From: (Anonymous) Date: September 20th, 2009 10:08 pm (UTC) (Link)

    Re: Big Thank You

    I agree the Globe article was disjointed. But that Chud review was incisive and spot-on, especially as regards comparisons that are being made with the Coens.

    loganx2 From: loganx2 Date: September 20th, 2009 09:55 pm (UTC) (Link)
    Matt is on the list to appear once again at the Clinton Global initiative.

    From: (Anonymous) Date: September 21st, 2009 02:29 am (UTC) (Link)
    Very interesting comments from Matt about his family and his plans to cut back on travel. I knew this day would come. You just can't uproot children over and over and over again. They need stability and structure. But this will be a big change for Matt and his career and the lifestyle he has lived ever since Good Will Hunting. It will be interesting to see how it works out for him. My hat is off to Luciana in giving Matt a traveling family and home life for all this time. I sincerely hope that they are able to make a smooth adjustment into parents of a preteen and 2 preschoolers. It can be difficult even if everybody is home all the time.

    My husband and I saw The Informant tonight. We liked it. It was OK. It wasn't bad. But I didn't think it was probably the best movie of the year. Matt does a good job like he always does. Oscar nomination? I'll be surprised but I don't know what else is coming out this fall. The movie is funny in places but not like it has been advertised in trailers and on television.

    We haven't seen a lot of movies this year. We did see Inglorious Basterds. My husband liked The Informant more. I didn't. But the movies are totally different. There's really no comparison except those are the 2 movies we have seen recently.
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: September 21st, 2009 03:22 am (UTC) (Link)

    Travel plans

    It's interesting that Matt has talked about laying foundations for the next 10-15 years. His role in Hereafter appears to be quite small and won't involve a lot of travel or filming time.

    It's Bourne he's referring to when talking about 20 hour days and filming in remote places. Every comment by Matt seems to indicate that he really has no inclination to do another Bourne, which would involve long hours of filming and gym-time, months of travel and stressful working conditions with Greengrass.

    I can't comment on The Informant as it doesn't open in Australia until at least December. Viewer comments on various sites are very mixed, and I can't help but feel the advertising deceived people. But how do you market a dry, black, intelligent white-collar movie with comedic elements?

    Edited at 2009-09-21 03:23 am (UTC)
    From: (Anonymous) Date: September 21st, 2009 03:42 am (UTC) (Link)

    Re: Travel plans

    Well, he was in Decatur, Illinois filming The Informant and then he was in South Africa filming Green Zone. Etc, etc. He hasn't filmed any movies in Miami since the conjoined twin movie(the name escapes me here at 11:35PM) so ALL of his work takes him away from Miami.

    I do feel that the marketing for The Informant is deceptive. There is one clip in the trailer that does not even appear in the movie. My husband was quite peeved about that. It is a dry subject. It is intelligent. It is white collar. It's aimed at adults only. You have to listen to every word to get the humor. But it's not hilariously funny. I don't know how you market it but they seem to be portraying it as a slapstick comedy and it is not.

    I knew more or less what to expect because I've been reading about it in this column for years.

    But I just thought it was OK/good, not great.

    From: (Anonymous) Date: September 25th, 2009 08:11 pm (UTC) (Link)

    being a parent

    I agree with the comments above about uprooting family. It sure does seem that he travels with those babies an awful lot. I couldn't imagine raising my kids that way. I know he wants a "normal" life, but he is so far from normal. Hats off to Lucy...I couldn't do it...not even for Matt Damon.
    From: (Anonymous) Date: September 28th, 2009 12:25 am (UTC) (Link)

    Re: being a parent

    I couldn't imagine raising my children that way either. I also would not be able to do it, not even for Matt. Lucy must be able to make friends extremely easily and be very flexible. The vast majority of women would not be happy doing what she has done so far. And your right, their life is far from normal.

    It's Alexia that I wonder the most about. She's 11. I assume entering middle school. She really needs a stable circle of friends. She doesn't seem to enjoy the celebrity part of their life at all. Maybe New York will be a place that she can live anonymously. I hope so.
    From: (Anonymous) Date: September 29th, 2009 02:04 am (UTC) (Link)

    being a parent

    It's funny how only ONE person on this site mentioned Alexia's welfare. "Hats off to Lucy!" Are you serious? This woman ABANDONED her daughter when she hooked up with Damon. She left her in Miami to be raised by Lucy's mother. In fact, it's rumored that Alexia didn't even make the move to NY with Matt and her mom - she's still living in Miami with her grandmother. FYI - Matt just did another interview saying that "he'll see how the little ones adjust to winter in NY but he really wants to move to CA to be closer to Ben Affleck". Which would be really wonderful for Alexia. Three schools in 2 years? (Assuming she actually made the move to NY, which now looks even more doubtful). For all Damon's rhetoric about "loving his step-daughter", it's obvious from his own statements that neither he nor Lucy give a crap about Alexia's life, schooling or overall well-being. He's only going to settle down now because it affects HIS kids? Unbelievable.
    15 comments or Leave a comment