So does it always work that way with you? You take personal calls from directors, rather than going through agents?
No, no agents. If you don't know the guy, maybe, but if you’re friends... Like now we're trying to get $30m to get this Liberace movie. It's about Liberace and his lover.
And when I went to do Che, Steven called me and says, "Will you do a day on Che? I want you to do this scene in Spanish, even though you’re playing a German guy."
I was like, "Really?" They were in the south of Spain. I said, "Lucy [Barroso, Damon's wife] and I are going to be there." I had some press to do there for The Bourne Ultimatum.
So the studio flew us there and we snuck in because Che was the lower-budget movie. We let Bourne get us to Europe and then I went down.
We got to this little resort where they were staying, in the south of Spain. And I showed up. And Steven is at the bar with Greg Jacobs his AD and producer, waiting for me. And he pulls out a book, Behind The Candelabra. And there's a picture of this young blond guy with a big fur coat and next to him there's Liberace, with all of his rings and a fur coat.
Steven hands me the book and goes, "You. Michael Douglas!" So that's how you get a job. There are no agents!
Matt Damon's next role is in Invictus, directed by Clint Eastwood, where he plays the former captain of the South African rugby team, Francois Pienaar, at the 1995 Rugby World Cup, as the country got the opportunity to show the world that it had put apartheid behind it. The role is one which has great passion and resonance for him, given his love of the sport.
"It's a very uplifting story. When you talk to a South African about the Rugby World Cup in 1995, they all know exactly where they were, and they start to get very emotional. I felt crushing pressure and responsibility to get it right and what calmed me down was seeing how much more pressure Morgan Freeman, who plays Nelson Mandela, was under!"