Question: Were you in better condition going into this movie than you had been in past films?
Damon: Oh, I was better in shape for this movie, yeah. I was in the gym everyday and with Francois. He came to the gym with me a few times, too. This is his life and I don't want to embarrass him. If Jason Bourne gets a little flabby that's on me. But this is the fictionization of someone's actual life. I didn't want to let him down.
Matt on working with Clint
We've been entrusted to do our jobs. Then he'll come over occasionally and give a little bit of direction but it's not a lot of chatter. Just suggestion. A little suggestion here. A little suggestion there. Anybody who doesn't want to hear a swear word, Clint's favorite saying, after you do a take he goes, 'Well, lets move on and lets not fuck this up by thinking about it too much.' You hear it everyday on a set with him.
Question: Did the studio ever seem hesitant to make the movie?
Damon: Clint's track record is so great that the studio has tremendous faith in him. He told a story yesterday- Clint was directing a film at Warner Bros when the new exec called and told him that ‘the film is fantastic - but I have a few notes'. Clint's response? ‘Sure, we can get together - at my new office at Paramount' [Laughs]. So, I think Clint gets what he wants - and deserves to; if you can put together a library of films like that, and for the one studio, you can pretty much do what you want.
Question: So you're all mates now?
Damon: I see us all in a convertible going down to a burger place [Laughs]. Nah, I hope to work with those guys as much as possible - I'm actually going to work with Clint again next month, and I'd love to work with Morgan again; we're actually looking for something to do together. It's funny I've had a lot of positive experiences on films, and walk away from films having made many friends. But the truth is, I have not really been out of my house - I have 3 little kids - so that pretty much takes up all my time. I wish I could see my friends more.
Coming off his turn as the doughy whistle blower in "The Informant," Matt Damon had a lot of work to do to play the South African rugby team captain in Clint Eastwood's "Invictus."
"This film is the opposite of ‘The Informant' as far as physical conditioning goes," Eastwood says. "I think he liked it, (giving him) an excuse to get into shape."
Among the film's rugby players, only Damon and two others were professional actors. The remainder were athletes, which meant Eastwood had to keep an eye out for his star during the rough-and-tumble action. Damon did most of his own action, but did have a stunt double for the more chaotic scenes.
"I had to be careful with it," Eastwood says. "Rugby is one of those kinds of games where you can get bashed up. Matt was a great sport. He jumped right in and worked very hard."
Matt Damon has a unique perspective on Howard Zinn’s 'A People's History of the United States.' As a young boy growing up in Newton, the actor and the author were friends and neighbors. "While Howard was writing it, we used to see his light on at night," says Damon, who lived next door to the BU professor between the ages of 5 and 9. "It was like my brother's night light. It kept him safe from the bogeyman."
So Damon executive-produced - and, we hear, largely bankrolled - this Sunday’s The History Channel special 'The People Speak,' a collaboration between Zinn and some of the biggest names in Hollywood, to put a new twist on some old history lessons.
"The film is an inspirational film about democracy," Zinn told us. "It's about how people - not governments - achieve social change."
After Damon's big-screen shout-out, Zinn's book went on to sell 2 million copies. So it is only right that Matt is the first big name to appear onscreen in 'The People Speak.' He reads The Declaration of Independence . The performance sets up the rest of the documentary, which, the producers say, "celebrates democracy."