The A-list dinner party drew top performers and singing legends.
George Clooney, Matt Damon, Bruce Willis, Larry David, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie gathered around Jerry Weintraub's table at the posh UNICEF Ball in the Beverly Wilshire Hotel ballroom Thursday night to honor the legendary producer's philanthropic work. Clooney presented Weintraub with the Danny Kaye Humanitarian Award, named after the late singer-actor.
During the event, Pitt and Jolie held their position at Weintraub's table while Damon, Willis and David mingled with other guests, including Dustin Hoffman and Jeremy Piven.
Bryce Dallas Howard has signed to star opposite Matt Damon in Clint Eastwood's supernatural drama "Hereafter" for Warner Bros.
"Hereafter," penned by Peter Morgan, tells the story of three people -- a blue-collar American, a French journalist and a London school boy -- who are touched by death in different ways.
Later in the day, Matt Damon, who sports a prosthetic nose, heavily muscled-up physique and a spot-on Afrikaner accent to play the Springboks’ captain, François Pienaar, says that working with Eastwood is "the top of the mountain for every department." Then he jokes that he’s having such a good time he feels guilty about cashing his paychecks.
"I'll be waiting for my kickback," Eastwood grumbles good-naturedly from his director's chair.
Already, there is much discussion about Eastwood’s next project, Hereafter, which he expects to begin shooting by early fall. Based on an original script by The Queen and Frost/Nixon writer Peter Morgan, the film links together three stories, each in some way about the border between life and death, this world and the next.(Reuniting with his Invictus director, Damon will star as an auto-factory worker who was once a spritual medium.)
"It’s unexplored terrain," Eastwood tells me when I ask what drew him to the material, and indeed, though he has twice cast himself as something like an angel of death, in the existential westerns High Plains Drifter and Pale Rider, he has never made a film on an overtly supernatural subject.
"I liked the way Peter Morgan incorporates real events like the [2004 Indian Ocean] tsunami and the terrorist attacks on London into a fictional story," he continues. "Also, there's a certain charlatan aspect to the hereafter, to those who prey on people’s beliefs that there's some afterlife, and mankind doesn’t seem to be willing to accept that this is your life and you should do the best you can with it and enjoy it while you’re here, and that’ll be enough. There has to be immortality or eternal life and embracing some religious thing. I don’t have the answer. Maybe there is a hereafter, but I don’t know, so I approach it by not knowing. I just tell the story."
Matt Damon and Josh Brolin joked during a sit-down interview with Entertainment Weekly about their best screen collaborations. Brolin dished details about his upcoming movie with Woody Allen, only for Damon to step in and reveal his encounter with the film icon.
How did Matt Damon and Josh Brolin get an all-star lineup for their documentary "The People Speak"? "Matt knows some people," Brolin jokes in the upcoming Entertainment Weekly about Morgan Freeman, Marisa Tomei and Bruce Springsteen, who came on board to read speeches in the History Channel flick.
The A-listers were grateful to be included. "Bruce Springsteen sent me a little [thank-you] card," says Brolin — much to the surprise of his fellow producer. "I didn't get one of those!" laughs Damon. "What the —?!"
Interviewer: Francois, you united a nation. Matt, you have a song in which you f***ed Sarah Silverman.
Matt: Yeah, so I come out on top.
Domino effect: "After Clint signed on, Alan Horn suggested Matt Damon, an idea we embraced since he's a great actor and very athletic," producer Robert Lorenz says.
Question: How’s about some good 30 Rock scoop. —Khewit
Ausiello: I hear Tina Fey’s next big celeb get is Matt Damon. I also hear The Ausiello Files will collect a small commission if a deal comes to pass since we jump-started negotiations with Damon at last week’s Invictus premiere. "I would do [30 Rock] in a heartbeat if they asked me to come on," Damon enthused. "I have not been approached about doing it. She should call my people — or even better me. Or I could call her. Let’s make this happen. Tina is a brilliant comedy writer. My wife and I download that show in bulk. That’s actually one of the downsides to working so much this year; I have fallen behind on this season. But we love that show, so if she has a part for me, I'm game."
Ball's in your court, Fey!
Jeff Bridges -- who is garnering Oscar buzz for his earthy turn as a country singer in Fox Searchlight's 'Crazy Heart,' hitting theaters Dec. 16 -- will next star in the Coen brothers' 'True Grit,' after having finished shooting on 'Tron: Legacy.'
"They're the brothers, man. They're the masters," Bridges told Moviefone of 'True Grit's' Joel and Ethan Coen at Tuesday's 'Crazy Heart' premiere in Beverly Hills.
"And it's going to be a Western -- I love doing westerns," Bridges said. "We have a great cast. We have Josh Brolin and Matt Damon as well, so I am really looking forward to it."
If 2009 had a most valuable player award for the movies, it would have to go to Matt Damon. Whether he's appearing in "The Informant!," a Sarah Silverman Web parody or in Clint Eastwood's stirring post-apartheid drama, "Invictus," he has been consistently spot-on and almost breathtakingly self-effacing. He has become that most unlikely Hollywood rarity: a character actor with a matinee-idol face.