MATT DAMON, ACTOR: Andrew Grene went to Haiti for all the right reasons -- to bring peace to a people who longed for it. He worked as a political affairs officer in the United Nations peacekeeping mission in Haiti. He was devoted to his job. He loved the Haitian people and hung their paintings on his walls. He was a husband. He was a father to three beautiful children. And he lived by a creed that everyone deer deserves the same chances to succeed in life.
On January 12, 2010, at 4:53 in the afternoon, he gave his life for that creed.
CLINT EASTWOOD, ACTOR/DIRECTOR: Andrew was 44 years old when he lost his life as the U.N. headquarters collapsed. Seventy courageous and dedicated people like Andrew died during -- doing that -- doing the work that they loved. And 146 others are still missing. For the United Nations, it was the largest single day of loss in their history.
DAMON: As we move forward in helping the Haitian people, let's also take a minute and remember our fallen peacekeepers from all over the world. They were devoted to their work. Some were volunteers, but they all gave their lives while helping others. Let's make sure that their sacrifice was not in vain.
At noontime Thursday in Boston, more than 40 staff members crowded into the main conference room in the headquarters of Partners in Health for the daily "People, Planes and Stuff Meeting,’’ to track the swirl of flights, surgeons, and supplies pouring into Haiti.
Team leaders gave terse reports: Four flights chartered by the group are en route to Haiti, including "the LA-Matt Damon plane."
Celebrities are helping, too. Matt Damon arranged to fly surgeons from Los Angeles on Mel Gibson’s jet.
Monitoring her e-mail on a laptop, [Durango doctor Wendy] Grant opened a message from her sister, Susannah Grant, an Oscar-nominated screenwriter.
From Los Angeles, Susannah Grant had contacted actor Matt Damon's people about assistance. In the e-mail, her sister indicated that space had been secured aboard a cargo plane to get supplies to the hospital through ONEXONE, an organization Damon is involved with.
BEST RECENT FILM
Invictus. It was so good. Matt Damon was amazing.
Matt: He said: 'Well, this part needs to have a little more to it.' We talked of how great we both thought the script was. And it’s very rare to get a great script right away in Hollywood. It was a very emotional experience reading the script—wonderful story, uplifting. It really moved me.
I was just puzzled. It is just a great script and he said: 'Yes, it is.' We were kind of marveling. He said: 'Well, I think your part should be a little bigger.' And I said: 'I’d be careful with that. I wouldn’t really change anything with this. I think it's pretty perfect.' My role obviously is a supporting role because it is very much a story about Mandela, but at least on paper all the supporting roles are very fleshed out and supporting the narrative in the right way. You understand who people are. You don’t want to mess around too much with our parts to make anyone too big or too small so as to not ruin the ensemble and take away from Mandela, who really should be the focus.