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Matt Damon News Column
Cinematheque Award details
  • Ben will present Matt's Cinematheque Award at a ceremony on Saturday - details at the Hollywood Reporter. A different take is at New York magazine.

    Ben Affleck will present the 24th American Cinematheque Award to Matt Damon, with whom he wrote the Oscar-winning screenplay for "Good Will Hunting," at the Cinematheque's tribute to Damon on Saturday at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.

    Also participating in the tribute are Damon's colleagues Casey Affleck, Don Cheadle, Clint Eastwood, Jimmy Kimmel, Greg Kinnear, Charlize Theron and Robin Williams. George Clooney and Ben Stiller will appear in individual, pre-taped comedy sketches, while President Clinton will narrate a piece about Damon's humanitarian efforts.

    ABC will broadcast the tribute at a date to be announced.

  • The box office total for Invictus is almost $121 million worldwide, with $83 million derived from box-office receipts outside the US.

  • Matt talked about the death of Howard Zinn in an interview at Berliner Zeitung - translated version:

    Did you know him well?
    Matt: He was our neighbor, one of my mother’s closest friends, a friend of the family. We had a very close relationship. He was a good man who lived a rich, wonderful life. And he had lived, he was ready to let go. He died while swimming in a hotel pool in Florida. Myocardial infarction. My mother spoke to the man who pulled him out. He told her that he was able to ask Howard if he should call an ambulance. Howard said: 'No, I'm okay.’ Then he closed his eyes and died, whereupon all the hotel employees came around him and bade him farewell. It was such a small hotel in Florida, and the people who worked there were Latin American immigrants. My mother said: 'That was exactly the funeral service that Howard would have liked. These were the people for whom he wrote.'

  • A report on Matt's generosity to friends at a dinner in New York on Saturday is at the New York Daily News, with a separate report at People.

    Matt Damon and wife Luciana enjoyed dinner with seven friends at Stanton Social in New York. The group ordered specialties like the French onion soup dumplings and chilled Maine lobster, an off-menu item, which they requested with extra butter. "They must have been super hungry," a source tells PEOPLE, "because Luciana ordered five rounds of the warm doughnuts for the table."
  • 14 comments or Leave a comment
    loganx2 From: loganx2 Date: March 24th, 2010 11:44 am (UTC) (Link)
    I'm not sure how accurate the Zinn quote is because I'm pretty sure he died in California and not Florida.
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: March 24th, 2010 01:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
    That's what I thought too - but that part of the translation was pretty clear. It may be a transcription error. The interview took place mostly by phone in the car as Matt was leaving Berlin after he ran out of time during the press day.

    Edited at 2010-03-24 01:10 pm (UTC)
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: March 26th, 2010 09:13 am (UTC) (Link)

    Variety interview

    There's an interview with Matt at Variety's site tied into the Cinematheque tribute. On the site you can also see paid aids from Universal, Warner Bros and Matt's law firm congratulating Matt on the award.


    A few quotes (not much is new):

    His collaboration with Greengrass has been particularly successful, but Damon confirms that differences over budget derailed a third "Bourne" teamup.

    "At least in the short term," he says. "They're trying to figure out what to do with the property, and maybe they'll do a prequel with another actor. I won't be involved, but hopefully I'll do a fourth one in five or 10 years with Paul."

    And while he agrees that the "Bourne" films "really pushed me in a new direction," he balks at the idea that he's now an action star.

    "Bourne is just one character, so I don't know that I'd describe myself that way," he says. "It's hard to find really good action movies, and this is a very particular type of action hero, as he's flawed and has a dark past, so there's a lot of stuff to play as an actor."

    Damon's easygoing, sunny personality seems an odd fit for Bourne's tormented, haunted character, but then, Damon is an actor. "I have demons and stress like anyone else, but hopefully I've got them under control, and then I just let them out for work, which is always healthier," he says.

    The actor has balanced high-profile projects and starring roles with smaller supporting roles in such arthouse films as "Che" and "Youth Without Youth."

    "They're really cameos for friends, and I love doing that," he reports. "I was in Spain promoting the last 'Bourne' movie, and 'Che' was on such a shoestring budget while they were shooting (in Spain) that I managed to squeeze in a day's shoot for Steven in between interviews for 'Bourne.' And then Coppola called me about 'Youth' and talked about Ingmar Bergman and how he wanted a similar small ensemble of actors, and I told him I'd go anywhere to do it for him. So I flew to Bucharest for one day to do those few scenes."
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: March 26th, 2010 12:57 pm (UTC) (Link)

    Hollywood Reporter interview

    There's also an interview at the Hollywood Reporter, which is much more interesting. And one quote's going to flare up, although it's only a version of something Matt said years ago.


    The Hollywood Reporter: You haven't started "True Grit" yet, right?
    Matt Damon: No, in a couple weeks.
    THR: Where is the shoot and how long is it?
    Damon: "True Grit" is in New Mexico and Texas, and I think the whole thing is 12 weeks. I only work (about) six of those weeks, though.

    THR: You and Ben Affleck seem to be ramping up your production efforts with a new deal at Warners. How long is the deal?
    Damon: I actually don't even know. These things, they take so long to get hammered out. I was high-fiving the Warners brass months ago, because we'd agreed -- and I think the deal just got finalized. Hopefully we've found a home for a while.
    THR: Will the company still be called LivePlanet?
    Damon: We're going to look for a new name, I think. Ben sent me some names a few months ago, but we never really followed through.
    THR: What was the goal in deciding to go with Warners?
    Damon: They're great. I've done a bunch of movies there and had really great experiences. Ben just directed for them and starred in "The Town" and they're really up on him, as both a director and an actor. So it felt like the place that most believed in both of us.

    THR: Has marriage changed you?
    Damon: Yeah, I think so. Somebody said to me recently, "Wow, you really love marriage," and I said, "No, I think marriage is ridiculous; I think it's a totally ridiculous idea." I love being married to my wife -- she's the best thing that ever happened to me, but if she ever left me, I wouldn't do it again. Because it's crazy -- to spend your life with one person and not be totally driven crazy.
    From: (Anonymous) Date: March 26th, 2010 11:29 pm (UTC) (Link)

    Re: Hollywood Reporter interview

    Ok ill be the first to say but thats the strangest thing ive heard a married man say, whats wrong with spending your life with 1 person, alot of people do it and arent driven crazy - strange!!
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: March 27th, 2010 12:33 am (UTC) (Link)

    Re: Hollywood Reporter interview

    Matt's previous quote during interviews for Ultimatum was:

    When a reporter asked him recently if he liked being married, he said “F–k, no. It’s a ridiculous thing to do. But I like being married to her [Luciana]."
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: March 28th, 2010 03:19 am (UTC) (Link)

    Re: Hollywood Reporter interview

    Some interesting comments and perspectives about Matt's comment at Jezebel:

    From: (Anonymous) Date: March 27th, 2010 02:24 am (UTC) (Link)

    I think Matt is getting a bit overexposed

    I saw this marriage quote today and thought "Oh dear". Especially since he's getting his award tomorrow and this quote is starting to get some media play. The above comment about marriage from a couple of years ago came off much better than this most recent one for some reason - the original one seemed sweet. This most recent comment just seemed like something that should be kept to himself, especially since a zillion new celeb blogs have popped up since that last interview - and they are all looking for ANYTHING about a celeb that could drive traffic. A lot of people who didn't hear about his last comment may hear about this one.

    Probably not what he would like, especially with some blogs being flat-out misleading and declaring that "Matt Damon says marriage is ridiculous AND his wife drives him crazy"! A lot of comments I've seen so far think he owes his wife an apology. I can't say I disagree, even when the quote is in proper context and not taken out of context. It was basically an overshare and he's been doing a lot of that lately.

    And that's one thing I've wondered about Matt (hope no one takes offense; I'm a fan). Back in 2007 (in GQ?) he said something like he didn't "want to pimp out his infant daughter" to sell Bourne Ultimatum. Yet shortly after that and from then on, he seemingly talks about his family in almost every interview, often in great detail. While it's interesting as a fan to hear this slice of life, it seems to go against his oft-stated philosophy of "The more people know about you, the less likely they'll go see your movie". He used to say that all the time. He doesn't seem to say it anymore.

    With his very popular TV appearances on Letterman and Kimmel and Entourage, all of which have gotten millions of plays on YouTube (his imitation of Matthew McConaughey has more than 9 million views) I was recently starting to wonder if Matt has become a bit overexposed. I have no idea why his Sarah Palin comment (more than 7 million views on YouTube) still lingers with some people today, but it really does. It's shocking to think he could lose part of the movie-going public over that but I think he did. He doesn't help things when he comments on how President Obama is doing in office or whether SeaWorld should be closed. Just because people ask you questions - likely because they respect your intelligence - doesn't mean you have to answer. Even if this "marriage is ridiculous" comment doesn't gain traction, it's yet another comment where people are talking about him - and not his work.

    Also, since people can watch him on YouTube anytime, why go see a movie where he's the lead unless it's some big franchise piece they would go see anyway? To be fair, I don't think he's the only A-list person facing this dilemma.

    I think his smaller, more challenging movies are suffering from his overexposure. (Just because you're not in the tabloids doesn't mean you can't be overexposed in the mainstream media.) Because I'm starting to see a scenario where most moviegoers might like Matt Damon, but they'll just wait until he does something more mainstream than The Informant, Invictus, or Green Zone. They'll wait - because he'll pop up on TV somewhere in the interim anyway.(So sorry for the long post - I've been thinking about possible overexposure for Matt for a while now, which makes me curious about the reception for the slate of movies he has coming up in 2010.)
    From: (Anonymous) Date: March 27th, 2010 02:42 am (UTC) (Link)

    Re: I think Matt is getting a bit overexposed

    I agree with what you posted and its also something ive noticed over the last couple of years, i realy hope and i think she will that Lucy will take this comment as not an attack about there marriage, i dont think Matt would say something like this without Lucy knowing and understanding what he realy means, its there marriage and people do things differently, i just wish he would back away from the limelight and keep his family out of it like he used to.
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: March 27th, 2010 02:43 am (UTC) (Link)

    Re: I think Matt is getting a bit overexposed

    I haven't got time to respond to this in detail yet, so I'll just comment on one point.

    Compared to almost every other actor, he really says nothing about his family or children. He has about one public line that he sticks to (I play princesses/play doh/watch kids movies), but has never said anything personal about them, or given many updates. And he never volunteers it - he responds when he is asked a direct question.

    Really the only person he talks to about his family is Donna Freydkin at USA Today, and he avoids comments to everyone else. He says marriage is great, and the latest comment seems to be deliberate, but really he protects his family's privacy at all times. There have been no photos with the kids since they went to the Adjustment Bureau set. And other stars with their kids are literally photographed every day (Hugh, Ben, Jen).

    He's certainly not 'pimping out his kids' and has done a lot fewer interviews lately. He hasn't done a big magazine spread which was not water.org related since Bourne Ultimatum, and is doing fewer interviews with major papers. He participates in press junkets and smiles sweetly, but virtually no quotes are new and there's very little that's personal. Many of his more interesting quotes come from overseas interviews, where he seems to be less guarded, or they ask different questions.

    He's trying not to be overexposed on any media jaunt, and is almost absent on TV interviews. He's done Leno/Letterman and a morning show for the last few movies, which is really nothing. I think he's been avoiding the media wherever possible.

    The SeaWorld stuff gets him into trouble because he always answers every question he is asked, probably without thinking too much about it. He seems to have little understanding of how much his quotes can be repeated, and often expresses shock about how people care about his comments, and how much traction they have. He's just open enough to answer anything, and doesn't care what the response will be.

    I don't think he's over-sharing about his wife or children at all. And even the last comment is a variation of what he's said before, so I don't think it would be a surprise to Lucy at all. And it may be less a comment about Lucy and more about other marriages he's witnessed.

    Edited at 2010-03-27 02:48 am (UTC)
    From: (Anonymous) Date: March 27th, 2010 04:37 am (UTC) (Link)

    Re: I think Matt is getting a bit overexposed

    Original poster here, responding to a couple of things:

    Re: Matt's appearances on Leno/Letterman. The thing that's different about appearing on Leno and Letterman (and Kimmel) nowadays is that the appearances don't just fade away the next day as forgettable blips in a media blitz. They're posted permanently (and promoted, at least the Letterman/Kimmel ones are) on YouTube because Matt is known as being a good guest. Matt's recent Leno appearances were on Hulu until last month. His appearances on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart are still on Hulu.

    So people can watch these (fun/funny) clips over and over - and judging by the view counts, that's exactly what they do, especially in the US. It's great that these clips make it seem like Matt is a good guy and fun to watch on TV. But these appearances don't appear to be encouraging people to go see the actual movies he's in.

    I think you make a wonderful point that his interviews overseas seem more open - and it's mainly because of you that we have access to them! :-)

    However, I respectfully disagree that he doesn't talk about his wife and kids quite a bit now in interviews in the US. Yes, the children are not photographed often (which is why I made a distinction between being overexposed in the tabs and being overexposed in the mainstream media), But look at his most recent Letterman/Leno interviews as examples. On the recent Letterman interview, Matt brought up his wife and children when sharing a (long) anecdote about meeting Mandela. Dave didn't bring them up. This can all be seen on YouTube (see: "Matt Damon on Letterman HD 1080P Part 1", starting at 6:09 minutes in.)

    First, Matt twice mentioned he and his wife meeting Mandela. Then he mentioned the kids and Mandela. Then he mentioned Lucy - by name - again. Then he mentioned his "11 year old" and that her friends who were doing some kind of Mandela book report traveled with them. Then mentioned his two younger kids, by age. Then he mentioned "the two-year-old" again and how she could somehow tell Matt was nervous about meeting Mandela. Again, at no point did Dave ask about his family while he was giving all these anecdotes. Matt mentioned them without Dave bringing them up.

    On his December 2009 primetime Leno talk show interview, Matt spent a great deal of time on his weight gain, specifically how his wife was trying to gently hint his suits might not be fitting because he gained some weight. He also mentioned (for a laugh) Alexia saying "OK, Matty Fatty" when he called her to come to dinner. In fact, the archived Hulu interview segment was titled "Matty Fatty". (It's not archived on Hulu any longer since the Jay Leno primetime show is off the air.)

    I could also bring up some recent newspaper/internet examples, but this is getting too long. So I'll just say I believe the "He talks about his kids a lot more than he used to" suggestion is valid. I don't think he talks about his kids MORE than an average celeb-but I certainly don't think he talks about them less.

    We all don't have to have the same opinion on this. It's my feeling that he may be getting somewhat overexposed, and his comment today just sealed it for me. I certainly don't expect everyone will feel that way! Yes, Matt doesn't have to care what the response to his "openness" in the media will be; however, if it hurts/begins to hurt his box office (as I said, I'm sad that people STILL associate him with "attacking" Palin, who has a vocal and loyal fanbase of her own), then it closes off some of the opportunities/power he may currently have with his career.

    I'm not saying he's even close to going down the Tom Cruise path...but there's no denying Tom Cruise actions/comments off-camera really hurt Tom Cruise on-camera, in terms of business.
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: March 27th, 2010 08:30 am (UTC) (Link)

    Re: I think Matt is getting a bit overexposed

    On the Mandela story - Matt's being telling the same story since the Informant press, and then repeated it multiple times at the Invictus junket. It's one story that he repeated constantly, and even up to press this year.

    I think he has a couple of stories that he sticks to about his children and doesn't steer from it. The stories are told up to a hundred times each, probably to satisfy the media's need for a family story. But they're not original or particularly detailed - it's just something to please the press. So I don't think he's being open, but just providing the limited amount of information necessary.

    And I agree that Letterman/Leno appearances don't sell anyone on a movie - they just increase name awareness.

    I appreciate your comments and thoughtful answers, but I respectfully disagree that he talks about his family a lot, or more than usual. Basically his interviews don't interest me any more unless they contain comments about his family, and there's virtually nothing out there. If there is a new comment, I post it here, but many comments are probably made up or misconstrued by the media for lack of anything substantial.

    And if you think he's overexposed recently, that's definitely true in comparison to recent years. He's had three movies out in seven months when he didn't have any movies out for the previous two years. It would be easier in one sense if he chose to be Leo and made one movie every 18 months and partied in between.

    Edited at 2010-03-27 08:38 am (UTC)
    From: (Anonymous) Date: March 27th, 2010 04:19 pm (UTC) (Link)

    my 2 cents

    I agree that Matt gives a few general stories and refrains from specifics about his kids. For example, nowhere in that 'fatty Matty' story does he mention his stepdaughter's name. How he manages to do so well at keeping them from being photographed is beyond me. But, I'm happy about that fact and glad for him and them.

    I do have some concern about overexposure this year, just because he has so many projects coming out. To be a 'good' celebrity, you gotta go out there and push your movie. It's kind of silly, really, because so much of the financial success of a movie is based on marketing and advertising. And a certain percentage of Matt's movies will always struggle to find a large audience, because of his interest in challenging material. He doesn't go out and present himself the same way in movie after movie, like a Tom Cruise. Tom Cruise may have made buckets of money, but I doubt if Matt would trade places with him.

    From: (Anonymous) Date: April 13th, 2010 03:35 pm (UTC) (Link)


    I think he is over-saturating movie and TV screens. I'm actually getting tired of seeing him all the time...

    He needs to take a break with the movies, interviews, etc. Be the normal family man he claims to be...
    14 comments or Leave a comment