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Matt Damon News Column
Oscars, set photos
  • Update: True Grit received ten nominations at the Academy Awards, but Matt wasn't nominated. Inside Job received a nomination for Best Documentary and Hereafter received a nomination for Best Visual Effects. The nominations for True Grit:

    Best Motion Picture of the Year, Best Actor (Jeff Bridges), Best Supporting Actress (Hailee Steinfeld), Art Direction (Jess Gonchor), Cinematography (Roger Deakins), Directing (Joel and Ethan Coen), Costume Design (Mary Zophres), Sound Editing (Skip Livesay and Craig Berkey), Sound Mixing (Skip Lievsay, Craig Berkey, Greg Orloff and Peter F. Kurland), Adapted Screenplay (Joel and Ethan Coen)

  • More photos of Matt on the set of We bought a zoo with Thomas Haden Church are at Zimbio.

  • The Coens talked about casting Matt at The Vine:

    Matt Damon plays LaBoeuf, the talkative Texas Ranger who rides with Cogburn and Mattie on the trail of Tom Chaney and the gang of outlaws he’s with. Damon is a leading man in his own right but he’s also a character actor who takes pride in losing himself in a role.

    “We had seen Matt in The Departed and it was one of those kinds of roles where he was playing a character that wasn’t the classic The Green Zone character he does so well,” says Joel. “He wasn’t the leading man or Bourne Identity guy.

    “He’s a guy that we’ve wanted to work with for a long time because he’s great, a very interesting actor. I think Ethan suggested him first of all, very early on.”

    Brolin had worked with the Coen Brothers before, on their Oscar winning drama No Country For Old Men. “Once we thought of Jeff for Rooster we couldn’t think of anybody else because he was so perfect. And Matt was the same,” says Ethan.

  • Matt discussed early encounters with the Coen brothers and Jeff Bridges in an interview with Martyn Palmer at The Canberra Times, not available online.

    Matt: "I have a lot of friends who have worked with them - George, Brad, Billy Bob. I went to visit Billy a few times [on the set of The Man Who Wasn't There] and you talk to crew members, guys like Roger (Deakins), and they all say, 'You really should work with Joel and Ethan, you would love them'."

    Damon had never worked with Jeff Bridges before, although, as he recalls, he did get the chance to read with him some 15 years ago.

    "I knew Jeff's work, obviously, and was a big, big, fan. I reminded him that I'd once auditioned with him. He was reading for potential sidekicks for the movie Wild Bill and I had worked with (director) Walter Hill, and so I got to come in and read with Jeff Bridges, which was great.

    "He was very nice to me. He, of course, didn't remember because he's probably read with 100 guys but that was my one Jeff Bridges encounter. So it was great to work with Jeff and to see him in action.

    "I feel like a lot of actors approach their work out of a place of darkness, and I think that's a very effective way to do it and a lot of great performances have been created that way, but I think there are other actors who come predominantly out of a place of joy, and that to me is Jeff. The environment is just joyful when he's working - we had a lot of fun and I laughed a lot."
  • 15 comments or Leave a comment
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: January 25th, 2011 11:26 am (UTC) (Link)

    Los Feliz filming

    Found via a Twitter link: http://twitter.com/lorange

    All the details of the filming of We Bought A Zoo in Los Feliz from Monday to Wednesday via the local council:


    I like these lines:
    With your support this movie is keeping over two hundred people employed in the City of Los Angeles, as well as helping to keep filming in California. As one of those people I want to thank you.
    From: (Anonymous) Date: January 25th, 2011 11:50 am (UTC) (Link)

    Thanks for posting the pics!

    The picture in the blue car: he looks "Bourne" ready.
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: January 25th, 2011 12:25 pm (UTC) (Link)

    Re: Thanks for posting the pics!

    I was thinking Green Zone - that's why I posted it. Kind of a flashback photo.

    Lots of photos available at Zimbio - including fun ones with Thomas Haden Church, and even Matt seemingly holding a stranger's (cute) baby.

    Update: here's the story about the random stranger and Matt holding the baby (with photos):

    Edited at 2011-01-25 03:23 pm (UTC)
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: January 25th, 2011 02:03 pm (UTC) (Link)


    Comments? For those monitoring The Town - it received only one nomination, for Jeremy Renner (echoing exactly Gone Baby Gone, which received a supporting nomination for Amy Ryan). With True Grit receiving 10 nominations, Matt must have been close to being nominated.

    Inside Job should have a good chance as its usual competition, Waiting for Superman and The Tillman Story, weren't nominated. The biggest name competition now appears to be Banksy's 'Exit Through The Gift Shop'.

    I would expect Matt to attend: a) to support True Grit and b) to present with Emily Blunt (Adjustment Bureau opens only a week later).


    Edited at 2011-01-25 02:10 pm (UTC)
    From: (Anonymous) Date: January 25th, 2011 03:04 pm (UTC) (Link)
    It's like Departed.True Grit has many nominations but none for Matt.
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: January 25th, 2011 03:26 pm (UTC) (Link)


    There are a lot of similarities between True Grit and The Departed. Surprise hits which turn out to be the biggest of the director's career. Supporting nomination and lead nomination get all the attention, bypassing Matt. Departed comes up late for a surprise Best Picture win. Hope that holds.

    Another nice Best Picture nomination for Matt after Good Will Hunting, Saving Private Ryan and The Departed.

    Edited at 2011-01-25 03:51 pm (UTC)
    From: (Anonymous) Date: January 25th, 2011 09:00 pm (UTC) (Link)

    Re: Parallels

    I was disappointed both for Matt and for Ben. I thought The Town had a shot at best picture. Bloggers seemed to assume that Matt was "on the bubble". It would have been great to see them both there, nominated for different projects.

    But being passed over this year will maybe improve his chances some other year.

    Hope that the Matt/Emily pairing happens.

    So, since Matt's breakthrough in 1998 he's been in four movies nominated for best picture. And The Talented Mr Ripley really should have been there, too. Not bad!

    From: (Anonymous) Date: January 26th, 2011 12:45 am (UTC) (Link)

    Re: Parallels

    I feel the same way P, I wasn't super surprised that Matt wasn't nominated, but it's still disappointing ;( I always get my hopes up!!

    Some new pictures have been added on Zimbio of Matt filming with the two child actors (and doesn't the boy actually look like he could be Matt's son?!)

    I love this shoot - we get new pictures every day!

    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: January 26th, 2011 03:15 am (UTC) (Link)

    Re: Parallels

    Having now seen True Grit, I'm amazed Matt was even in contention. He had, maybe, four substantive scenes? And he never tried to overplay it or make it a comic spot - just played it straight. You can barely compare the size or scope of that role with Bale, Rush, Ruffalo etc.

    Video from today's shoot in Los Feliz:

    Once the filming moves to the ranch I'm sure we'll get virtually no coverage, so this is great while it lasts. More photos likely tomorrow.

    The boy is Colin Ford, who tweeted today:
    @Colinfordactor: Matt Damon us an amazing actor I am so happy to be working with him!

    Edited at 2011-01-26 03:18 am (UTC)
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: January 27th, 2011 01:26 am (UTC) (Link)

    Re: Parallels

    From: (Anonymous) Date: January 27th, 2011 08:04 am (UTC) (Link)

    Re: Parallels

    I totally agree - I'm very surprised that he could have been in contention for supporting actor considering the size of his role. I saw True Grit today and while I loved it and was blown away by how good Hallie Steinfeld's performance was, I was disappointed Matt wasn't in it more.
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: January 27th, 2011 09:03 am (UTC) (Link)

    Re: Parallels

    I think I built up his performance so much (at least from the publicity involvement, chatter etc), I presumed his role would be much larger. He filmed for six weeks for those few scenes?

    He even filmed Hereafter in a total of 19 days, and I'm presuming that role is more significant.

    Hailee was great. I thought Matt needed a couple more decent scenes to flesh out his character.
    From: (Anonymous) Date: January 28th, 2011 12:50 am (UTC) (Link)

    Re: Parallels

    It was less than I expected as well...but he was so good! And actors have won/been nominated for Oscars for even less screen time, though its rare. It was a good/competitive year for performances...
    And don't worry, he's in Hereafter much more I promise!
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: January 28th, 2011 01:01 am (UTC) (Link)

    Re: Parallels

    Thanks G. Hereafter opens here in only two weeks (I think it's getting mostly pretty bad reviews in the UK at the moment).
    From: (Anonymous) Date: January 28th, 2011 03:19 am (UTC) (Link)

    Re: Parallels

    The UK gives bad reviews to everyone. Their press people are insane...I mean, um, lovely, ahem.
    15 comments or Leave a comment