Ferguson: It cost about $2 million, of which Sony provided just over half.
L: So then, by definition, Matt Damon did not get the fee that he would have gotten had he been acting in a feature film?
F: Mr. Damon took a rather substantial pay cut from his usual rate.
L: Tell us how you came together with him?
F: We asked him, and he said yes. You know, it really was that simple. It turned out that he had seen my first film while he was preparing for his role in a feature film he made called "Green Zone," which is a political thriller which takes place in occupied Iraq. And he had seen my first documentary, and liked it. And so when we came calling he knew who we were and was favorably disposed. He was an incredibly great guy to work with. He's very smart, he was totally not arrogant. He was wonderful. He had very good suggestions for the narration, some of which we incorporated into the narration. We needed him a second time to bring the film a little bit up to date. A few months later, he went into a sound studio in Miami and let us record him again.
L: How much time did it take the first time, his first session? How long did that take?
F: Only a few hours. We...
L: A few hours?
F: Yes. Because he's so astonishingly good at his job. We had budgeted two full days, two 10-hour days is what we had budgeted and what we had, with some difficulty dealing with his rather fierce lawyer, gotten him/them to agree to. But it turned out that he got everything right the first time.
F: And this is not easy because the issue is timing. He can't just say things. Well, he has to say them in exactly the quantity of time allotted before the next sequence starts or whatever, or before the music starts. And he got things right the first time, almost every time. So, he's good at his job.
Q: Now that you’re finishing up “Carnage,” what’s next?
Foster: I’m about to start this film “Elysium.” I start in August. It’s directed by Neil Blomkamp, who made “District 9.” Matt Damon is in it. It’s sci-fi—very different from “The Beaver.”
Matt Damon: "He was far and away the best guest spot on 'Will & Grace.' He was game for anything and we had a blast with it."