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Matt Damon News Column
Promised Land, water.org
  • Promised Land starts filming in Pittsburgh on Monday - the latest cast member is Titus Welliver. Matt and John Krasinski have recently been in the area rehearsing with director Gus Van Sant. Emily Blunt talked about the project to Philly.com:

    Although Emily Blunt - in theaters now in Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, and in theaters soon with The Five-Year Engagement - won't talk about her personal life with The Office's John Krasinski, she's happy to talk about her husband's professional pursuits.

    "John has a production company, and he has been quite an inspiration to me," the British actress says, by way of relating her own efforts to be "more assertive" and take control of her career, and the kinds of projects she gets to make.

    "John has written this script with Matt Damon, and Gus Van Sant is directing it, and that's kind of amazing - for him to write his first screenplay, and for Gus Van Sant to say, 'I love it, I'm doing it!'"

    The project, called Promised Land, is set to start shooting soon in the Pittsburgh area. It's about two corporate types - Damon and Krasinski - and the life upheavals that happen when they drop down on a small town. Rosemarie DeWitt, Hal Holbrook, and Frances McDormand also star.

  • Matt and Gary White recently met with journalists in Washington about water.org - a report is at the Washington Post. They were also interviewed by The Atlantic.

    Matt Damon came to The Atlantic last week to have dinner with a few of us (this sort of thing happens all the time) and I had the chance to sit down with him beforehand and talk about the cause that consumes much of his life: the hard-to-sell-but-indispensably-important issue of water -- specifically, ways to get clean, affordable water to hundreds of millions of people across the globe who suffer, and sometimes die, because their water is disease-ridden or prohibitively expense, or both.

    Damon is a co-founder, with the visionary water engineer Gary White, of Water.org, a leading NGO fighting for radical new ways to think about what is a solvable problem. (You can read about Water.org, and find some very alarming statistics, at its website, here. One such statistic: 3.5 million people die each year from water-related diseases, which of course is especially atrocious because humankind already knows how to make dirty water clean, and how to deliver water to large numbers of people. Water.org is not focused on digging charity wells, but on implementing market-based strategies to help poor people pool their resources in ways that would make utilities interested in serving their neighborhoods and villages.)

    Damon, as many people know, supported President Obama the last time around, but has become a critic for a range of reasons. One of those reasons is what some people might call the Obama administration's incomplete devotion to the cause of poverty- and disease-alleviation in Africa and elsewhere. This was a main topic of our conversation, which was joined by Gary White and Chevanee Reavis, of Water.org, as well as The Atlantic's editor, James Bennet.

  • For more on water.org, the organisation's 2011 Annual Report has just been released, and includes one new photo of Matt and Gary in Haiti from January. It also includes a list of all donors, including Lucy and Matt.

  • Michael Douglas says Behind the Candelabra will film in July.

    It should be a lot of fun," Douglas said, adding that he's looking forward to working with Matt Damon and director Steven Soderbergh when the biopic Behind the Candelabra begins filming in July. He also revealed that he'll be undergoing intense hair and makeup sessions each day to be transformed into Liberace.

  • Additional shooting on Elysium will start on 1 May, according to OLTV.
  • 35 comments or Leave a comment
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: April 21st, 2012 02:18 am (UTC) (Link)


    John Krasinski's in Pittsburgh at the NHL game and Matt's still in NY:

    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: April 22nd, 2012 02:35 am (UTC) (Link)

    Promised Land party

    The opening party for Promised Land is being held tonight in Pittsburgh - Matt, John and Emily are supposedly there.

    Pic of John, Emily and Gus at the party:

    Edited at 2012-04-22 04:35 am (UTC)
    From: (Anonymous) Date: April 22nd, 2012 05:07 am (UTC) (Link)

    Re: Promised Land party

    Is Matt really there? He was spotted in ny earlier today but he could be in pgh by now. Wait and see if a pic shows I guess.
    Re: Promised Land - (Anonymous) - Expand
    Re: Promised Land - (Anonymous) - Expand
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: April 24th, 2012 07:49 pm (UTC) (Link)

    Press release on film

    Character name details revealed in a press release announcing the start of filming, which includes a quote by John on the film and a vague release date of next winter:

    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: April 27th, 2012 09:36 am (UTC) (Link)

    People Speak

    There's a screening of The People Speak in Pittsburgh on Monday night which will be hosted by Chris Moore. If filming's on schedule Matt would be likely to attend.


    Filming seems to be going well and crew members on Twitter seem to be loving the easy set and short days.

    Edited at 2012-04-27 09:38 am (UTC)
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: April 29th, 2012 09:00 am (UTC) (Link)

    Location unknown

    Alleged sightings of Matt since Friday night: Philadelphia, Boston and now Vancouver.
    From: (Anonymous) Date: April 29th, 2012 01:09 pm (UTC) (Link)

    Re: Location unknown

    Is this for real?


    I saw the Philly sighting Friday night. I haven't seen anything since then. Hopefully he can attend the water.org event this week.

    I feel like a detective sometimes trying to figure out where he's at.
    Re: Location unknown - (Anonymous) - Expand
    Re: Location unknown - (Anonymous) - Expand
    From: (Anonymous) Date: May 1st, 2012 12:01 am (UTC) (Link)

    Entertainment tonight

    They just had a brief promo (snippet of the interview) with Scott Thorson on ET. Apparently he'll be interviewed about his relationship with Liberace on the show tomorrow. I would think it is a certainty that the movie will come up.
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: May 1st, 2012 03:37 am (UTC) (Link)

    Re: Entertainment tonight

    Thanks Paula. That explains the random references to the film on Twitter. It was Thorson's first interview after being released from prison. He liked that two movie stars are doing the film and his only suggestion for Matt was to make Michael smile and be happy.


    Matt didn't attend the People Speak screening in Delmont.

    Edited at 2012-05-01 11:23 am (UTC)
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: May 1st, 2012 12:54 pm (UTC) (Link)

    Matt on set

    A photo of Matt with Worthington Pa mayor Kevin Feeney is at the link. There's also some more details about the plot of Promised Land:

    From: (Anonymous) Date: May 2nd, 2012 01:43 pm (UTC) (Link)
    So, all the news about the alleged purchase of a property in California, are false?
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: May 2nd, 2012 02:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
    Probably. It's more likely a property would be rented for the period of the upcoming Liberace film rather than purchased.
    (no subject) - (Anonymous) - Expand
    (no subject) - (Anonymous) - Expand
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: May 2nd, 2012 10:16 pm (UTC) (Link)

    Set photos

    Photos from the set (ignore the comments) and note the links to the upstate NY trip last year with John:


    Another report and photo:


    Edited at 2012-05-03 11:49 am (UTC)
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: May 3rd, 2012 02:15 am (UTC) (Link)

    Gary Ross projects

    From: (Anonymous) Date: May 3rd, 2012 02:42 pm (UTC) (Link)

    Re: Gary Ross projects

    It's a sad commentary that Hollywood has become so teen-oriented that they have to try to turn a man as genuinely fascinating as Houdini into a superhero in order to make a movie about him. Like Edgar Allen Poe wasn't bad enough! Geeze, in this environment how can Matt ever get a good movie made? I despair.
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: May 3rd, 2012 10:20 am (UTC) (Link)

    Education support

    A photo of Matt and Nancy on the set of Zoo promoting an education magazine, and a letter from the editor of the magazine thanking Matt for his financial support:

    From: (Anonymous) Date: May 3rd, 2012 09:11 pm (UTC) (Link)

    Elysium filming

    Nice story about Matt and she mentions that he will be in vancouver next week.


    Matt seems to still be in Pittsburgh so it doesn't look like he'll be at the water.org event.
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: May 3rd, 2012 09:42 pm (UTC) (Link)

    Re: Elysium filming

    Thanks for the post
    From: (Anonymous) Date: August 1st, 2014 01:27 am (UTC) (Link)


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