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 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.
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.