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Matt Damon News Column
The People Speak, Promised Land
  • Matt, John Krasinski, Emily Blunt, Frances McDormand and Rosemarie DeWitt participated in a performance of The People Speak readings last week in the Pittburgh area. The performance was filmed, and although the event was not publicised, there were 200 invited guests in the audience. Presenter Lynn Allen discussed the performance during her radio show - available here.

  • There's a new report a the Chicago Tribune on Matt's visit in January to Englewood High School and the school's Voices of a People's History project.

    This is all part of a bold experiment that began in September and was highlighted by a visit to the school by Damon, who came to observe, perhaps inspire and raise some money. He was only here for one day, but the project has continued in quiet fashion, culminating Thursday night at an event billed as "Englewood Speaks."

    Damon is deeply committed to this effort, orchestrated by an organization called Voices of a People's History (peopleshistory.us), based on the work of author/activist/teacher Howard Zinn, in particular his influential book, 1980's "A People's History of the United States." This and many of his other books detail the country's history through the words of people one does not ordinarily encounter in conventional academic texts.

    Some of those kids will be onstage Thursday night when "Englewood Speaks" happens at 6 p.m. The show takes place at the school, at 6201 S. Stewart Ave. It is free and open to the public.

    "Yes, I have a career and a family, but this is such a real and important part of my life," Damon said. "It is bigger than me, bigger than all of us. Howard said, 'Democracy does not come from the top. It comes from the bottom.' My hope is that what we have started in Chicago will become a living thing."

  • A series of articles by local Heather Rae Scott on the filming of Promised Land in Apollo is available at her website. A video from CBS Pittsburgh about the making of the film and the gas drilling debate is at CBS Local. In the report, the film is claimed to be neutral on the fracking issue. And a photo of Matt, John and Gus van Sant on the set of the film is in this clip from an interview with Josh Brolin on Jimmy Kimmel's show.

  • A brief interview with Matt backstage at the Charlie Rose show is available here, with thanks to Paula.

  • A photo of Matt with actor Brandon Auret on the set of Elysium in Vancouver recently is at Brandon's Twitter.
  • 22 comments or Leave a comment
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: May 30th, 2012 02:31 am (UTC) (Link)

    Tom Brady

    Hundreds of useless references on twitter today relate to a new Funny or die skit with Tom Brady - a story is at Us magazine:

    Promised Land is filming around Delmont and Slickville for probably the rest of the shoot, which continues over the weekend til next Monday.
    From: (Anonymous) Date: May 30th, 2012 08:44 pm (UTC) (Link)



    Makes sense he'll be doing this since he'll be doing liberace over the summer. Isn't this in connection with don cheadle's charity?
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: May 30th, 2012 09:33 pm (UTC) (Link)

    Re: Wsop

    That's a really vague article which doesn't refer to Cheadle's Ante up for Africa charity. We will wait and see.
    From: (Anonymous) Date: June 1st, 2012 12:32 am (UTC) (Link)

    The Bourne rip-off

    Have you seen the latest trailer? I find it unintentionally hilarious.

    - the motorcycle shot is an overt theft from Ultimatun, but then they give it a stupid teen-friendly twist by making the bike go down the handrail!

    - they mention Bourne's name more than Aaron Cross, the presumed lead character. They even show Matt's picture! (They better be paying Matt for that.)

    - Renner jumps off a multi-story building and lands flat on his feet, like, "ta-da!"

    - a shot taken from below showing the character crossing high girders is ridiculously fake.

    - the scenes depicting Cross's training are taken from Ultimatum (but were better done there).

    - they rip-off the Ultimatum idea of intervweaving one movie with another by showing the character's actions when a previous movie was happening.

    - and there's going to be hell to pay when Bourne finds out Renner stole his clothes!

    All in all, it looks like exactly what we expected. An overt cash grab designed to resemble the other movies (particularly Ultimatum) as closely as possible.

    I'll be sad to see it make a mint, which I know it probably will. Universal is desperate to have a hit and will throw everything into it.
    From: (Anonymous) Date: June 1st, 2012 02:00 am (UTC) (Link)

    Re: The Bourne rip-off

    Well, I like the English actor Jeremy Renner, and very much like Edward Norton - who always makes a good villian. I don't like it much that they are ripping off Paul Greengrass/Matt Damon's Ultimatum. I think that the public will see it for what it is -- an outrageously, expensively made movie that is a cheap thrill.

    Shame on Universal -- shame on Tony Gilroy, most especially for taking credit for Ultimatum's writing and then having someone else do re-writes to make it cinema worthy.
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: June 1st, 2012 02:45 am (UTC) (Link)

    Re: The Bourne rip-off

    I don't think Renner is British.

    I have managed to avoid the teaser and I will not look at the new trailer. I would have loved Matt to have the rights over his character to protect his image being used. I hope he doesn't do a cameo.

    The reviews from test screenings have been positive - it will be a hit.

    Edited at 2012-06-01 02:54 am (UTC)
    From: (Anonymous) Date: June 1st, 2012 03:53 am (UTC) (Link)

    Re: The Bourne rip-off

    Renner is American. I found it interesting that in an obvious effort to build up Renner's beefcake quotient, there was a shot of him emerging from the water shirtless. It's the kind of cheap exploitation Matt would NEVER have allowed for Bourne. It puts the focus on the actor rather than the ideas.

    I also think it's obvious from the frequent mentions of Bourne in the trailer they're trying to confuse the public into thinking that Matt makes a cameo in this movie. I've even seen some comments to that effect on twitter.

    When this movie comes out I intend to be very busy elsewhere and avoid the media.

    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: June 1st, 2012 06:53 am (UTC) (Link)

    Re: The Bourne rip-off

    And there was confirmation from a review linked/posted on Hollywood Elsewhere today that Matt's not in the movie (and he's not needed to be).
    From: (Anonymous) Date: June 1st, 2012 03:01 pm (UTC) (Link)

    Re: The Bourne rip-off

    And there are still going to be people still thinking Matt makes a cameo. I guess they needed him in the trailer to lure the audience.

    I have avoided the trailer also and I hope the twitter talk dies down. Already tired of it.
    From: (Anonymous) Date: June 1st, 2012 08:58 pm (UTC) (Link)

    Re: The Bourne rip-off

    "And he's not needed to be"? What are you saying (or the review is saying) that it's fine without him? That would be sad.
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: June 2nd, 2012 12:57 am (UTC) (Link)

    Re: The Bourne rip-off

    That's what the review appeared to be saying.
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: June 1st, 2012 02:47 am (UTC) (Link)

    Promised Land candid

    A photo of Matt in the former West Mifflin high school cafeteria during lunch break on the film today, with Gus van Sant and Hal Holbrook in the background:


    The wrap party for the film is on Saturday.

    Edited at 2012-06-01 02:49 am (UTC)
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: June 2nd, 2012 12:30 pm (UTC) (Link)

    Photos from the set

    Matt and John took lots of photos with fans on the second day of filming on Friday (they wrapped on Saturday).

    Here's Matt and John on set:

    And Matt meeting a visiting dog:

    No sign of Matt at the wrap party yet.

    Edited at 2012-06-03 02:18 am (UTC)
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: June 3rd, 2012 04:09 am (UTC) (Link)

    Bourne similarities

    Similarities between Ultimatum and Legacy via a tumblr post:


    Edited at 2012-06-03 04:10 am (UTC)
    From: (Anonymous) Date: June 3rd, 2012 01:23 pm (UTC) (Link)

    Re: Bourne similarities

    The trailer made it obvious that it's an overt rip-off of Ultimatum, including the cinematography, stunts, and even Renner's costume.
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: June 5th, 2012 12:53 am (UTC) (Link)

    New GWH DVD

    To mark 15 years since GWH, a DVD will be released with new interviews and retrospectives:


    Lionsgate Aug. 21 will release Good Will Hunting: 15th Anniversary Edition on Blu-ray ($14.99).

    Extras include the exclusive four-part featurette “Reflecting on a Journey: Good Will Hunting 15 Years Later,” which presents never-before-seen retrospective interviews with Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Robin Williams, Gus Van Sant, Chris Moore and Kevin Smith, as they remember the making of the film and its success.

    Also included is a new interview with Damon discussing his experience of making the film that launched his and Affleck’s careers.

    Other extras include a commentary with director Van Sant and actor-writers Damon and Affleck, behind-the-scene footage and deleted scenes.
    From: (Anonymous) Date: June 5th, 2012 10:31 pm (UTC) (Link)

    Re: New GWH DVD

    I wonder if the commentary is the same one available with the original DVD. Probably so. It's very interesting.
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: June 6th, 2012 12:55 am (UTC) (Link)

    Re: New GWH DVD

    I think it would be.

    In irrelevant awards news, Matt's nominated for two 'Big Daddy Awards':
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: June 6th, 2012 03:13 am (UTC) (Link)


    Matt is apparently doing press interviews in Boston tomorrow ahead of the cancer charity event on Thursday.

    The next Vanity Fair has the pic of all Paramount stars that was shot in LA months ago - Matt may have been there (aka the mysterious visit to LA).

    Update: ET did a preview of the photo and it doesn't look like Matt was there - full details on Wednesday's show.

    Edited at 2012-06-06 10:25 am (UTC)
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: June 7th, 2012 11:03 pm (UTC) (Link)

    Boston event

    Pics from the MGH charity event:

    http://twitpic.com/9twbox (Kent and Celeste behind Matt)
    susantran: #MattDamon talks about the #TomBrady video. And what he says about his own #Boston accent. #7News twitpic.com/9twbox

    No sign of Lucy so far.


    Edited at 2012-06-07 11:42 pm (UTC)
    From: (Anonymous) Date: June 8th, 2012 12:06 am (UTC) (Link)

    Re: Boston event

    In this pic to matt's left I can see Kent and Celeste. There's a woman standing next to Celeste that could be Lucy but it's just not clear enough to see.

    Ian Zweig
    At MGH 100 #boston. Matt Damon saying thank you. pic.twitter.com/Np3Xe7h4
    6:49pm - 7 Jun 12

    On a superficial note Matt looks kind of tired. Hopefully he gets some rest before liberate starts
    From: (Anonymous) Date: June 8th, 2012 04:15 am (UTC) (Link)

    Re: Boston event

    Don't think Lucy was there. Saw a pic from red carpet and it's Matt with Kent & Celeste. But who knows we'll know soon enough.

    I believe I wrongly identified celeste in the pic I linked in the above post. Same color dress but not her. But I do believe that is indeed kent.
    22 comments or Leave a comment