TITUS WELLIVER: She passed away a few months ago of breast cancer. I had just gotten cast in Promised Land, when she was really sick. I told her, “I won’t do this movie. I’ll go to Switzerland,” where she was being treated. She told me, “No, it’s important you do this film.” The entire time I was shooting the film, she was in Switzerland. I got incredible support from Matt and John and Gus. She was starting to show some enormous progress. She came back and was doing well, and then she wasn’t. She was 52-years-old and the love of my life. The movie has a particular weight for me. It’s a tribute when I saw the film. It’s a tribute to her. What a gift in a way she gave me. It was such an incredible experience to work with Matt and Gus.
Did you go to the premiere of the movie?
Going to the premiere of Promised Land, and sitting through that film, was difficult. My wife was right on every level about the film. For her not to be able to see the finished product, it hit hard. Both Matt and John, they were surprised when I showed up. I had been kind of hunkered down. I emerged with this wild beard and long hair. I had been focused on taking care of my daughter. That was my first outing. They created this blanket of warmth around me, but in a very subtle way. I haven’t seen Matt or John since the night of the screening. I’ve been getting circuitous information through friends. I’ve been in a news blackout.
What’s your take on fracking, with heated debate about it from both sides, and the movie prompting even more debate?
I’m anti fracking, but I see the movie as a Capra-esque film. It’s kind of like It’s A Wonderful Life, about people in real life situations. You get to take this journey with Matt’s character, and see him do an about face. His acting is so nuanced and lovely. Even when he’s pushing the agenda of the fracking thing, he’s so full of truth. So when he comes to the place of saying, “I can’t do this anymore,” you want to stand up in your chair like Rocky. The issue of fracking is a stick in the hornet’s nest. Even though it’s a film about people and personal growth, it’s dealing with something that’s a big battle in this country.
You’ve now worked with both Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, and on all three feature films Affleck has directed. Plan to continue to streak?
... Likewise, I look forward to working with Matt and John again. I had very little stuff to do with Matt in Promised Land. I look forward to having more screen time with him. He’s like Ben. He has a great great big brain, and incredible generosity of spirit, just huge. Sometimes that’s few and far between.
3. Behind the Candelabra, HBO: The clips for this Liberace movie from Steven Soderbergh and starring Michael Douglas and Matt Damon were jaw-dropping -- in a good way. Probably a great way. (May)
Matt: “My favorite (movie) outfit was always my green Speedo in ‘Ripley,’ but for (this one) I had a black and white bejeweled ‘man-kini.’ That, I think, surpasses (‘The Talented Mr. Ripley’ bathing suit).”
Damon joked that he would’ve taken his bejeweled mankini if he could have. “You’re not allowed to take those just in case there are reshoots, otherwise there’d already be paparazzi shots of me on the beach.”