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Matt Damon News Column
Berlin premiere
  • Matt, John Krasinski and Gus Van Sant attended a snowy Berlin Film Festival premiere of Promised Land on Friday. Reports from the press conference and interviews are at Indiewire, Yahoo. Le Figaro, RP Online ("A fine fellow") and Deadline. Photos are at Yahoo, Stern, Red Carpet Hell and PopSugar. Photos of Matt's dinner with George Clooney on Wednesday are at PopSugar

    As for “Promised Land,” Damon admitted that the film had not done well in the U.S., but that he and co-writer John Krasinski and director Gus Van Sant still believed in it, and wouldn’t change it. He remains hopeful: "I've had movies bomb worse than this one and then actually make their money back." He suggested that time may tell, in terms of both finances and the film’s reception. “We’ll probably know more in ten or fifteen years.”

  • More comments by Steven Soderbergh about Behind the Candelabra are at Collider and Indiewire, including confirmation it will be broadcast on HBO in late May, and that the running time is just under two hours.

    So I guess it ends with 'Candelabra' this summer. People are likely expecting a funny, campy thing.
    Soderbergh: Yeah it's not. There's funny stuff in it but it's very emotional and I think they'll be surprised at where it lands. It certainly surprised me when I read the book the way the book landed.The tone is very reality-based, it's just a crazy environment they are in, but halfway through the movie you kind of forget the whole gay thing because it’s just the same conversations everybody has. It's just they’re wearing really crazy clothes.

    It must be nice to end it all with Matt Damon and Michael Douglas again.
    Yeah, it really felt like we got the band back together and really it was fun to do. It was harder for them than it was for me in the sense that they both at certain points had to spend a lot of time in the makeup chair and there wasn't a very long schedule so the page counts could be high on certain days. In the case of Michael there was a lot of rehearsal for all of the music stuff. It was a brief but very intense period but it was really fun.

    Are we going to see this at Cannes?
    I don't know, I hope so, that would be great. But they don't announce that stuff until like March or April. We’ll see it here in May, the end of May.

    Your next film, if you will, is with Michael Douglas and Matt Damon all of us are very excited about, we all want to see it, what is the length of that one?
    SODERBERGH: It’s like 1:50; it’s under 2:00.

    What was it like making that story?
    SODERBERGH: Fun, really fun, because it had a lot of meaning for all of us by the time it happened because it was Michael and Matt, it was for whatever period of time it’s the last thing that I’m going to do and we had to postpone it because Michael got sick. So getting to do it meant a lot by the time we got there and so it was really fun. The good thing, as stupid as it sounds to talk about, whatever this break is that I’m on, it was great knowing that that was the last one for a while because I really appreciated everything about it every day, in a way that you never would if you had something coming up nine months later. I really was able to kind of- you know, the people that I work with are my crew, like Greg Jacobs, I got an opportunity to know like this is the last time that I’m going to see these people for a while. That made it nice, to know that instead of suddenly you just disappear and everybody’s like, “what happened?” I was able to express my appreciation to people because I knew this was going to be it for a while.
  • 36 comments or Leave a comment
    From: (Anonymous) Date: February 9th, 2013 03:15 am (UTC) (Link)


    Wonder if matt made it out of Frankfurt airport? Conditions in New York appear to be bad and I heard on news planes have been grounded and flights cancelled. He might be stranded.

    I noticed on the pics of him on the red carpet he's wearing a black (braided?) bracelet. I've seen him wear this before in the lax pics of him a few wks ago with Lucy & girls. Does anybody know significance? He usually doesn't wear bracelets.
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: February 9th, 2013 03:22 am (UTC) (Link)

    Re: Various

    He has worn the bracelet since Christmas (even in the Kimmel skits).

    Matt took photos and sent a message on his blackberry before both the press conference and main photos on the premiere red carpet. He has said before in an interview that he takes a photo of the scene for Alexia.

    Edited at 2013-02-09 04:10 am (UTC)
    Re: Various - (Anonymous) - Expand
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: February 9th, 2013 06:24 am (UTC) (Link)


    An interview with the Morgenpost:

    What brings you in spite of the weather in February in the Berlinale?

    The atmosphere is relaxed, not as hectic as the other big festivals. And it's just more fun. Maybe it's because with us the Oscar race is already over, and the people in Hollywood are all so burnt out and not come. The few who have come to know, why is it so great, and enjoy it. Maybe it feels but also just for me to like that because I love Berlin so.

    Photos (and a story on the lack of women at the Festival so far:

    During the premiere you could hear Matt being interviewed at one point and saying it was a boys night out without their wives there.

    Another good report:

    Edited at 2013-02-09 09:06 pm (UTC)
    From: (Anonymous) Date: February 9th, 2013 10:04 am (UTC) (Link)
    All these pics are great especially the first one, and i bet he misses his family when he is away, hes always taking about them now, so sweet

    Thank you for the amazing updates
    From: (Anonymous) Date: February 9th, 2013 11:11 am (UTC) (Link)


    It's the most beautiful set of Matt's pics I've saw! He is wonderful on each one.
    Watch German TV and saw the trailer of Promised Land: Matt and John speaking German: fun!
    I think many people see Promised Land as a movie about fracking and especially against fracking, and yet Matt always says it's a movie about people. It's seems like nobody feels really that in the movie and maybe it's a reason why it's doesn't done well. What do you think about that? Is it right or I fail?
    4mattdamon From: 4mattdamon Date: February 9th, 2013 12:14 pm (UTC) (Link)

    Re: PHOTOS

    B. I'm completely with you on the photos! Great moments! I like seeing him with the fans too.
    I saw PROMISED LAND 3x in the states. I never for a minute thought it was a movie about fracking. Fracking happens to be the "conflict" in the story. It could have been Walmart, Wind Energy, or any myriad of subject matters that involve a corporation coming into a rural place and monopolizing. In this case its the fictional co. Global Solutions which hsppens to be in the business of natural gas. Natural gas worked because it comes in the form of a corporation whose business is alternative and controversial. So you've got corporation and questionable product as the conflict. The story is about the actions of the corp, their intentions, the man they send in (played by Matt), and how he and the town are affected by the decision being presented as a monetary option for people who could benefit financially.

    My Rotten Tomato Review:
    Social commentary about community, place, identity, and taking care of something. On the opposite side of corporate America lies democracy and the lives of people who are affected. A man who says he was one of them is forced to face himself and realizes he's "not a bad guy" being one of them. A+ acting, storytelling, music.

    Edited at 2013-02-09 12:40 pm (UTC)
    Re: PHOTOS - (Anonymous) - Expand
    From: (Anonymous) Date: February 9th, 2013 11:15 am (UTC) (Link)

    Dog tag

    I forgot to ask: what is a "dog tag"? Is it the jewell he always wear around his neck?
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: February 9th, 2013 11:22 am (UTC) (Link)

    Re: Dog tag

    It's a necklace with mock military 'dog tags' with an inscription from Lucy and the names and birth dates (I think) of their kids.

    Something like this:
    Re: Dog tag - (Anonymous) - Expand
    II0___0II From: II0___0II Date: February 9th, 2013 01:55 pm (UTC) (Link)

    Berlin premiere

    Wow...Love the photos! (specially the black & whites)
    Berlin looks so beautiful with all that snow..
    The European media made a good coverage of the premiere. I saw a couple of interesting articles.

    Do you know if the suit that Matt wore on the red carpet was a H. Zegna? I also like John's suit. He was very elegant.

    The tag dog necklace is an original & funny gift. And those kind of bracelets he worn have (usually) an espiritual meaning. Must be a gift,too.
    From: (Anonymous) Date: February 9th, 2013 02:54 pm (UTC) (Link)


    Just saw a tweet that claimed Matt was flying by himself from Berlin to London. Wouldn't suprise me, since the NY airports closed about 5pm yesterday.
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: February 9th, 2013 08:59 pm (UTC) (Link)

    Re: Stranded?

    Thanks Paula. BAFTAs are on this weekend, and Ben, Jennifer and George are also there for the moment.

    Naughty But Nice Rob ‏@NaughtyNiceRob
    Spotted: Matt Damon by himself flying from Berlin to Heathrow. London friends - what is Jason Bourne doing in the UK?

    Edited at 2013-02-09 09:02 pm (UTC)
    Re: Stranded? - (Anonymous) - Expand
    Re: Stranded? - (Anonymous) - Expand
    From: (Anonymous) Date: February 9th, 2013 06:59 pm (UTC) (Link)

    Re: dog tag and photos and Promised land

    Thanks everybody for all your answers! (Greg, when I say "people", I don't think about the real and smart fans who read MDC!! :-) )
    4mattdamon From: 4mattdamon Date: February 10th, 2013 12:37 pm (UTC) (Link)

    Re: dog tag and photos and Promised land


    Who else here has seen Promised Land?
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: February 10th, 2013 12:30 am (UTC) (Link)

    Other articles this week

    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: February 10th, 2013 08:25 pm (UTC) (Link)


    The Le Monde article is now available in full:

    Matt talks about no longer having a nanny in this Bild interview and how Lucy now does all the work with the kids when he is working:

    Edited at 2013-02-10 08:46 pm (UTC)
    From: (Anonymous) Date: February 10th, 2013 08:51 pm (UTC) (Link)

    Le Monde

    Here is the automatic translation (always rather amusing) of the interesting bits of Le Monde.

    Q: You play characters often very positive. Matt Damon is a "good guy", a kind of equivalent of what could be James Stewart in the last century.

    That is nice.

    Q: In "Promised Land", your character is nice, but not really "good guy." Until it switches as if the property was your grade irresistible. Well you draw there?

    Not really. For better or for worse, the filmmakers see me as the man in the street, the "boy next door" . What is interesting is that some subvert this image. When we did The Talented Mr. Ripley , Anthony Minghella was excited that everybody was associated with these characters incredibly positive Will Hunting , The Rainmaker , must save Private Ryan ... It was a bit the same thing with Jason Bourne (The Bourne Identity , The Bourne Supremacy , etc.).. He looks like a "good guy" until he discovers who he really is.

    Q: That he "was" really rather ...

    It's true. He says he wants to be someone else. In Green Zone , another bomb commercial Paul Greengrass kept telling me that this character that I played was "everyone" . It should have the potential to identify the strongest possible. When you have the main role, you must take everyone with you.

    Q: Does this mean that the main role must be super positive?

    No. But the viewer is able to s' identify him. We spoke with George Clooney, a few days ago. Playing the main character is very different interpretation of a secondary character colorful. And much less funny. On True Grit , the Coen brothers, for example, where I played a junk absolute, I took a huge walk. I was a color in the table. And reportedly a bright color. I was free to go as far as I wanted, I did not have the responsibility to attract the public.

    Q: And during filming?

    When you start in this business, mechanics is quite selfish. You think everything revolves around you. But force, we understand that it is the camera that counts. If it starts filming in my neck, you shoot you telling me to talk , which is really important is you. My job is to hit the perfect little red cross on the ground. If I miss, I show the plan. It is a collective thing, I'll ask the "chef op" m ' catch here, to grow ... Like football .

    Q: And when the camera is on you?

    Then yes, there are five or six times in the film where it is you who count, where it requires a huge concentration. If you miss, the film is missing. The pressure is enormous.

    Q: Experience plays a lot?

    It lets you know when it comes to you and when it is not you. You must do what you can so that the plug is good, including help other players. They are early in their careers, they do not necessarily understand everything does not revolve around them ... [laughs] Working with more experienced people, it is much more relaxed. Everyone knows exactly what is going to play all the time.

    Q: Was it a disappointment, this point of view, not be in the favorites for Oscars?

    Worse, actually say , it was the reaction of American critics, who did not really like ... I do not want to become one of those crazy who think that everything they do is great. But I do not understand, because I really love this movie! And then there are people around me, who I trust, who really love too. Steven Soderbergh, for example, I know he will tell me he does not like a movie that I did. Or that avoid the mention . In this case I also avoided, I know very well what he thinks! [laughs]. Anyway, yesterday we lunched here with Gus, and wondered what could possibly have missed .

    Q: The question of the financing of the film by the oil company Image Nation of Abu Dhabi has perhaps not helped ... Is it not problematic that such a society finance a film about shale gas?

    We were not aware ... We fell right over, accusing us of having made ​​a film propaganda, funded by the Middle East, who does not want us to become energy independent ... I love working with Participant, but when I think of the headaches that bullshit has given us, it would have been smarter to just be financed by Focus. It's stupid, that's for sure.
    From: (Anonymous) Date: February 10th, 2013 08:54 pm (UTC) (Link)

    Le Monde


    I see that just as I was submitting the partial version, the entire thing became available. Please delete my previous post! :)
    From: (Anonymous) Date: February 10th, 2013 09:35 pm (UTC) (Link)

    Re: Le Monde

    I was just doing a summary and a translation and then I saw your comment!
    It‘s really an interesting interview: Matt says things I never heard or read. He perhaps said that in video interview but I’m not able to understand everything when listening (so I’m so happy when you transcribe something , for instance the “Yes and No!).
    That isn’t a promotion interview so he has probably more freedom to express his feelings and he can have a look to the movie after it released.
    Re: Le Monde - (Anonymous) - Expand
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