When we finish, Damon leaves straight for Berlin: "I'm filming there tomorrow." He's making a Nazi art thriller, The Monuments Men, with Clooney, again. It's a genuine Oscar contender in a year when his best role for 14 years will, at best, win a Golden Globe.
He shrugs. He doesn't really care. "Awards and stuff, nobody remembers any of that shit. Ultimately, it's the movie. The movie lives." He stands up to leave. We talk briefly about the new Coen brothers film, Inside Llewyn Davis. It's getting rave reviews up the bay. He nods, firmer than when he talks about his own work, when he's in the spotlight. He says how brilliant everyone - like Emily Blunt - tells him that film's lead, Oscar Isaac, is. He's an "actor's actor", he enthuses. He mentions how he "met Fran McDormand earlier", the actress coming to town with her husband, Joel Coen, who worked with Damon on True Grit.
It goes on and on. John Goodman is in Inside Llewyn Davis and in Monuments Men. This isn't Damon name-dropping, though. It's his life, "shooting the shit" with people he likes, making films people care about. You never know who you may have to hump on screen. It's best to stay nice. He says thanks, and smiles. I spot his bright white teeth. They seem the most Hollywood thing about him. But then I don't get to see the contacts list on his phone.