Matt Damon may be at the top of the A-list, but he had to persuade writer-director Neill Blomkamp (District 9) to cast him in his new sci-fi film, Elysium, opening Aug. 9. “I think he was even reluctant to meet me,” Damon says, laughing, from his apartment in Manhattan. “He kept saying, ‘I’m not doing anything Hollywood,’ and I was like, ‘Dude, I live in New York.’ We ended up meeting in a diner and he was kind of giving me the one-eye for the first 10 minutes or so.” That wasn’t just in Damon’s head. “I was doing that,” Blomkamp says, smiling. “I was just trying to figure out what was going on, you know?”
Blomkamp, 33, had made the Oscar-nominated District 9 for $30 million, completely under the Hollywood radar. But for Elysium he needed a big budget ($100 million), which meant he needed to make a studio film, and cast A-list stars. This made him nervous. He didn’t want some Hollywood ego derailing his vision, which is why he was keeping Damon at arm’s length at first. “High-level actors can be these razor-sharp tools that help you tell the story,” Blomkamp says. “But they can also be all about their close-ups and the size of their trailers. I was very apprehensive. You just hear all these horror stories.”
"What I thought would be cool was to put an A-list movie star in a dilapidated America, which makes it a very interesting way for Americans to look at their own country. Matt Damon was my favorite guy," Blomkamp enthuses. "He's very interesting, because he's an action star, but he also does arthouse movies. He's willing to go anywhere. He's also smart, and he's an awesome guy. He is an easy guy to work with, which can only be good for the film."
Damon shares a mutual respect for his young director. Sporting grey streaks in his hair for an upcoming role ("It's a 1945 haircut - I feel like one of Mitt Romney's kids!")...
The 42-year-old admits that it was an unusual experience to be directed by someone his junior. "It was a little weird, but I'm sure that it won't be the last time," Damon says. "I've worked with Doug Liman, who is around my age, but with Neill, it felt like making a movie together with friends in the backyard, or perhaps my younger brother!"
American actor Matt Damon will be visiting Korea next month.
Matt Damon will visit Korea for the first time to promote his SF action film “Elysium” in August, an official with the film’s distributor Sony Pictures Korea told TenAsia over the phone on Thursday.
Along with Damon, actor Sharlto Copley, who is also the main character of the film, will be visiting Korea.
The date of their visit and the details to their schedule in Korea have yet to be confirmed, but they will hold a press conference and participate in a red carpet event, the official explained.
WCT: You got accolades for your acting in HBO's Behind the Candelabra, starring Michael Douglas and Matt Damon. What was it like working with them?
Cheyenne Jackson: I know Matt a little from working on 30 Rock. He's a lovely, amazing, kind and professional actor. Michael was wonderful and he was in it to win it and he was focused. I really just jumped at the chance to work with director Steven Soderbergh and Michael Douglas just because that's a no-brainer. I knew my part wasn't huge, but I knew that just being on set with these fantastic artists would only be a great experience.