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Matt Damon News Column
World Economic Forum, Monuments Men press
  • Matt received a Crystal Award at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland on Tuesday and then attended a range of events to promote water.org. Video and photos from the ceremony are available here. Reports are at Business Week, CNBC, Hossli, The Guardian and the BBC. Photos at AP, Graeme Wearden's Twitter and Shraysi Tandon's Twitter. Matt is also pictured with Nobel Laureate Muhammad Yunus, from his Twitter. Matt also talked about water.org and his first impressions of Davos (after two hours in Switzerland) in this Blomberg video.

    Bourne—er, Damon—said that Water.org had already helped more than 5 million people, and he noted that McKinsey consultants have estimated it could reach 100 million by 2020. He said the movers and shakers of Davos—“people in this room”—have the expertise and resources to help his organization reach that goal. “This award is a vote of confidence in what we can achieve and will achieve,” he said, “because we’re just getting started.”

    Damon was one of four recipients of the World Economic Forum’s Crystal Award, which honors artists who have made important contributions to improving the state of the world. The others include Juan Diego Flórez, founder of a poor people’s symphony in Peru; conductor Lorin Maazel; and Shirin Neshat, an Iranian-born artist.

    Damon makes persuasive case for Water.org. And with that, Matt Damon nipped off to conduct a TV interview, to warm applause from the room.

    It's easy to be starstruck on these occasions -- but putting that aside, Damon and Gary White made a persuasive case for their campaign. They need support from business leaders and politicians attending Davos -- fingers crossed that they have some success this week.

    Schwab Foundation ‏@schwabfound
    great #socent dinner! @ariannahuff,Dina Powell, Matt Damon @schwabfound #socent @Yunus_Centre @raubry @David_Gergen Queen Mathilde #wef14

    Damon was asked if he would be taking the opportunity to go skiing during his visit to Davos. He explained he couldn't as he currently has a broken collarbone, after falling off his mountain bike a few weeks ago. He added that his wife would not be impressed if he left her at home with four children while he went skiing.

  • Water.org has announced a new $6.3 million partnership with IKEA in Bangladesh. A new article written by Matt and Gary White is at CNN. A Huffington Post live discussion is also scheduled.

  • Matt talks about Interstellar in new interviews at MTV and HitFix. George Clooney also talked about Matt accepting the role, and holidays with Matt's family, in this video at Access Hollywood.

    "I don't have a big part," [Matt] said, "I was thrilled to be able to work with Chris and I had a blast working with him."

    "I really had so much fun and Matthew [McConaughey]... talk about being in the zone. He's really just crushing everything right now," Damon gushed. "I think it's gonna be great. I think it's gonna be just another big, awesome Chris Nolan movie with awesome performances from Matthew and Anne."

    George Clooney
    “Matt being in the film was such a lucky thing. I give him a hard time but he is a great friend and he is a really great actor."

    [On Matt’s family] "They all come to my house. The whole gang. I’m uncle George. And I do it very well.”

  • Cate Blanchett on reuniting with Matt at The Telegraph:

    As well as Clooney, The Monuments Men reunited her with Matt Damon, with whom she had previously worked 15 years before in The Talented Mr Ripley.

    “We talked a lot about the intervening years, during which I have been raising three sons and he has been raising three daughters,” she says, adding with a laugh: “There are several arranged marriages waiting to be put into action.”

  • A story from Vanity Fair on Matt being Hollywood's new (or continuing) good-natured target for jokes:

    There are few celebrities who come off as “nicer” than Damon. And yes, yes, we know—all the jokes we’ve listed above were delivered in good fun, and were lobbed by people who seem to be close friends with Damon in “real life.” And yes, many other celebrities—such as Clooney himself, who was the recipient of a zinger with way more bite at the Globes—deal with much worse. But this recent fad of Damon-directed demonizing (sorry) still seems, well, odd, considering his standing as one of our most genial celebrities.What did he ever do to any of them?! We feel kind of bad for him (well, as bad as you can feel for an extremely appealing, successful, and attractive movie star). Here are some theories we came up with as a potential explanation for all of this:

    — Damon is so easy-going that other celebrities know he’s a safe target. (He’ll laugh it off!) And teasing Damon allows them to show a bit of edge or verve or “personality” (in that sanitized Hollywood way).

    — Damon serves as a proxy for all of these people to work out their potentially complicated feelings toward Ben Affleck.
  • 6 comments or Leave a comment
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: January 22nd, 2014 08:31 pm (UTC) (Link)

    Various at WEF

    Lawyers On Demand ‏@LOD_Law
    Bill Gates, Sir Richard Branson and Matt Damon discussing philanthropy at a session chaired by Tony Blair at #Davos2014 what a line up!




    Dara O'Rourke ‏@DaraORourke
    I think Matt Damon may have bumped Bono as the biggest star @Davos. #wef14

    Dara O'Rourke ‏@DaraORourke
    Longest line I've seen @Davos is for Matt Damon's session on http://Water.org . (Celebrities more powerful than I'd imagine-even here.)

    wfp_business: Special guest in WFP tent: #MattDamon standing up for #zerohunger at @unfoundation event in @davos pic.twitter.com/Zvow1h8ddk

    Video of a panel with Richard Branson and Matt on social good:

    Tina Brown ‏@TinaBrownLM
    @CreditSuisse pavilion #Davos definitely where action is...Matt Damon in deep convo w/ @richardbranson & @George_Osborne...

    Dylan Byers‏@DylanByers
    Don't worry guys, @TinaBrownLM is doing just fine. She's currently hosting a Davos dinner attended by Sir Richard Branson & Matt Damon, etc.

    WEF photo and quote:

    Article at The Times (blocked if no subscription):

    Edited at 2014-01-22 10:34 pm (UTC)
    From: (Anonymous) Date: January 23rd, 2014 12:52 am (UTC) (Link)

    Re: Various at WEF

    It's thrilling to see the terrific public reception that Matt and water.org have been receiving in Davos. Perhaps the organization has reached a tipping point (thanks largely to Matt) of public awareness so that it can now partner up with enough capital to take off the way Matt and Gary have been dreaming about. Ahhhh, everybody loves our Matty. <3

    A panel with Gates, Branson, and Matt, hosted by Blair?! It doesn't GET any bigger than that.

    Really hope video for that panel shows up somewhere!

    Here's a tweet taken from the Tina Brown dinner.
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: January 23rd, 2014 01:09 am (UTC) (Link)

    Re: Various at WEF

    And yet no photos of Gates, Branson, Matt and Blair so far. The tweeted photo you posted is from a Pakistani female documentary filmmaker.

    The Squawkbox NBC interview (which I can't get to work):

    Ellen McGirt, who did an early story on water.org, is still following the cause:
    Ellen McGirt‏@ellmcgirt
    This story tells the @water origins. It makes their current success so much more interesting. http://www.fastcompany.com/1760918/can-matt-damon-bring-clean-water-africa … via @FastCompany

    The social good talk, with video linked in the previous post, sounded really interesting. The Huffington Post talk with Matt and Gary is also worthwhile, with an engaged host.

    I'm not sure how long Matt's staying in Davos, but I've seen reference to another panel tomorrow (Thursday).

    Photos from the water.org session with host Maria Bartiromo:

    Edited at 2014-01-23 01:18 am (UTC)
    From: (Anonymous) Date: January 23rd, 2014 01:33 am (UTC) (Link)

    Re: Various at WEF

    I can't get the cnbc to work either.

    The only social good talk I could find was with a panel that included Branson and Gary, not Matt. But I was in a hurry so I skipped around a bit. Maybe I missed him.

    I can't believe we wouldn't get tweets from that panel with Gates and Matt if it happened. Maybe it'll show up on youtube tomorrow.

    From: (Anonymous) Date: January 23rd, 2014 07:48 am (UTC) (Link)

    Re: Various at WEF

    re: the cnbc interview video, I was able to watch it, Matt starts off by talking about the water crisis and related disease/deaths, then spoke about women and girls scavenging for water, and the 14 year old girl having to collect water instead of going to school with hopes of becoming a nurse. Matt identified with the young girl's dreams referring to Ben and himself. Matt's partner Gary spoke about water credit and connecting to water pipes.. M..
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: January 23rd, 2014 08:14 am (UTC) (Link)

    Re: Various at WEF

    Thanks M. Part of the video is on youtube but not all.
    6 comments or Leave a comment