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Matt Damon News Column
World Economic Forum Day 3
  • An interview with Matt and Gary is at USA Today, including:

    The Oscar-winning actor Matt Damon is dealing with two issues here at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum. One is a trivial byproduct of the frenetic and high-paced networking that underpins this gathering of the world's global elite. The other is a matter of life and death. The trivial first.

    "I was at a dinner surrounded by all these incredible people, and when I turned to the guy next to me and asked him what he did (for a living), he said he was the prime minister of Finland," the star of the Bourne film series told USA TODAY on Thursday, clearly bemused that he failed to recognize a head of state.

    Damon's interest and commitment to the issue appears beyond dispute. "This is my one hobby outside of making films," he said Thursday in Davos. "It's my other job."

    He said he did not know exactly how much time he spends working for Water.org, but he suspected that it was at least 10%. "It comes in bursts," he said. "It's not really possible to do a quick trip to India."

    Speaking to USA TODAY on the sidelines of the WEF on Thursday, Richard Branson, the British serial entrepreneur behind the various Virgin companies including Virgin Galactic spaceflights, said: "I think it is wonderful that Matt Damon is using his profile and connections to campaign on this important issue. I also hope he is continuing his toilet strike," a reference to a humorous -- yet masking a serious point -- pledge that Damon made in February last year saying he would not use the bathroom until the world's water crisis was solved. Branson also made the pledge.

    In a USA TODAY brokered riposte, Damon said Thursday that he saw Branson coming out of a Davos men's room.

    "Film stars are often in the fortunate position of being able to offer their help on any number of issues affecting the world, and sometimes, they scatter themselves too widely," said WaterAid's Winder. "But Damon's had a very admirable focus on water, and you'd have to say the industry as a whole is grateful."

  • Hilde Schwab, the wife of WEF founder Klaus Schwab, talked about Matt and why he was invited to Davos here, translated:

    U.S. actor Matt Damon received the "Crystal Award" from your foundation on Tuesday because he is committed to ensuring that all people have access to water. Why Damon?

    Schwab: We single out artists who are outstanding in their field, but are also committed, for example to society or the environment. The idea came together with the late violin virtuoso Lord Yehudi Menuhin, who often came to Davos, played here and was a good friend. We agreed: We want people 'who have both - excellent artist and social activist.

    There was talk a few years ago it was the Hollywood WEF, as Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt and Sharon Stone and others stole the show.
    We now choose the stars from a little more carefully. We do not want anyone who is portrayed by the media as only a star. Angelina Jolie is a great actress and a superstar, but enjoys too much media attention, although she is also very involved in the humanitarian field.

    And Matt Damon?
    He is also a great artist. But less hip.

    The WEF participants stormed the event with him...
    Yes, but as soon as he talks about his projects, the stardom is gone. He is someone who is worried that all children get clean water.

    If he was not a star, not so many people would be interested in the issue.
    Exactly. He has the ability to arouse wide interest.

    Why are Hollywood stars engaged?
    These are people who have achieved a lot. And who travel a lot. So they come in contact with misery, poverty and even war. Some are touched by it and they say to themselves, I'm famous, have status, a lot of money, all I want, so I must act. Some give money, some get personally involved. And when they see how they can make a difference, they get the greatest satisfaction.

  • Chevenee Reavis, Director of Strategy for Water.org is posting photos on her Twitter, including Matt and Al Gore at the Crystal Ceremony.

  • A photo of Matt with the President of Mongolia is on his Twitter, after they were both on a water discussion group where Matt apparently suggested he may visit Mongolia. Matt's also pictured with the CEO of Marriott Hotels Arne Sorensen. Other interviews are at the Weather Channel, BBC World News, BBC Radio 4 and Tania Bryer for an upcoming CNBC Meets interview.

  • 31 comments or Leave a comment
    Page 1 of 2
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    From: (Anonymous) Date: January 24th, 2014 10:01 am (UTC) (Link)

    Re: Matt and Al Gore at the Crystal Ceremony

    "Yeah Al, about that Inconvenient Truth..." lol. M..
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: January 24th, 2014 10:03 am (UTC) (Link)

    NY premiere

    A Charity Buzz auction for the premiere and after-party for Monuments Men in NY on 4 February:

    A 30 minute interview by David Poland with Grant Heslov and and Robert M Edsel (Grant says they did write Granger with Matt in mind):

    A separate interview with Poland and Bob Balaban:

    John Goodman and Edsel attended an early screening at the National World War 2 Museum:

    Edsel's page includes a photo with Matt at the junket:


    Nestlé CSV ‏@nestlecsv
    Water Challenge blog: our Chairman congratulates Matt Damon and @water on winning the Crystal Award #wef2014: http://bit.ly/1kWyQqB


    Matt and the Guinea President:
    claudegrunitzky ‏@claudegrunitzky
    Unlikely pairing #davos #wef2014 President Condé promoting inclusive growth #Africa and #mattdamon_http://instagram.com/p/jjWIPCAjvv/

    Linda Yueh ‏@lindayueh
    Don't miss Talking Business in Davos: StanChart & Infosys CEOs, World Bank prez, @Nouriel Roubini & Matt Damon 14:30GMT @BBCWorld Tm 20:30UK

    Edited at 2014-01-24 01:09 pm (UTC)
    fun_demented From: fun_demented Date: January 24th, 2014 07:25 pm (UTC) (Link)

    Re: NY premiere

    the 30 min David & Grant interview was super interesting. What a great interviewer. (yay, written w/Matty in mind!)

    THANK YOU for all this great stuff. Wow.
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: January 24th, 2014 10:25 pm (UTC) (Link)

    Spanish interview, Davos

    Matt conducts an interview in Spanish (I presume talking about how much Spanish he knows) - there's also a brief sign-out at the end of the clip. Can anyone translate?

    Las Noticias ‏@_LASNOTICIASMTY 24m
    #VIDEO Matt Damon nos muestra como habla un poco español, esto y más aquí en Reporte Hollywood http://ow.ly/sVp4r pic.twitter.com/wPLozWrEsJ

    Also at YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mC4TzDxjbSk

    Not sure if Matt has left Davos - no sightings since Friday morning.

    Article about what Davos is like for a journalist, and descriptions of the scene:

    Michael Douglas' official Facebook page:

    Edited at 2014-01-24 10:57 pm (UTC)
    From: (Anonymous) Date: January 24th, 2014 11:51 pm (UTC) (Link)

    Re: Spanish interview, Davos

    In the Spanish interview he's saying he has learned some Spanish being with Lucy. But it's difficult. Lucy only speaks Spanish to Stella. But the other kids speak it like him. In the end he's saying "greetings deporte Hollywood."

    I've seen him do a Spanish interview before ( while he was filming Elysium) and I was impressed. He stumbled a little bit in this one. But I don't think he gives himself much credit.
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: January 25th, 2014 12:31 am (UTC) (Link)

    BBC's Talking Business

    In the Talking Business interview from Davos Matt talked about meeting Bill Gates "another Harvard dropout", an old friend in Harvard President Drew Faust and "hanging out with Bono". (Faust is the first female President of Harvard and presented Matt with the award last year.)


    Edited at 2014-01-25 12:33 am (UTC)
    fun_demented From: fun_demented Date: January 25th, 2014 01:10 am (UTC) (Link)

    Re: BBC's Talking Business

    love it
    From: (Anonymous) Date: January 25th, 2014 03:46 pm (UTC) (Link)

    A surprising tweet

    I was completely surprised to see this. Matt is related to a European chess champion???

    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: January 25th, 2014 08:37 pm (UTC) (Link)

    False story, NY?

    A 2010 article that's being re-circulated. It was an April Fool's joke and completely false.


    Matt in NY?

    Edited at 2014-01-25 08:45 pm (UTC)
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