Far from simply still kickin’, both men are now doing work that should only cement their Hollywood standing: Clooney directing his most populist movie yet in The Monuments Men(with a little help from Damon on the acting front) and Damon moving to Los Angeles to spend more time on doing likewise via the production company he runs with Ben Affleck, Pearl Street Films.
“It’s different,” laughs Damon of living in LA after many years as a New Yorker.
“I took the second half of last year off just to help the kids with the transition.
“There are a lot of things I like about it. I loved mountain biking until I went over the handlebars and busted my collarbone! And I have so many friends here, so that part’s great. “But it’s easy to get caught in your own world, which is why it’s good if you can get out and enjoy the best of it — which is the ocean and the mountains.”
Stuck in a sling while doing promotional duties for The Monuments Men, Damon reckoned he’d be back on the bike “in six or seven weeks”.
While Damon won’t compare the art he makes with, say, Michelangelo’s sculpture Madonna and Child (one of the key pieces the Monuments Men aim to rescue), there are a few films in his CV he’d hate to lose were they threatened by war.
“Certainly Good Will Hunting; it was such a big part of my 20s. And the Bourne movies were a huge part of my life through my 30s. Those Ocean’s movies were a lot of fun. I love Ripley, still.True Grit ... The Departed ... There are a lot of movies I’m really proud of. But,” he adds, “I’d run into a burning building for my kids and I’d run into a burning building for your kids before I did for Good Will Hunting.”
Women earn 30 percent less than men for the same work. Some 64 percent of the world's illiterate people are women. Almost 800 women die every day from preventable complications during pregnancy and childbirth.
These are just some of the mind-boggling global injustices cited by UN Women on a new website, HeForShe.org, intended to motivate men to act against gender inequality and violence toward women. Created by Publicis Dallas, the campaign asks men to upload YouTube clips of themselves speaking out in support of women. For further inspiration, it includes a simple but powerful video of well-known men—including activist Archbishop Desmond Tutu, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Matt Damon and Patrick Stewart—sharing their perspectives.
"I gue-e-ess I'm nice," Kennedy tells me after Bible study ends. His way of speaking—goofy yet authoritative, confessional yet cautious—is the lingua franca of legendary good guys like Tom Hanks. "And you know, when I sit down to interview the biggest actors in Hollywood, the true A-list guys like Matt Damon or a George Clooney"—he pauses to heymangoodgood a singer who's passing by—"the most successful ones seem to be the nicest. I've met a lot of famous people, and douchebags out here are a dime a dozen. But those guys, they understand that being nice pays off. And I think that's starting to spread."