Affable as well as self-deprecating, Damon brushes off speculation that he might win the Best Actor prize, although he took home a Golden Globe a few weeks ago. “Oh, I think there are other performances that might deserve it more,” he says, diplomatically.
But he won’t be drawn on whether that should be his co-star in The Departed, Leonardo DiCaprio, who is also in the Best Actor frame for The Revenant. He flashes that action-hero smile. “Leo’s my buddy,” is all he will say.
You’re also directing “Suburbicon,” starring Matt Damon, from a screenplay they wrote around the time of “Blood Simple.”
Clooney: It’s an interesting story. It takes place in the suburbs in 1947. It’s kind of a thriller. It’s kind of a comedy. It’s a very dark comedy from a young man’s point of view about all the things that are going wrong in his house.
Why did you decide to finally make it?
When I was doing “O Brother,” they sent it to me and asked if I was interested. It just never got legs. All the other movies came and got going. This one was commissioned, so it sat around. For the last year, I’ve been looking for something to direct. I called Bryan Lourd, my agent. I said, “How many movies have I looked at?” He said, “About 85 in the last year.” A lot of them are being made. But I just thought, it’s not in my wheelhouse or it’s not my taste. Then I remembered “Suburbicon.” I had an old script on my shelf. I called up the boys and said, “You’re not doing anything with it, are you?” They were like, “No.” So I said, “I’d like to take a crack at it.”