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Matt Damon News Column
Esquire interview
  • Photos from the Berlin fan screening are at Daily Mail.

  • The UK Esquire interview is now available, including:

    Image and video hosting by TinyPic
    When I fished about for Damon stories among his friends and colleagues, what came back were ultimately just confirmations of what a nice guy he is. Words like "lovely, intelligent, hard-working, humble" (Julia Stiles), or "genuine, talented and fucking funny, even though he doesn't know it" (Kristen Wiig). Clooney said "he's a terrific actor and a great guy, but you already knew that." Yes we did. But thanks anyway. It's yet further confirmation that niceness is core to Damon's brand.

    The fun started in November 2014 in Jordan, shooting The Martian (2015) with Scott, which brought Damon his fourth Oscar nomination. Then they flew to China for five months for The Great Wall (2016) with Yimou — "a giant monster movie basically, set in 1100AD". They then moved to Tenerife for this summer's Jason Bourne — which also took them to Greece, Berlin, London and Las Vegas. And then, after six measly days rest, they shipped off to Toronto for Downsizing, by Alexander Payne (Sideways) and due out next year, which is why we're here.

    "It's a really big arthouse movie," says Damon. "Like a Charlie Kaufman movie. It might be the best movie I end up being in in my career."

    Set in the near future in Nebraska, Damon is an occupational therapist whose marriage to Kristen Wiig has seen better days: they can't afford the house they want, it's hard to make ends meet. However, Norwegian scientists have discovered how to shrink people down to 5ins in height as a way to offset climate change (tiny people consume less). So they "downsize", because big houses are even bigger when you're that small. But Wiig's character bails out at the last minute, leaving Damon at 5ins tall — and now she wants a divorce. "In one scene I have to sign the divorce papers, and I'm literally standing on the contract," he laughs. "It's such a great metaphor for divorce!"

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    Damon grew accustomed to watching himself, since he was always considered as much a writer as an actor. He was frequently invited into the problem-solving huddle with directors and producers, to watch dailies and cuts. And the experience shows. Neill Blomkamp, Elysium director, says Damon has "directorial instincts, he gets the bigger picture." And from a sheer skills perspective, his praise is higher still. "He would do the first couple of takes exactly how I asked. And if I wanted options for the editing room — he was like a computer. Anything I asked, he would just do. On a professional talent level, that was the first time I'd run into that."

  • Matt will do a Reddit Q&A on 19 July.
  • 32 comments or Leave a comment
    From: iri_na_00 Date: July 16th, 2016 08:41 am (UTC) (Link)

    Los Angeles

    Matt and Lucie at the airport
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: July 16th, 2016 10:00 am (UTC) (Link)

    Re: Los Angeles

    Poor Matt. No fans, just professional autograph sellers.
    From: iri_na_00 Date: July 16th, 2016 10:55 am (UTC) (Link)


    Matt Damon in program JTBC ‘Newsroom’.He spoke not only about the last film, but also his private judgments on political affairs and environment.
    Interview full video
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: July 17th, 2016 10:07 am (UTC) (Link)

    Guardian interview

    A long, interesting interview with Matt and Paul at The Guardian:


    Both men are keen Guardian readers and the newspaper features prominently in The Bourne Ultimatum. Indeed, although we had limited time for our interview, Greengrass and Damon seemed more interested at first in discussing the plight of the Guardian in an age of free internet content. It was all I could do to get them back on to the subject of the film.

    Damon is a natural communicator. I watched him for a while before our interview started, chatting to a number of people from the film company. Andy Murray had just that moment won Wimbledon and he told them an anecdote about Murray’s tailor that was done in a way that was very much “we’re all just normal guys shooting the breeze”.

    Obviously, a big part of his on-screen appeal is a kind of heightened normality. It’s a deceptively ordinary kind of charm – not handsomely ironic like George Clooney or youthfully dangerous like Leonardo DiCaprio – but he has the ability to tether an extreme scenario in a recognisably human condition.

    The action in Jason Bourne is certainly inventive, but it also feels a little too large, like that of other summer blockbusters, only better filmed, more realistic. Greengrass rejects the proposition but there is a sense that up against the CGI of superheroes, there is a need to make Bourne superhuman and the action overblown.

    Some of the psychological complexity has been lost and with it some of the tension that made the earlier films so compelling. However, you sense that the fans will lap it up. And it will only serve to increase the appetite for a follow-up. Interestingly, without making it too obvious, Greengrass has painted the series out of the corner it was trapped in.
    From: (Anonymous) Date: July 17th, 2016 12:58 pm (UTC) (Link)

    RE: Guardian interview

    The writer's description of Bourne makes it sound exactly like what I was afraid of. Oh, well, I'll still go see it with lowered expectations and just try to enjoy it as a ride.
    RE: Guardian interview - (Anonymous) - Expand
    Re: Guardian interview - (Anonymous) - Expand
    From: (Anonymous) Date: July 17th, 2016 07:14 pm (UTC) (Link)

    Bourne B roll

    The Bourne Broll is up. Part 1 features mostly the "Greek riot" scenes. Lol, the Broll footage is better than most thrillers. Part 2 has lots of other scenes, which are potentially a bit spoilery if you don't want to know anything going in.

    Part 1:

    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: July 18th, 2016 04:00 am (UTC) (Link)


    The official reviews for Jason Bourne will likely be out tomorrow after the premiere.
    From: (Anonymous) Date: July 18th, 2016 12:07 pm (UTC) (Link)

    RE: Reviews

    Bracing myself :(

    From: iri_na_00 Date: July 18th, 2016 08:11 am (UTC) (Link)


    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: July 18th, 2016 09:03 am (UTC) (Link)


    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: July 18th, 2016 12:24 pm (UTC) (Link)

    US GQ interview

    Next major interview: the US GQ issue, for which we saw the photo shoot in the car in LA some weeks back.


    Great profile, with some fantastic quotes.

    Part 2 at GQ:



    Edited at 2016-07-18 01:48 pm (UTC)
    From: (Anonymous) Date: July 18th, 2016 03:30 pm (UTC) (Link)

    Re: US GQ interview

    Great profile, great photos.
    I LOVE IT. (ツ)

    RE: US GQ interview - (Anonymous) - Expand
    From: iri_na_00 Date: July 18th, 2016 03:49 pm (UTC) (Link)


    From: (Anonymous) Date: July 18th, 2016 09:52 pm (UTC) (Link)
    Will Matt make an appearance on Fallon's?

    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: July 18th, 2016 10:36 pm (UTC) (Link)
    Unlikely as Matt has never been on Fallon before and he's doing James Corden. There is one tweet that Matt and Fallon were filming a skit in Vegas, but that was probably Kimmel.

    Update: Yes, later tweet confirming Kimmel.

    This may be from the skit:

    Edited at 2016-07-19 12:48 am (UTC)
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: July 18th, 2016 11:00 pm (UTC) (Link)

    GQ Australia

    The other photos from GQ Australia, with the Burberry cashmere coat:

    4mattdamon From: 4mattdamon Date: July 19th, 2016 07:00 am (UTC) (Link)

    Re: GQ Australia

    Nice to finally see! Woah bare knuckle punching.
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: July 19th, 2016 02:38 am (UTC) (Link)


    From: (Anonymous) Date: July 19th, 2016 03:33 am (UTC) (Link)

    RE: Premiere

    Fabulous dress on Lucy, and I love her hair. Looks like a Naeem Khan dress?
    From: bumengbumeng Date: July 19th, 2016 07:08 am (UTC) (Link)

    Jimmy Kimmel Live

    32 comments or Leave a comment