Matt Damon: Movies That Made Me
Find out how Robin Williams was responsible for Matt becoming Private Ryan, why John Malkovich told him he was a terrible actor in Rounders and how we nearly didn't get more Jason Bourne.
Among a stack of photographs is one of Greengrass and Damon on set, grinning at the camera under a spotlight sun. “Our bond is pretty tight,” Damon says.
Having admired Bloody Sunday (2002) — a scalding account of the 1972 killing of 13 civil rights marchers by British troops in Derry — Damon supported hiring Greengrass for The Bourne Supremacy despite his relative obscurity. But the actor was uneasy about the script the producers had bought from Gilroy. To him, it never felt ready. His anxiety mounted. Finally, he phoned the director to say he was quitting the film. “And Paul,” Damon says, “who I really didn’t know that well, said: ‘OK. Do you have the script there? Turn to page one.’ And he starts telling me about the movie we’re actually going to make, not the one on paper. Just between him and me.” When I ask Damon if he would make a Bourne without Greengrass, he says “No,” before I’ve finished speaking.
Theoretically speaking, we could be having 3 billion different versions of this 15-minute interview, across 3 billion different simulations. Or we could be not speaking at all, which would suit him fine. "Anything I say about myself can only detract from people's enjoyment of my performance," he says, politely.
"I've always lamented that you have to go out there and you have to promote and support your movies, or else it's going to get drowned out in everything else that's coming out. But I felt from before I was famous that the less I know about an actor, the more I am going to believe them in any role.