MATT DAMON is begging best pal BEN AFFLECK to let him be godfather to his first child with JENNIFER GARNER - and he is offering bribes to help his campaign.
Damon is promising to lavish the baby with gifts when it is finally born later this year (05).
He says, "He'd be smart to give me that job, I'd spoil that kid rotten."
But Damon won't be drawn on his own baby plans with his girlfriend LUCIANA BARROSO.
He adds, "I'm excited for all my friends that are having kids and I'm excited to be doing it myself one of these days. But we'll see. It's in God's hands."
Despite the long delay between the show's completion and the pending "Feast" release (previous "Greenlight" movies were rushed into theaters almost immediately after the shows ended), Damon has already heard what constitutes enthusiasm from Dimension Films bigwig Bob Weinstein.
"Bob's gonna bring it out at Christmas and he was like [transitions into a spot-on Bob Weinstein impression], 'I released this movie 'The Darkness' last year at Christmas. It's the worst movie I've ever seen in my life, this f***ing 'Darkness,' but it's a great slot. 'The Darkness' made 22 million. So I'm putting 'Feast' in the 'Darkness' slot,'" Damon is clearly getting into it now, as he continues to mimic the Weinstein brother. "'F***ing 'Feast' is 'Citizen Kane' compared to 'The Darkness.'"
"The show was really good this year and yet we had horrible horrible ratings," Damon acknowledges. "When we were in conversation with Bravo, they were like, 'Look, the show is good,' we got the best reviews of any show on television, and they said, 'But there's a certain number,' and they showed us the number and I'm not a TV guy, but they said, 'Look, this number, no matter what, we can't bring the show back... This is just terrible, we can't justify keeping it on air.'"
A recent Emmy nomination in reality television category may give the show a minor boost and if "Feast," a creature feature starring Navi Rawat and Krista Allen, can turn a profit, Damon thinks "Project Greenlight" might somehow be salvaged.
"It's up in the air right now," he says. "I suspect if the movie does well enough, maybe Bob would help with it, maybe there's some way to get them all to do it one more time, but it's on a respirator."
QUESTION: Did you audition Matt Damon and Heath Ledger together to see their chemistry?
TERRY GILLIAM: I’m pretty sloppy when it comes to getting films started. All I remember was when we began moving forward on Grimm, Nicola Pecorini was shooting a film in Rome with Heath playing the lead; it was called The Order. So Nicola called me and said, "This kid I’m working with, he’s great! He’s really good!" He reminded Nicola of Johnny Depp, the same kind of quality: he was dangerous, fearless.
I met Heath in LA, and he was very different than the kind of characters he’s played. He couldn’t stop moving and was nervous and twitching and doing things, and I said this guy is great, as he really intrigued me. I’d seen him in Monster’s Ball, which I thought he was fantastic in, and so I said, "OK, he’s on."
Then the hunt went on for the other brother, and I went around and around different areas and then Matt’s name came up, Matt Damon. I said, "Great, he’s a wonderful actor, he’s just fantastic." So we met over at Chuck Roven’s house and it was very funny because I spent the whole evening convincing him he couldn’t play the part of Will. He came to the meeting and I asked, "Which part do you want to play?” He says, ‘Will," and I said, "I don’t’ know," so I started doing this thing, and I said, “That’s really the Ben Affleck part. When you walk into a room, Matt, where do the girls’ eyes go? You or Ben?" He said, "They go to Ben!," so I said, "OK, you will win the girl in the long term because you’re smarter, you’re a better guy, you’ve got everything that people really want, but it’s that initial impact, when somebody walks in a room and where do the eyes go? They go to Ben. So really, you should be playing Jacob." I went on and on and on, so when Matt left he said, "Whichever part you want me to play, I’m on", and I said "Great!"
Then the next morning I got hold of Heath and asked, "Which part do you want to play?" Obviously Heath is the perfect leading man. He said, "Well I want to play Jacob." I said, "Well that’s good because I just convinced Matt that he’s going to play Jacob. Let’s go and meet Matt." Matt was shooting the Farrelly Brothers film, Stuck on You, so we go down to the location where they’re working and I said, "Matt! I want you to meet Heath, your brother Jake." He said, "What? I’m supposed to play Jake… you convinced me I’m Jake last night!" I said, "Nah, let’s do it this way, it’s more interesting." And it is, because they’re basically cast against the obvious type. I think the world knows Matt’s always been more introspective, the more intelligent, the quieter, the more intense actor and Heath has played these bigger parts where he’s the leading man. It’s great that we did the swap because they’re far, far more interesting."