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Syriana party, interviews, Grimm truths and "the letter" - Matt Damon News Column
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Syriana party, interviews, Grimm truths and "the letter"
  • An excerpt from the Syriana after-party report at the NY Times:

    At the crowded party, we also saw ROSIE PEREZ and EDIE FALCO. In the midst of a conversation with AMANDA PEET, there suddenly appeared MATT DAMON and his fiancée, LUCIANA BARROSO, about whom everyone immediately whispers, as if describing someone who is 12 feet tall, she's totally, like, normal.

    "We hear you are engaged, too!" Ms. Barroso cried, grabbing Mr. Damon's sleeve. "Let's see the ring."

    Ms. Peet displayed a small ice skating rink that had somehow been affixed to her finger, and Mr. Damon, who had been joking with us, let loose an expletive: "Look at the size of that rock! What are you doing, Amanda? Marrying a sheik?"

    Mr. Damon and Ms. Barroso soon sat down, and Mr. Damon fed her what appeared to be ziti as she attended to her BlackBerry and our correspondent continued her search for Mr. Clooney.

  • An interview with Matt definitely not about the film at Fashion Wire Daily via yahoo:

    Matt Damon practices fatherhood in Syriana

    Fashion Wire Daily - New York - Matt Damon is still a single guy, but he's getting closer and closer to fatherhood. He's engaged to be married in real life, and with his new film "Syriana" he plays a father for the first time. The strongly political film, which co-stars George Clooney and Amanda Peet, premiered over the weekend in New York, with all three stars looking good on the red carpet.

    Damon posed for all the requisite photos and hailed the other stars who came out for the premiere – Jeffrey Wright, Tim Blake Nelson, Alexander Siddig, and Max Minghella from the film, as well as director Stephen Gaghan, and fans Juliana Margulies, William Hurt, Edie Falco, Jimmy Fallon, Josh Lucas, and Terrence Howard. Earlier Damon chatted with reporters in his always-easy manner about looking toward fatherhood through his art.

    "It's the first time [I've worked] with children," he mused. "I've longed for it [becoming a dad] in real life anyway. The boy Nick [Art] that I had all these scenes with, carrying him around and everything, he was just the coolest kid, so that part was really fun."

    Finding our what being a father was like for the movie should help Damon when he marries fiancée Luciana Barroso, but the handsome 35-year-old actor admitted that he may need a little more practice before he really gets the hang of having children of his own.

    "I've got to learn how to be a good disciplinarian, 'cause I'm a professional uncle right now. I'm very good at winding up the kids, I'm just not good at chilling them out," he laughed. "I think I spoil them, I think I like to play whatever games they like to play. So it's that I spoil them with attention, not stuff so much. We're pretty good about that cause I don't think that helps if you give a kid every kind of material thing that he wants, but in terms of attention. It's hard when I'm making up games and throwing them around the room to then I say 'Hey! Calm down!' They are like 'What? You're on our team!' So I need to work on that a bit."

    Damon will have to get that practice in his real life, since his cinematic life continues to be packed with very adult fare. "Syriana" (which opens in limited release on November 25) is a dense political thriller about the Middle East conflict, not exactly a light family-fare sort of movie, and Damon's next couple of films are just as intense. He'll star in Martin Scorsese's "The Departed," a tough tale of the Boston Irish Mafia, and he's currently shooting "The Good Shepherd," a film that follows the history of the CIA.

    But Matt is mum about when he'll get that practice, as he won't reveal what day his wedding is going to happen, let alone when the couple plan to start their family. "We haven't gotten into that. That's way off down the road," he said with a grin. "I'm just real happy."

  • From interviews actually talking about the film, Matt says he will be filming The Good Shepherd until February (it was originally scheduled to finish in December). Transcripts from the press junket are at Coming Soon and Latino Review, including:

    THERE'S ANOTHER 'BOURNE' MOVIE ON THE HORIZON?
    DAMON: Yeah. I think in about a year. There is a script and we're going to work on the script. Paul Greengrass wants to direct it again so that's great.

    HOW IS IT GOING WITH YOU AND ANGELINA [JOLIE] AND SCORSESE?
    DAMON: De Niro.
    OH, DE NIRO?
    DAMON: Yeah, the Scorsese one is done and the De Niro one is going now. It's good, Angie is almost done. She did most of her stuff in September so she's got a few more days. I think maybe the end of this movie.
    THAT LOOKS LIKE A GOOD MOVIE.
    DAMON: It could be, it's ambitious. It's really ambitious.

  • A new book has just been released on the making of The Brothers Grimm, written by Bob McCabe, titled Dreams and Nightmares. It's a remarkably honest and incendiary look at the film's many problems, and clearly shows that the media spin we were provided in relation to the movie is the version approved by the legal branch with very little connection to the truth. There's a lot of criticism of almost every person involved with the film , even including those who were never publicly identified with the movie (Liv Tyler, Josh Hartnett, Sienna Miller, Sienna Guillory, Ben Kingsley, John Turturro). There's also a fair bit of discussion and criticism directed at Matt (re accent, acting style, looks etc).

    Here's just one example of the dangerously frank comments by various people - firstly from the diary of Nicola Pecorini, the cinematographer who was ultimately fired from the film, talking about Harvey Weinstein's decision not to cast Samantha Morton, an actress everybody wanted, but Harvey wouldn't cast her because he didn't "think Matt or Heath [would] want to fuck that". (Sorry for the language there - but that's the quoted text and quite different from the reason Samantha was given as to why she wasn't chosen - that her arms were too fat).


    NP: Today we will shoot film of the boys and Samantha, at least to leave a testimony of what the movie could have been. (The most extraordinary thing is that after all this shit, Miramax already sent another script to Samantha! They really are assholes!)

    Matt talks about getting "mad at myself for coming back and working for him" (Harvey), and later describes...:

    MD: The last conversation I had with him we yelled at each other, I hung up on him, we didn't talk for a while or I wouldn't take his call; and then he got me, because he'll call you all hours until he gets you. Oh no, no, his first one, he turned to somebody and said - this I love - he said, "I gotta send Matt the letter."

    Bob McCabe: What is the letter?

    MD: "It's like a fucking "Dear John" letter and it shows up and it's like "Dear [blank], I am terribly sorry for my behaviour during the [blank] conversation that we had, it was absolutely inexcusable. I'm ashamed of my conduct." - It was just this bizarre form letter.

    Bob McCabe: But it felt like a form letter?

    MD: It was an absolute form letter. It was literally "the letter" that he sends and at the end of it, there's this paragraph where he's apparently reaching out and apologising and it's like two sentences of "I still think my decision about Samantha Morton was correct. I stand behind that, I will not waiver from my position" and you know, "regards".

    [Please do not steal that one without credit Jeannette Walls.] More from the book later - there are many more stories and quotes which should not have been released to the public.
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