OCR: I'm curious how this role came about. You're friends with George Clooney, whose company is producing the film. Does he mention it to you during a chat, or does the offer go through official channels?
DAMON: It can happen the first way, but in this case, it went through official channels. It was surprisingly official given the extent of our friendship, but they (Clooney and producing partner Soderbergh) are always diligent about contacting your agent first.
OCR: So there was no discussion at all?
DAMON: Well, I had read the script before "Oceans 12," and I pulled George aside during filming and said, "What's the deal with this?" It was an informal meeting, and then Steven stopped by, and they sort of convinced me to do it. I think they had talked to Gaghan and vouched for me.
OCR: Doesn't sound very official to me.
DAMON (laughs): They eventually called my agent and made an official offer.
OCR: Why are you working so much?
DAMON: These are things I can't say no to. It's as simple as that.
OCR: Oh, I understand why you're working with them. I don't understand why they want to work with you?
DAMON (laughs): Damn, I don't know.
OCR: Speaking of your career, when did reality surpass the dream?
DAMON: There have been a lot of moments when it felt like I had exceeded all my expectations. It's hard to pinpoint just one moment. This has all been way beyond anything I could have hoped. But I suppose if I had to name just one moment, it would have to be the time I got to take batting practice at Fenway Park.
OCR: What was the original dream?
DAMON: Working in movies consistently. Just having a job.
OCR: Did you believe it was possible to achieve that dream?
DAMON: I did. I always felt like it had to work out because there was no alternative. I know it makes no sense, but I felt compelled to do this.
OCR: I hear you've gotten engaged. What happened?
DAMON: You know, they talk about a woman's biological clock, but I think I had the same thing. This was something I wanted. I'm ready. It feels right.
OCR: And I understand that you've given up smoking, too. What else have you given up?
DAMON: Man, I have nothing left to give up, except beer. And I'll never give up beer.