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Height: 5' 10"
Birth Name: Matthew Paige Damon
Birth Date: October 8, 1970
Birth Place: Cambridge, MA USA
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How a 14-year-old Zambian girl reminded Matt Damon of himselfMatt Damon celebrated World Water Day with his Water.org co-founder Gary White in New York on Wednesday.
During an event with Stella Artois at The Oculus at the World Trade Center, the actor told the story of his first water collection in a “very rural” village in Zambia.
“I love this story because I remember this girl,” Damon, 46, said. “This was over 10 years ago, but she was 14 years old and we walked about a mile together and as I was kind of grilling her through this interpreter, I asked if she was going to stay in this village. And she said ‘No, no, no. I’m going to the big city. I’m going to be a nurse in the big city of Lusaka.'”
The Oscar winner continued, “She had this twinkle in her eye and it just reminded me of Ben Affleck and I saying when we were 14, ‘We’re going to go to the big city of New York, and we’re going to be actors and we’re going to make it.'”
Damon said that the experience really hit home when he realized that this teenage girl would never have been given the opportunity to move to a big city if someone hadn’t decided to drill a well near her home. “She would be out scavenging for water,” she said. “She wouldn’t be coming home from school.”
Matt Damon to narrate Boston Marathon documentaryMatt Damon will narrate the Boston Marathon documentary “Boston.”
The film premieres on April 15 in Boston, two days before the annual marathon commences. “Boston” will then receive a one-night theatrical premiere on April 19 through Fathom Events.
“Matt is the ideal narrator for this outstanding documentary about the Boston Marathon,” said executive producer Frank Marshall, who ran the race in 1980. “We are delighted to have him join the production.”
The documentary from LA Roma Films and The Kennedy/Marshall Company chronicles the history of the Boston Marathon, from its origins in 1897 through 2014 — the year after the 2013 terrorist bombing that killed three people and injured several hundred near the finish line.
Damon received a Best Picture Academy Award nomination this year for producing the Boston-centric drama “Manchester by the Sea.” He also wrote the introduction to John Hanc’s book “The B.A.A. at 125: The Official History of the Boston Athletic Association, 1887-2012.”
“Some of my most vivid childhood sports memories took form … by the side of the road near the fire station on Commonwealth Avenue in Newton … as enervated runners from around the world confront the historic Heartbreak Hill(s),” Damon wrote. “I’ll never forget standing there in the crowd with my brother, Kyle, as we looked first for Bill Rodgers, and then, in the very same race as some of the most talented runners on earth, our smiling (and grimacing) 40-year-old dad.”
The movie is directed by filmmaker-marathoner Jon Dunham, known for his “Spirit of the Marathon” documentaries, produced by Megan Williams, and executive produced by Marshall. It’s a presentation of John Hancock Financial in association with The Kennedy/Marshall Company.
The filmmakers spent the last three years recording interviews with champions and amateur runners from around the world, as well as the stories of members of the Boston Marathon communities. The project was granted exclusive documentary rights from the Boston Athletic Association to produce the film and to use the Association’s extensive archive of video, photos, and memorabilia.
The race is the oldest organized marathon in the world. Lionsgate and CBS Films’ “Patriots Day,” starring Mark Wahlberg, focused on the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing and has grossed $41 million worldwide. David Gordon Green’s biopic “Stronger,” starring Jake Gyllenhaal as Boston Marathon bombing survivor Jeff Bauman, opens this year.
Incorporated CancelledDennis Haysbert’s casting in the NBC pilot Reverie was, indeed, a bad sign for Syfy’s Incorporated.
The futuristic thriller, starring Haysbert and Sean Teale, has been cancelled after one season, our sister site Deadline reports.
The drama — which hails from executive producers Matt Damon and Ben Affleck — wrapped its ten-episode freshman run on Jan. 25.
Matt Damon Talks Jennifer Lawrence, 700 Hair Extensions and MoreMatt Damon shoots a mean bow and arrow in The Great Wall, but don't be fooled by his apparent expertise.
"With a CGI arrow, I'm pretty damn good," says Damon, who stars in the action flick as an English mercenary who finds himself battling monsters in ancient China. "But with an actual arrow, not so much."
In other words, he's not about to challenge Jennifer Lawrence to any Hunger Games v. The Great Wall competitions. "She's got a good grasp on that whole thing," Damon said. "I think she's got me beat."
Damon's hair for the movie was a whole other kind of battle. " I'd never done that before—700 extensions [and] it took 12 hours," he recalled. "The tiny glue [extensions], which is weird. And then I lived with it for five months...The kids loved it. The kids were into it for like a week and then they kind forgot about it. I got good at doing the hair ties, just to get a ponytail up."
So where are those long locks now?
"I flew from China and went to do a day of extra filming on The Martian and so I flew to Hungary, landed, went into the production office, and cut all that hair off, and left it on the floor on Hungary," Damon said. "It was a rat's nest...It was so gross. It was so nasty."
Narcos star Pedro Pascal, who plays Damon's sidekick in the film, revealed for the first time that the sword fight training for the movie left him in tears. "The first week of training—I can't believe I'm even going to admit this—I called somebody and I cried," he said. "I was like, 'I am old. Everything hurts so much. There's gotta be something wrong. I must have something because I can't walk and I can't think. I'm in pain and all I see and feel is pain.'"
The Great Wall is in theaters on Friday, Feb. 17.
Matt Damon Reveals How George Clooney Told Him about Amal’s Pregnancy: ‘I Almost Started Crying’Matt Damon has known about George and Amal Clooney’s big news for a long time now.
Multiple sources confirmed to PEOPLE on Thursday that tthe famous couple are expecting twins — and with the cat finally out of the bag, Damon was able to reveal when he first learned about the pregnancy.
“I was working with him last fall and he pulled me aside on set and I mean, I almost started crying. I was so happy for him,” The Great Wall star told Entertainment Tonight Canada. “And I was like, ‘How far along is she?’ And he goes, ‘Eight weeks.’”
Damon, himself a father of four, remembers he replied, “‘Are you out of your mind?! Don’t tell anybody else! Don’t tell anybody else! Don’t you know the 12-week rule?’ Like of course he doesn’t.”
He continued, “‘Just shut up, man.’ And then four weeks later, I’m like, ‘We’re good right?’” Clooney answered, “We’re good.”
While Damon thinks his friend jumped the gun at first, he couldn’t be happier for the couple. “So yeah, I’m thrilled for him. She’s amazing. He hit the jackpot. Just on every level. She is a remarkable woman. They’re gonna be great. They’re gonna be awesome parents. Those kids are lucky,” he added.
As for the rest of their friends and family, a source close to the couple told PEOPLE that Amal “has let everyone in both families know quietly,” adding, “They’re all very happy.”
Clooneys’ rep has not commented.
The couple tied the knot in September 2014 in Venice, Italy, in front of a starry assortment of friends including Matt Damon, Cindy Crawford, Bono and Emily Blunt.
Matt Damon has no interest in running for political officeA reality star may be in the White House, but don’t expect Matt Damon to be the next celebrity to get involved in politics.
Although the 46-year-old longtime Democrat is politically active – using his influence to endorse candidates like Hilary Clinton and also criticizing some of former President Obama’s policies – he told E! News he won’t be running for office anytime soon.
“I do features. I’m not a reality guy,” he told the website.
And while the last part of that statement could be viewed as a thinly veiled jab at Donald Trump, Damon didn’t seem to mind, saying, “That’s the first time I thought it out. I might use it again.”
While Damon isn’t looking to get more directly involved in politics, he is making sure that his children are aware of the world they live in even if they’ve grown up in a bubble of privilege.
“I think travel is the best part of their privilege, the amount we get to travel. And that’s really what opened my eyes. My mother took me to Mexico and Guatemala when I was in high school and I couldn’t believe what I saw. I think that’s why my kids are fortunate; I’m going to be able to that for them too,” he said.
Matt Damon Gets Emotional Sharing How Being a Father Affects His Fight for Clean Water(Video) Every 90 seconds, a child under the age of 5 will lose their life due to a lack of access to clean water and sanitation.
Matt Damon, co-founder of Water.org, recently shared this chilling fact with an intimate audience at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival.
"It's a massive issue for men, women and girls. I've traveled all around the world interacting with these little girls, and as a father of four girls, it's deeply affecting," Matt said emotionally. "These are real human beings and it's impossible not to see the faces of your own children in the faces of these children."
"I remember being in Ethiopia and watching these villagers get water out of a hand-dug well, and these children were filling up these plastic bottles to take to school, and when they pulled it out, it literally looked like chocolate milk," the Oscar winner continued. "You want to slap it out of their hands, because you know they are going to get sick. But the reality is that if they don't drink the water that day, they are going to die."
Water.org has helped transform the lives of millions around the world, and in their recent partnership with Stella Artois Buy A Lady A Drink campaign, many more lives will be saved.
Damon explained, "Here in America, if you walk into a bar and you order a Stella you not only get a great pint of beer, you're also providing someone you'll never meet in the developing world with clean water for a month. If you buy a six-pack in a supermarket, that'll be water for one person for six months and a 12-pack is for a year."
So far, Stella Artois has created access to clean water and sanitation for almost 1 million people, but the work is far from over.
With the help of Matt, Water.org and people like us, hopefully one day the world's water crisis will be a thing of the past.
Matt Damon says he'll pitch clean water to TrumpMatt Damon took the cause of clean water to the Sundance Film Festival, where he said he's hoping to pitch Donald Trump on the issue.
Damon told The Associated Press on Saturday that clean water accessibility isn't a partisan issue and demands "an all-hands-on-deck approach to solve this." The actor has publicaly supported Democrats, including Hillary Clinton.
When asked his response to the election, Damon demurred and said hopes Trump will be open to backing clean water programs like his nonprofit Water.org. Said Damon: "Hopefully we'll get our turn."
Damon in 2009 founded Water.org with civil engineer Gary White. It uses micro-finance loans to bring hygienic connections to water and toilets to impoverished communities. Damon also spoke about the issue at the Davos Forum last week.
SightingsMatt Damon, Justin Bieber and Dr. Dre dining separately at Catch LA.
Gavin O’Connor New Beneficiary Of Matt Damon’s Busy Sked: Will Helm ‘Father Daughter Time’Yet another filmmaker is benefiting from Matt Damon’s relentless schedule. Gavin O’Connor has been set to replace Damon behind the camera, directing Father Daughter Time: A Tale Of Armed Robbery And Eskimo Kisses. That is the Matthew Aldrich spec that Warner Bros bought several years ago in heated bidding for Damon to direct and produce through Pearl Street with Ben Affleck, Chris Moore and Drew Vinton. The script focuses on a man who goes on the lam with his daughter, his accomplice on a three-state crime spree.
Damon was also originally set to direct Manchester By The Sea, but after Kenneth Lonergan turned in a superb script he was ready to direct right away, Damon backed out and set his sights on playing the role that last night won Casey Affleck the Best Actor Drama Golden Globe. Affleck, now a front-runner in the Oscar race, thanked Damon for the role of his career in last night’s speech, suggesting he doubted that Damon would give up such a strong part again to him. Damon, whose schedule clashed with his work on the Ridley Scott-directed The Martian and prompted him to exit, was still an active producer on Manchester By The Sea and was very effective promoting the film in TV spots. O’Connor confirmed Damon’s largesse on Father Daughter Time, and said this time, Damon needed a break from his pace, and again didn’t want to hold up the picture.
O’Connor, who is prepping to direct for Fox 21 the series pilot Seven Seconds (hatched by The Killing’s Veena Sud) for Fox 21, said Damon has “been shooting back-to-back films for a few years and wanted to break — a breath — to catch up on his life — his family — so he was generous enough to allow me to take the reins directorially and he would produce it. We know his track record as a writer-actor- producer — his taste and sensibility in material — his guidance on Manchester By The Sea was brilliant, so I’m grateful; it feels like a great partnership.” O’Connor just worked with Damon’s partner Affleck, directing him in The Accountant for Warner Bros.
“As a subject I’ve always wanted to explore the father daughter relationship,” O’Connor told Deadline. “I was a single dad for many years. And being a good father — a good example to my daughter — was deeply important to me. But as fathers we’re human, flawed, we make mistakes, and maybe we didn’t have good examples growing up — no strong female role models. So a daughter can be like a Martian to us. Yet you’re a part of each other. You will always be a part of them and they will always be a part of you. We form each other. And I wanted to explore that. How do you live inside that? How do you become a great dad to a daughter when no one taught you how?
“For me, personally, I knew that how my daughter related to me, how she saw me, as a man, would inform the relationships she had with men. I’m the first male relationship she’s going to have so that example would be the foundation for the rest of her life when it came to how she related to men – how she saw men – how she wanted to be treated by men – and that’s a great responsibility. So all these things – and most importantly love – is why I responded to the script – what I saw could be excavated inside the story. Children are the source of our most powerful feelings. They make us happier – or sadder – than anyone else on earth. Because all the emotions within it depend upon love. And the emotional life is fluid because of all the different stages children go through as they evolve. So the relationship is always changing. But love is the prime mover. Love is the biggest part of the emotional equation. And I always wanted to explore the turbulence of that, inside a father daughter relationship. There’s a reason I had a daughter,” he said. “God knew I had a lot to learn. As much as I hope I’ve taught her…she’s unknowingly taught me more. That’s the beauty and depth of the relationship. Because if you’re open to the lessons our children become our greatest teachers.”
Father Daughter Time gives O’Connor another plum project; he is also developing to direct The Green Hornet for Paramount and Chernin Entertainment, and is on a fast track with Atlantic Wall, the Zach Dean-scripted WWII thriller for Imperative Entertainment that will star Bradley Cooper as an American soldier trapped behind enemy lines on the eve of D-Day.
O’Connor is repped by WME and Morris Yorn. Aldrich is with WME and manger Jewerl Ross.
Matt Damon says 'Wall' role never intended for Asian actorMatt Damon said Tuesday that his role in the new China-Hollywood production "The Great Wall" was always intended to be European, responding to criticism that an Asian actor should have been picked for the part.
Some critics have said Damon's casting amounted to "whitewashing," in which Caucasians are chosen for roles that should have gone to actors from other ethnicities.
In an interview with The Associated Press, the American actor said he thinks of "whitewashing" as applying to Caucasian actors applying makeup to appear to be of another race, as was common in the early days of film and television, when racism was much more overt.
"That whole idea of whitewashing, I take that very seriously," Damon said, using the example of the Irish-American actor Chuck Connors, who played the lead character in the 1962 film "Geronimo," about the famed Apache chief.
The 46-year-old Damon plays a British mercenary in the upcoming adventure fantasy helmed by acclaimed Chinese director Zhang Yimou. The trailer sparked criticism in the U.S. that a white man had been chosen to play the lead in a film set in China meant to showcase Chinese culture.
Constance Wu, who stars in the U.S. comedy series "Fresh Off the Boat," which is centered on Taiwanese immigrants, posted on Twitter, "We have to stop perpetuating the racist myth that a only (sic) white man can save the world."
The furor also came amid other accusations of a lack of diversity and opportunities for Asian actors in Hollywood.
Damon and Zhang told the AP that because of the demands of the story, Damon's role was never envisaged for a Chinese actor.
Damon said he thought the controversy would subside "once people see that it's a monster movie and it's a historical fantasy and I didn't take a role away from a Chinese actor ... it wasn't altered because of me in any way."
Damon, star of the "Bourne" franchise and "Interstellar," also questioned whether the critical stories on online new sites based on "a 30-second teaser trailer" would have existed before the era of fake news and social media.
"It suddenly becomes a story because people click on it, versus the traditional ways that a story would get vetted before it would get to that point," Damon said.
People fall for outrageous headlines, but "eventually you stop clicking on some of those more outrageous things because you just realize there is nothing to the story when you get to it."
"The Great Wall" debuts in Chinese cinemas on Dec. 16 followed by other countries, including the United States in February.
Critics’ Choice Award NominationsThe awards air Sunday December 11th on A&E.
BEST ACTION MOVIE
BEST ACTOR IN AN ACTION MOVIE
Matt Damon wanted Kenneth Lonergan to direct ‘Manchester’ as a favorJohn Krasinski cooked up the concept for acclaimed indie film “Manchester by the Sea” for Matt Damon to direct five years ago.
But when Damon wanted to revive writer- director Kenneth Lonergan’s career, he wound up giving Lonergan the movie while staying on as producer.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, back in 2011, Damon, “concerned about Lonergan’s ‘horrible limbo,’ wanted to do something nice for his friend.
So he sat in Lonergan’s Manhattan apartment and pitched him an idea for a script about a New England handyman who ends up with custody of his dead brother’s teen son — a story Damon thought would be right up Lonergan’s dark alley.”
Lonergan’s previous film was “Margaret,” a drama filmed in 2005 starring Damon, Anna Paquin, Mark Ruffalo and Matthew Broderick that wasn’t released until 2011 after being embroiled in behind-the-scenes drama, including three lawsuits.
“Margaret” was dubbed Lonergan’s “thwarted masterpiece” but was ignored by moviegoers, making just $46,495. Damon at first wanted Lonergan to write the screenplay for “Manchester by the Sea,” but Lonergan wound up directing it, too, and the film sold for $10 million at Sundance this year.
Variety said this past week: “Based on its opening weekend, the film is shaping up to be an indie breakout and the biggest hit of [Lonergan’s] career.”
Matt Damon On ‘Manchester By the Sea’ & Why He Had Final Cut ApprovalAs a producer on Kenneth Lonergan’s Manchester By the Sea, Matt Damon had push-comes-to-shove final cut approval over the film–a safeguard against the legal and reputation-staining legacy still attached to Lonergan over his troubled 2011 film Margaret.
“It was just a way of keeping everyone calm,” Damon said, appearing via Skype at a Produced By panel about the making of Manchester By the Sea, due out next month and which is already being talked about as an Oscar candidate.” “If stuff got out of control, I would come in and very rationally and calmly help out.”
As it happened, Damon didn’t need to exercise final approval over Manchester, which was among the most sought-after films at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, with Amazon and Roadside Attractions buying up distribution rights.
Damon praised Kimberly Steward and her company K Period for being willing to bankroll a Lonergan film when no one else would. “It was not an easy decision. If it was, we would have had a lot of people jockeying to make the movie. We had nobody except K Period.”
This was due, Damon said, to Lonergan’s reputation: “Kenny’s in a certain place now that he really wasn’t then,” Damon said. “His reputation was really sullied.”
Finally released in 2011 without a marketing push and with some critics hailing it as a masterpiece, Margaret played out as Lonergan’s magnum opus that wasn’t, its legacy playing out in court with producer Daniel Gilbert arguing that Lonergan had failed to meet his obligations to deliver a releasable film on time, and Lonergan’s reps arguing that Gilbert had hijacked his art.
Manchester By the Sea stars Casey Affleck, Michelle Williams and Kyle Chandler. Damon said he initially developed the project as an uncle/nephew story with actor Jon Krasinski, then brought in Lonergan to write the script.
But Lonergan was “under water with Margaret at the time,” said Damon, who also had a role in that film (indeed, Damon joked that when he ran into Lonergan’s attorney at Sundance this year, they had last seen each other when Damon was deposed in the Margaret case.)
Damon’s involvement with Manchester morphed according to his own commitments and Lonergan’s growing interest in the project.
Joining Damon were the film’s five principal producers, including Kimberly Stewart, Lauren Beck, Chris Moore and Kevin Walsh. Moore, who produced Good Will Hunting for Damon and Ben Affleck, cautioned against optimism over the fact that an emotionally tough move like Manchester got made in today’s Hollywood climate. He calls Manchester an anomoly in a film business that’s otherwise “wildly in a moment of a bubble,” with money floating around for independently financed films but with a huge problem at the other end: no audience.
“In the next five years, we gotta figure out how to get people back out there to watch these movies,” he said.
Matt Damon, Cheo Coker Among Featured Speakers At Produced By New York 2016The Producers Guild of America has announced additional speakers for the 2016 edition of Produced By: New York Conference. New speakers for the event include M. Blair Breard, Cheo Hodari Coker, Matt Damon, Donna Gigliotti, Julie Goldman, William Horberg, Jon Kilik, Brian Koppelman and David Levien, Franklin Leonard, John Lyons, Lori McCreary, Chris Moore, Lydia Dean Pilcher, Joshua Safran, Allyn Stewart, among others.
The conference has also announced additional panels. Among them, “360 Profile: Manchester By The Sea, featuring Matt Damon via remote video link, with fellow producers Kimberly Steward, Lauren Beck, Chris Moore, and Kevin J. Walsh on hand. PBNY happens Saturday, October 29 at the Time Warner Center in New York City.
The full set of announced speakers is below.
Nancy Abraham – Vice President, Documentary Programming, HBO
Adam Abramson – (“The Late Late Show with James Corden,” “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon,” “Saturday Night Live”)
Lauren Beck – (MANCHESTER BY THE SEA, JUNKYARD DOGS, FROM THE FUTURE WITH LOVE)
Arianna Bocco – Executive Vice President of Acquisitions and Production for IFC Films, Sundance Selects and IFC Midnight
Susan Bodine — Partner and Co-Head, Entertainment Practice, Cowan DeBaets Abrahams & Sheppard LLP
Kate Bowen – Talent & Lifestyle Partnerships, Twitter, Inc.
Josh Braun – Co-President, Submarine
M. Blair Breard – (“Louie,” “Better Things,” “Baskets”)
Anthony Bregman – (ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND, ENOUGH SAID, FOXCATCHER)
Jeremy Chilnick– Co-Founder, Partner and COO of Warrior Poets
Cheo Hodari Coker – (“Marvel’s Luke Cage”, “Ray Donovan,” “Almost Human”)
Stuart Cornfeld – (THE FLY, DODGEBALL, TROPIC THUNDER)
Matt Damon – (MANCHESTER BY THE SEA, GOOD WILL HUNTING, the BOURNE franchise)
Stephen David – President, Stephen David Entertainment (“The Men Who Built America,” “The World Wars”)
Tina Fey – (“Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt,” “30 Rock,” MEAN GIRLS)
Scott Franklin – (JACKIE, NOAH, BLACK SWAN)
David George – CEO, Leftfield Entertainment
Donna Gigliotti – (HIDDEN FIGURES, SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK, THE FUNDAMENTALS OF CARING)
Julie Goldman – (LIFE, ANIMATED; WEINER; BUCK)
Blaine Graboyes – CEO, GameCo
Sarah Green – (LOVING, MUD, TREE OF LIFE)
JeJuan Guillory – Supervising Producer, The Gamer Agency for Microsoft eSports and Gaming
John Hadity – Executive Vice President, Entertainment Partners Financial Solutions
Glenda Hersh – Co-president and Co-CEO of True Entertainment and Original Media
Adam Hiner – Head of Video, Greatist
William Horberg – Chair, Producers Guild of America East (THE TALENTED MR. RIPLEY, SEARCHING FOR BOBBY FISCHER, THE KITE RUNNER)
Jay Van Hoy — (AMERICAN HONEY, THE WITCH, BEGINNERS)
Dave Karger – Contributor, “Today” show and “Access Hollywood”
Vassiliki Khonsari – Studio Head + Co-Creator, iNK Stories
Jon Kilik – (THE HUNGER GAMES, BABEL, THE DIVING BELL AND THE BUTTERFLY)
Todd Komarnicki – (Screenwriter: SULLY, PERFECT STRANGER, THE PROFESSOR AND THE MADMAN)
Brian Koppelman – (“Billions”; Co-writer: ROUNDERS, OCEAN’S THIRTEEN)
Franklin Leonard – Founder and CEO, The Black List
Tom Leonardis – President, Whoop, Inc., Executive Producer and Head of Development One Hoe Productions (“Strut”)
David Levien – (“Billions”; Co-writer: ROUNDERS, OCEAN’S THIRTEEN)
Marc Levin – (CLASS DIVIDE, HARD TIMES: LOST ON LONG ISLAND, SCHMATTA: RAGS TO RICHES TO RAGS)
Mark Lindsay – CEO, Feature Film Consultants
Cynthia Littleton – Managing Editor Television, Variety
Gary Lucchesi – President, Producers Guild of America (AMERICAN PASTORAL, THE LINCOLN LAWYER, MILLION DOLLAR BABY)
John Lyons – (SISTERS, “The Young Pope,” BOOGIE NIGHTS)
Lori McCreary – President, Producers Guild of America (“Madam Secretary,” “The Story of God with Morgan Freeman,” INVICTUS)
Rob Miller – Agent, Alternative Television, Creative Artists Agency
Mike Monello – Vice President, Creative, Campfire
Chris Moore – (MANCHESTER BY THE SEA, AMERICAN PIE, GOOD WILL HUNTING)
Christian Murphy – Senior Vice President, Business Development, A+E Networks
Lynn Novick – (“The Vietnam War,” “Prohibition,” “The War’)
Katherine Oliver – Principal, Bloomberg Associates
Eric Orme – Head of Amazon Video Direct
Hanny Patel – Vice President of Video Marketing, AT&T Entertainment Group
Lydia Dean Pilcher – Vice President, Motion Pictures, Producers Guild of America (QUEEN OF KATWE, CUTIE AND THE BOXER, THE DARJEELING LIMITED)
Daphne Pinkerson – (“Class Divide,” “Hard Times: Lost On Long Island,” “Schmatta: Rags To Riches To Rags”)
Chris Rock – (“Everybody Hates Chris,” GOOD HAIR, Director: “Amy Schumer: Live At The Apollo”)
Jay Roewe – Senior Vice President, West Coast Production, HBO
Joel Roodman – Founder, Gotham Entertainment Group
Julie Rottenberg – (“Odd Mom Out,” “Sex and the City,” “Smash”)
Joshua Safran – (“Quantico,” “Smash,” “Gossip Girl”)
Peter Saraf – (LOVING, LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE, SAFTEY NOT GUARANTEED)
Monty Sarhan – Executive Vice President of Programming, Acquisitions, Strategy and Enterprises for
Lisa Schomas – (“Silicon Valley,” “The Man in the High Castle,” “Castle”)
Timothy Shey – Director, Head of Scripted, YouTube Originals
Kimberly Steward – (MANCHESTER BY THE SEA, “Through A Lens Darkly: Black Photographers And The Emergence Of A People”)
Allyn Stewart – Managing Partner, Flashlight Films (SULLY, MADELINE, MAN OF THE HOUSE)
Michael Sugar – (SPOTLIGHT, COLLATERAL BEAUTY, “The Knick”)
Wynn Thomas – (Production Designer: HIDDEN FIGURES, A BEAUTIFUL MIND, MALCOLM X)
Kevin J. Walsh – (MANCHESTER BY THE SEA, THE WAY WAY BACK, WAR OF THE WORLDS)
Tiffany Lea Williams – Senior Vice President of Series Development, East Coast for MTV
Meaghan Wilson – Senior Producer, HBO Digital and Social Media
Damon and Affleck resurrect 'Good Will Hunting' roles for live readMatt Damon and Ben Affleck resurrected their “Good Will Hunting” roles, not to mention their Boston accents, in a special one night only live read from the script Friday in New York.
John Krasinski hosted and served as a guest director for the night before an audience that benefits a non-profit arts organization called Film Independent. Tickets ranged from $65 $150.
He began saying the “Good Will Hunting” script was special to him, not only because he’s from Boston, but because it makes him emotional.
Krasinski introduced a cast to read the different roles including his wife, Emily Blunt, in Minnie Driver’s role, and Margo Martindale, reading Robin Williams’ part of a therapist who helps Damon’s emotionally damaged orphan, who also is unusually intelligent, let go of his past and realize his potential.
Keegan Michael Key and “Hamilton”’s Daveed Diggs also had parts.
The read kicked off with Krasinski taking Damon’s lead role of Will Hunting when Damon him walked on stage and surprised the audience. Krasinski then attempted to begin Affleck’s role of Hunting’s wise-cracking friend, when he appeared.
The crowd screamed and gave a standing ovation and Krasinski took over the duty of narrator.
The reading went off script a few times, like when Krasinski would jokingly protest to Blunt and Damon’s portrayal of lovers and when Affleck and Damon pointed out inside jokes. A few lines were flubbed, but the theatre was silent when Martindale recited Williams’ dialogue in an emotional scene.
“Good Will Hunting” won Damon and Affleck the Oscar for best writing of an original screenplay in 1997. Williams won the best supporting actor Academy Award.
Live Read events began in 2011 in Los Angeles with director Jason Reitman gathering actors together to read popular scripts like “Breakfast Club”, “The Princess Bride” and “Reservoir Dogs,” to raise money for Film Independent.
Recordings are prohibited to preserve the exclusivity and spontaneity of the event.
Live Reads are co-presented by The New York Times.
Matt Damon Receives Birthday Text From Dad During ‘Great Wall’ Panel: “In Exactly One Month, We Can Kiss Trump Goodbye”(Trailer) Matt Damon is working it on his birthday today, appearing at a New York Comic-Con panel for his upcoming Legendary/Universal epic The Great Wall. During the session, Damon received a birthday wish text from his father which he shared with the fanboys: “My birthday present to you is that in exactly one month, we can kiss Trump goodbye” said Damon with a crooked grin. The Oscar-winner then added “If he did get elected, Mexico would have to put up that wall to keep him out!”
Ever since the trailer dropped for the $135M Chinese co-production, Great Wall has dogged criticism from the Asian American media that it has whitewashed history; that it’s just another epic that celebrates the white savior. In the movie, Damon plays William, a mercenary who gets stuck on the wrong side of the Chinese Wall and assists them in battling dragons along with the help of co-star Pedro Pascal. At today’s panel, the film’s actors and director tried to emphasize other attributes about the movie.
Chinese actress Jing Tian played the gender equality card, pointing out that her character was the badass leader of the Chinese army in the film. “As leader of the army, the quality between men and women in leadership roles — I wish we could see more of in film. Also historically, men have been predominantly in the army. It’s unique to have a female gender; she brings girl power to the movie.”
While many have perceived Great Wall to be a historical epic, Damon noted that “ultimately it’s a monster movie. Monsters are attacking the Great Wall. It’s historical fantasy. I’ve never done that before and if ever was to do something like that, it would be with (director) Zhang Yimou.”
The Jason Bourne actor further added, “It was cool to incorporate Chinese mythology in a Hollywood sword and sandal epic.”
Yimou exclaimed via an interpreter, “This movie is made for the world audience. We have people working all over the world and we worked hard to present this movie to you guys” adding that they built three walls during production since they could not shoot on the actual Great Wall.
Great Wall isn’t the first Yimou movie to star a leading box office star. The director’s 2011 film The Flowers of War started Christian Bale and centered around a Westerner who finds refuge with a group of women in a church during Japan’s rape of Nanking in 1937. Flowers wasn’t a Hollywood-made movie. The film made $95M in China, it’s highest territory while it died at the B.O. in other territories round the globe. Damon’s last two movies have landed Chinese releases and fared rather well in the Middle Kingdom: Jason Bourne with $66.3M and The Martian which made close to $95M.
A new trailer was dropped today, which you can watch above. The Great Wall hits theaters on Feb. 17.
Ben Affleck and Matt Damon Argue Over Their Friendships With Tom BradyBen Affleck and Matt Damon have been best friends for years, but they're both vying for the attention of Tom Brady.
In a new video to promote a new Omaze charity campaign, Ben and Matt get into an argument during a video call about whom the New England Patriots player likes more. "For just $10 you and a friend can hang out with me and Tom Brady...and I guess also Matt will be there," Ben says during the call.
"And yes also me because I'm also friends with Tom Brady," Matt snaps back.
"Lesser friends," Ben notes.
The A-list actors then go on to explain that you and a friend would grab some pizza, drink some beers and visit their favorite places in Boston with them and "the greatest quarterback who ever walked the earth."
But the fight gets cut off when Tom texts Ben to tell him he's going to be late. Jealous, a downtrodden Matt says, "I don't have reception here."
Their argument only escalates from there, with both Matt and Ben listing reasons why is closer to them. Ben mentions the time Matt was caught "staring" at Tom's chin, which Ben then compares to his own.
"If your chin was anything like Tom's that Batman movie of yours would've made about $4 billion because that's the only recognizable part of you," Matt snaps. "Tom is a superhero."
Little do they know, however, that Tom dialed into the call and listened to their quarreling. Eventually Tom speaks up to break up their fight and actually tell viewers about the charity.
Who Is Matt Damon's Favorite Affleck Brother to Work With: Ben or Casey?Matt Damon worked as a producer on Manchester by the Sea, which sees Casey Affleck in one of the leading roles. But as we all know, Damon has also worked hand-in-hand with good pal Ben Affleck, too.
Thus, when E! News caught up with the Martian star at a dinner for the film at the Toronto International Film Festival on Tuesday, we couldn't help but ask: Which brother does he prefer working with?
Damon had no hesitation in answering. "Not to throw him under the bus, but Ben is much easier to work with," he told us. "I mean, with Casey and I, we've done a bunch of movies together. We did [a play] in London 14 years ago, and I'll never forget the day we were on-stage rehearsing he told me how I should play my part."
Though he had a hard time accepting it, Damon knew Casey's advice was actually really helpful.
"It was one of those things where I had to kind of take his suggestion," he said, admitting to giving him grief about it. "But I had to kind of hold onto my pride."
Despite choosing Ben, Damon couldn't help but praise Casey. "He's a really gifted actor and writer," he said, before laughing. "But he can be frustrating!"
Meanwhile, Damon and Casey's new film Machester by the Sea will be released later this year. It focuses on an uncle (played by Casey) who has to take care of his nephew after the young boy's father dies.
Needless to say, the plot is bound to be heartbreaking, and Damon admits it's a tearjerker.
"I never made it through the screenplay without crying," he told us. "It was one of those screenplays, it was just magnificent."
Manchester by the Sea hits theaters November 18.
Matt Damon Runs an Attack AdMatt Damon Runs an Attack Ad on Jimmy Kimmel's Vice Presidential Campaign: Video.
Matt Damon's Man Bun is Back and Better Than Ever(Pic) If your heart just started to beat a little faster and your palms got clammy, we have to say, we can’t blame you. For who amongst us is strong enough to withstand the visceral allure of Matt Damon‘s man bun? We first got our glimpse at this spectacular follicle styling last year during a press conference for the actor’s new film The Great Wall, but now the man bun (or as we’re calling it casually, the mun) is back, and it’s better than ever.
At a press event in Beijing on Tuesday to promote the latest Jason Bourne film, Damon stepped out with a head full of Herbal Essences-caliber luscious locks pulled back in a small bun at the nape of his neck. His co-star Alicia Vikander was also there, but it was difficult to see her past the gleaming light being reflected off of Damon’s glossy strands.
If it seems like the actor’s hair sprouted over night, that’s because, well, it pretty much did. While we prefer to believe Matt’s virile enough to grow his hair eight inches in one evening simply by willing it to be so, this new do is likely courtesy of a whole lot of extensions.
The last time he showed up with such a full, robust mun, Damon confessed on The Graham Norton Show that in order to create that look, “There were 700 hair extensions. It was a full day to put them in. They flew somebody all the way to Beijing to put them in. Then I had to manage that hair. I have a whole new appreciation for my wife and daughter.”
Clearly, what he doesn’t appreciate is the state of emotional upheaval he throws us into every time he takes those extensions in and out. But as the old saying goes, Matt Damon’s hair giveth, and Matt Damon’s hair taketh away.
This private school is too exclusive for Matt Damon’s kidsHollywood heft doesn’t get you far with Brooklyn’s arty private schools, as Matt Damon is discovering.
We’re told Damon is moving his family back to New York after a stint in LA — but has been summarily rebuffed by St. Ann’s, one of the city’s most exclusive schools.
Insiders tell Page Six that the Brooklyn Heights school — which boasts alumni including Lena Dunham, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Jemima Kirke and Zac Posen — has told Damon that its classes for next year are fully booked.
We’re told the “Bourne” star was hoping that three of his daughters with wife Luciana Barroso — Isabella, 10, Gia, 7, and Stella, 5 — could join those of longtime Brooklynites Ethan Hawke and Maggie Gyllenhaal at the venerable institution.
“They had a conversation with the school, but St. Ann’s just won’t bend the rules,” said an insider. “They don’t care [who the parents of its students are]. A lot of schools will bend the rules very happily; they’ll bring celebrities’ kids in midway through the year or do whatever they want. St. Ann’s just isn’t doing it.”
The school, with tuition that runs between $36,080 and $42,555 per year depending on the grade, offers classes from pre-K through high school and says on its Web site, “So that every child will flourish, we eschew grades, rankings and prizes in favor of ongoing dialogue and teacher reports.”
The move will be something of a homecoming for the family. When they upped sticks for the West Coast in 2013, Damon said on “Today” that it had been a tough decision to relocate.
“Basically all of our friends with little kids are out there [in LA],” he said. “We’re a little conflicted. We love it here, we’re really happy here and New York will always be here. It might just turn out to be a little jaunt out there and then a return .?.?. It’s hard to leave here.”
A rep for Damon didn’t get back to us.
Chinese director Zhang Yimou defends casting of Matt DamonAcclaimed Chinese director Zhang Yimou has responded to criticism from an Asian-American actress over the casting of “white man” Matt Damon as his movie’s lead, saying the role was never conceived for a Chinese actor.
Damon of the “Bourne” franchise will star later this year in the $150 million Chinese-Hollywood fantasy movie “The Great Wall,” an English-language movie set in China involving menacing supernatural monsters.
Constance Wu, who stars in a U.S. comedy series centered on immigrants called “Fresh Off the Boat,” posted on Twitter last week: “We have to stop perpetuating the racist myth that a only (sic) white man can save the world.”
“Our heroes don’t look like Matt Damon,” her post read, listing alternatives such as Pakistani schoolgirl turned Nobel Peace Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai, Indian independence leader Mahatma Gandhi and South African president and anti-apartheid activist Nelson Mandela.
“The Great Wall” is the first English-language movie by Zhang Yimou, the director of the romantic Kung Fu drama “House of Flying Daggers,” and the opulent opening and closing ceremonies of the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
“For the first time, a film deeply rooted in Chinese culture, with one of the largest Chinese casts ever assembled, is being made at tent pole scale for a world audience. I believe that is a trend that should be embraced by our industry,” Zhang said in a statement posted on Entertainment Weekly’s website on Thursday.
“Our film is not about the construction of the Great Wall. Matt Damon is not playing a role that was originally conceived for a Chinese actor. The arrival of his character in our story is an important plot point,” he was quoted as saying. Zhang said actors portraying the movie’s other four “major heroes” are Chinese.
The casting of Damon hasn’t sparked any controversy in China, where producers are increasingly entering into co-productions with American and other movie makers to improve their filmmaking techniques, and where the government is pushing for Chinese films to be global hits. Hollywood has been drawn to China by the country’s deep-pocketed financiers and its box office that is now the world’s second biggest.
“The Great Wall” is due to be released in December in China and in early 2017 in other countries, including the United States.
James Corden Gets Crash Course As Matt Damon’s ‘Bourne’ Stunt DoubleJames Corden Gets Crash Course As Matt Damon’s ‘Bourne’ Stunt Double: Video.
'Jason Bourne' wins with $60 million, 'Bad Moms' scoresBetween the return of Matt Damon as super spy "Jason Bourne," the promise of laughing along with a few fed-up ladies in the raunchy comedy "Bad Moms" and the dark internet thriller "Nerve," all of which had strong debuts, there was something new for everyone in theaters this weekend.
Even after a nearly 10-year hiatus, Matt Damon as Jason Bourne still draws a significant audience. The Paul Greengrass-directed sequel raked in a healthy $60 million in its opening weekend, according to studio estimates Sunday.
Not adjusted for inflation, it's the second highest opening of the series, behind "The Bourne Ultimatum's" $69.3 million debut in 2007 — the last time Damon appeared as the Robert Ludlum-created character.
With a nine-year gap between films, Universal kept awareness high in the lead up to the release with airings of the Matt Damon "Bourne" trilogy on eight of NBCUniversal's networks. Social media channels also pushed out a video where Matt Damon recaps the previous three films in 90 seconds.
"In the exit polls, the No. 1 reason for people checking it out was the previous films," said Nick Carpou, Universal's president of domestic distribution. "Audiences were ready for it and satisfied."
According to exit data, audiences were 55 percent male, and 60 percent over the age of 35.
The original R-rated comedy "Bad Moms," from the writers of "The Hangover," also had reason to crack open the champagne this weekend. The STX Entertainment film, starring Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell and Kathryn Hahn as a trio of moms on the edge, blew past its $20 million budget to take in earning $23.4 million in its first days in theaters.
An estimated 82 percent of the audience was female, and 48 percent were over the age of 34. "Bad Moms" earned solid A CinemaScore from first weekend audiences, indicating that the film should continue to gain traction in the coming weeks.
"This was a classic case of counter-programming," said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst for comScore. "To compete on that level with two of the biggest names in box office history ('Bourne' and 'Star Trek') is impressive. It tells you that late in the summer, this is what people are looking for — something different and edgy."
"Bad Moms," which debuted at No. 3, just barely missed second place to "Star Trek Beyond," which fell 59 percent in its second weekend in theaters with $24 million. The Paramount sequel has earned $105.7 million to date.
"The Secret Life of Pets" continues to perform extremely well, taking fourth place with $18.2 million even after four weekends in theaters. The Illumination Entertainment and Universal film has earned a total of $296.2 million.
In fifth place, the micro-budget thriller "Lights Out" took in $10.8 million. The film cost only $5 million to make and has already grossed $42.9 million.
The youthful thriller "Nerve" also did well, taking in $15.1 million since launching on Wednesday. It earned $9 million over the weekend for an 8th place finish. Starring Dave Franco and Emma Roberts, "Nerve" cost a reported $20 million to make.
Overall, the box office is up nearly 30 percent from this weekend last year and up 3 percent for the year.
"This has been a summer with some of the biggest ups and downs that I've ever seen," Dergarabedian said. "This is the late summer push that we've all been hoping for."
Next week should prove even bigger too with the release of "Suicide Squad."
Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to comScore. Where available, the latest international numbers for Friday through Sunday are also included. Final domestic figures will be released Monday.
1. "Jason Bourne," $60 million ($50.1 million international).
2. "Star Trek Beyond," $24 million ($13 million international).
3. "Bad Moms," $23.4 million.
4. "The Secret Life of Pets," $18.2 million ($29.5 million international).
5. "Lights Out," $10.8 million ($8.1 million international).
6. "Ice Age: Collision Course," $10.5 million ($19.5 million international).
7. "Ghostbusters," $9.8 million ($10.7 million international).
8. "Nerve," $9 million.
9. "Finding Dory," $4.2 million ($23.6 million international).
10. "The Legend of Tarzan," $2.4 million ($22.4 million international).
Matt Damon on His Jason Bourne Costar: Everyone Wants Alicia Vikander Right NowThat Alicia Vikander is so hot right now.
After multiple buzz worthy roles in major films – including her Oscar win for The Danish Girl, the Swedish star, 27, is one of the most in-demand talents in Hollywood.
"We were lucky to get her," Matt Damon tells PEOPLE of getting Vikander to sign on for a role in Jason Bourne. "Everyone in Hollywood is trying to get Alicia in their movie right now."
Damon, 45, praises Vikander's versatility in films like Danish Girl, Ex Machina and The Man from U.N.C.L.E..
"I just think of these once-in-a-generation actresses who kind of explode onto the scene and what strikes me about her is I can't see where her limits are," he says. "There's been six or seven [recent] performances and they're all really different and they're all going in different places and I don't see the boundaries yet. I'm really excited to see what she does next."
Damon adds: "You only get better at this job. She's going to keep working with great people because great people all want to work with her," he says. "In my experience, I knew a lot when I was 27 but the next 18 years were, it was nothing but fun because I was doing what I loved to do and kind of by osmosis you get better at it because of the people you're around and working with. I don't know where she's going to go but I'm excited to see it."
Is there anything we should know about Vikander that we don't already?
"If I knew something that people don't know, then they shouldn't hear it from me," Damon says with a laugh.
Jason Bourne is now in theaters.
Matt Damon Wants You to Know the Difference Between Jason Bourne and Jason PornWere you aware that Matt Damon's incredibly popular Bourne film franchise has an X-rated "version" or spin-off?
Damon and his Jason Bourne co-star Alicia Vikander recently enlightened PEOPLE with the fascinating fact that there are several adult film versions of Damon's Bourne series.
The subject arose during a conversation with the two actors about the first Damon movie Vikander saw.
"It was Saving Private Ryan," Vikander, 27, revealed, which suddenly reminded Damon of a very different film:
"Not the porn version which was Saving Ryan's Privates," Damon, 45, said with a smile. "You know every movie has a porn movie that they do, so the titles are very funny."
Vikander, who plays a tech prodigy working for the CIA who may or may not be on Damon's character's side in Jason Bourne, added that the film's titles don't leave much to the imagination, adult film parody-wise: "It's very easy to think about [the titles for] this franchise," she said.
"It's all like The Porn Identity, The Porn Supremacy," Damon continued. "This is just Jason Porn.
We shall file this information under: "Things you did not expect to discuss with Oscar winner Matt Damon."
Jason Bourne hits theaters Friday.
Matt Damon is taking year off from actingMatt Damon is ready to go off the grid.
“I took a bunch of roles in a row. I’ve done four straight movies in a row and I have one more to go,” the actor said on the “Today” show Thursday.
Damon, 45, whose latest installment of the Bourne franchise, “Jason Bourne,” opens Friday, also shared he wants to spend more time with his family after “dragging them all over the world” for film shoots.
“They’re really good sports. They’re great travelers,” Damon explained of wife Luciana Barroso and their daughters. “But I’m excited to finish this year of work and take a year off and be at their behest for once.”
While Damon will eventually get back in the saddle, he’s looking forward to giving his body a break after having endured grueling workouts to prepare for his fourth go-around as Bourne.
“I mean, I’m 45. I started doing these, I was 29 — all that stuff came a lot easier,” he said, adding his acting chops have vastly improved, too.
“I’m a better actor now than when I was 29, so that part was a little easier.”
Matt Damon Is Back as Jason Bourne with More Trouble in Mind and Alicia Vikander in Hot PursuitMatt Damon's fourth turn as Jason Bourne runs the risk of feeling, literally, like an afterthought: In 2007's Bourne Ultimatum, you'll recall, the rogue special-ops hit man finally pieced together how he was brainwashed and trained. Now, in Jason Bourne, a new question nags him. Was Dad involved? In the next movie, maybe he'll wonder if an aunt had a hand in it, or cousin Bartholomew was a mole. And so on.
But this is still rock-solid entertainment. Damon, one of the few major Hollywood actors willing to spend much of his career in a realistically minimalist mode, has lost none of his battered gravity, and director Paul Greengrass keeps the action racing forward in a splinteringly rough documentary style. Bourne reminds us that mayhem is properly portrayed and understood as may-hell.
When we first meet up again with Bourne he's working as a kind of black-market boxer in a distant backwater. This seems like a pretty arbitrary setup, as if we were about to be treated to the most daring Rocky reboot yet, but it's better than Jason Bourne, traveling circus clown.
But then Bourne resurfaces, as he must, in the intelligence grid at Langley, Virginia, and we're off.
CIA director Tommy Lee Jones doesn't see much reason not to have Bourne terminated with extreme prejudice, but his whiz-kid cyber specialist Heather Lee (Alicia Vikander) thinks Bourne can be rehabilitated and brought in from the cold. She also has a way of looking at grainy security footage of Bourne with a soft-glowing fondness that suggests she's entertaining sleek, glamorous fantasies of a Mr. & Mrs. Smith variety.
This is ridiculous, actually, but Vikander keeps these sentiments in check and lets Heather's opportunistic ruthlessness guide the performance: If Bourne doesn't warm to the idea of reteaming with the CIA, Heather is all for putting him permanently on ice instead of bringing him in from the cold.
Her boss, meanwhile, is preoccupied with controlling Aaron Kalloor (Riz Ahmed), an online programming developer who's been much too chummy about sharing information with the government. Now Aaron wants to get all principled and protect the privacy of his millions of clients. You might as well try to block your cows' Facebook posts after they've all left the barn.
None of this makes the new Bourne feel any more pressingly of the global, political, cultural or technological moment. (Or, to be fair, any less so.) But it all still works on the same elemental, philosophical level as the rest of the series. What allows a man to call himself a man? And, considering the question on a more abstract level, why can't all men be Matt Damon?
‘The Great Wall’ Trailer‘The Great Wall’ Trailer: China Needs Matt Damon On That Wall: Video.
Matt Damon Agrees He Is a Good Card Player – But 'Not Ben Affleck Good'Matt Damon is a man of many talents – just ask his costars.
"He is a good card player," Damon's Jason Bourne costar Alicia Vikander tells PEOPLE. "I guess people kind of already know that. But it's something when even I knew that, and then got to see it myself."
Vikander observed Damon's card-playing skills during filming in Las Vegas, where much of the third act of the new Bourne is set.
"It's only because it's your fourth film set in Vegas, no other reason," Vikander, 27, tells Damon, 45, of his card-playing skills. "You've been kind of forced."
"They keep letting me back in here," he jokes. "I'm not Ben Affleck good. Ben Affleck is not allowed to play, he got banned from all these places, I didn't."
Damon, who cultivated his card shark skills when he played a high-stakes poker player in the 1998 film Rounders, references Affleck's highly publicized ban from the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in 2014, due to the actor's impressive ability to count cards. Affleck, 43, was not completely banned from casino, however, just the blackjack table.
"I downloaded that card-counting app and then I didn't do it because Ben can't play blackjack in Vegas anymore," says Damon. "He's been disinvited."
Jason Bourne surges into theaters Friday.
After nearly a decade, Matt Damon is 'Bourne' againIt's a sweltering afternoon in Hollywood and Matt Damon has just gotten out of couple's therapy.
Don't worry, it was just with Jimmy Kimmel — a continuation of the fake feud that started over 10 years ago before the two had even met.
"It takes a really surreal turn because we got a real therapist and we play it totally straight," said Damon seated in the green room of Kimmel Studios. After "therapy," Damon had about 10 minutes to do a photo shoot, film an intro for a festival he can't attend and scarf down a salad. This is life on the blockbuster circuit.
Damon, 45, is promoting "Jason Bourne," a film that nine years ago both he and director Paul Greengrass thought would never happen. After three movies exploring the story of the super spy created by Robert Ludlum, the last two of which were directed by Greengrass, and a particularly difficult shooting experience with "The Bourne Ultimatum," Damon was done.
The name would come up often, though, in meetings and from fans. In 2009, around the time Damon and Greengrass did "Green Zone," they flirted with getting another one going but there just wasn't a story. Universal Pictures, meanwhile, moved on, expanding the Bourne universe with a film focused on another agent played by Jeremy Renner. It did well enough, and a sequel was in the works. Then, in 2014, Greengrass and Damon took a look at the world and realized how much had changed.
"Paul called and said that the first set piece would be an austerity riot in Athens," Damon said. "I'm like, 'OK, we're back.'"
But they made sure to structure their production schedule so they weren't coming up with the script while they were shooting — as was the case with "Ultimatum."
"When you're in production, you're lighting money on fire and you can feel it. What (co-writers) Paul (Greengrass) and Chris (Rouse) did this time, which is great, was they took a whole year and showed up with 120 pages that you want to shoot," Damon said. "We knew once we said we were going to do it, that we were going to get a release date, so we just got all of our ducks in a row."
And it worked. For "Ultimatum," they shot for 138 days. "Jason Bourne" was a trim 95.
The film, out Friday, is partially about the world of government surveillance, introducing CIA agents played by Tommy Lee Jones and Alicia Vikander. The high octane hunt takes Bourne to the requisite international locales and even a few domestic ones — including Las Vegas, where one set piece features a SWAT vehicle plowing through cars on the strip. It's eerily reminiscent of the recent incident in France.
The marketing team pulled the scene from European ads immediately, he said.
"That was just horrific," Damon said. "None of us felt like it was a copy-cat thing, but we didn't want to be insensitive with those images out there."
It makes him think of the objections to the posters showing him wielding a gun — a sentiment he keenly understands.
"Movies are a tool for empathy. I wouldn't do them if I didn't believe that," he said. "But violence is a part of the human condition and so sometimes you end up playing violent characters. Jason Bourne is a violent character."
He hopes that the series, which has shown Bourne atoning for his actions, has a mindfulness that distinguishes it from others.
Damon may be one of the most bankable movie stars in the business, but he still feels the pressure of a big opening — especially from a franchise like Bourne.
"A lot is at stake," Damon said. "The movie was expensive to make and if the audience doesn't show up then, yeah, that would be a big deal that would be bad ... Our jobs are constantly hanging in the balance. It's an insecure profession and an insecure industry."
He's keeping busy, though. Almost too busy. His packed schedule meant giving up a plum role in Kenneth Lonergan's "Manchester By the Sea" to his pal Casey Affleck. The film, based on an idea from John Krasinski and Damon, who also produced, was rapturously received at Sundance and will come out in November.
"Casey's no dummy. He was like 'I'll do it! I'll clear everything from my schedule!" Damon laughed.
But Damon has some big things on the horizon, too, including Alexander Payne's "Downsizing," and Yimou Zhang's historical fantasy "The Great Wall," a massive American and Chinese co-production that's out in February. He moved his wife and kids to China for six months during the shoot.
"There were 50 translators running around in every department. But everyone had made a lot of movies so we had that common language," Damon said.
Next he's shooting the George Clooney-directed and Joel and Ethan Coen-scripted crime mystery "Suburbicon."
And maybe after that he'll get around to taking a break and finally figuring out what he wants to direct.
Right now it's all "Bourne." He's just wrapped a big international tour and is off to New York to do the talk show circuit.
"Then I'm done!" Damon said. "Well, I still have to go to China and Japan. But that's like two weeks away. I'm not looking that far ahead."
HBO didn't renew 'Project Greenlight,' Damon says"Project Greenlight" won't be getting a fifth season on HBO.
Matt Damon told The Associated Press on Tuesday that he was shocked that HBO didn't pick up his and Ben Affleck's show, which chronicles the production of an independent film.
"I really liked it and thought that the show went great," Damon said while promoting the latest "Jason Bourne" film. "I'm not one to question (their programming). They do such a great job. But we have to take it out again."
Damon said that that they'll start shopping the show around, and he thinks that a streaming service like Amazon or Netflix might be a good fit.
"There are places where I think we could do really well," he said.
"Project Greenlight" aired on HBO for its first two seasons from 2001 to 2003, before moving to Bravo for season three in 2005. The show came back to HBO for a fourth season last year to much buzz and some controversy starting with Damon's comments regarding diversity, for which he later apologized.
The show this past season, which was centered on the production of director Jason Mann's dark parlor comedy "The Leisure Class," became a cultural touchpoint.
Even in production, it already seemed like a relic of a different era, with its white male director focusing on wealthy, mainly white characters at a time when diversity and representation in film were in the spotlight more than ever. Producer Effie Brown became a breakout star of the season, providing fascinating insight and commentary week to week on those issues while also overseeing the production of the film.
A representative from HBO said in a statement that it was initially imagined as a one-season revival and that they decided in early 2016 that another season "did not make sense for us."
"We are proud of the show and were pleased with its run throughout the years," HBO said.
Matt Damon and Jimmy Kimmel Give "Court Ordered" Couples Therapy Another ChanceMatt Damon and Jimmy Kimmel Give "Court Ordered" Couples Therapy Another Chance: Video.
Matt Damon Has Very, Very Specific Requirements For Making His 'Ideal Taco' RecipeWhen it comes to tacos, Matt Damon does not mess around.
During a Reddit Ask Me Anything session for his latest film, Jason Bourne, one inquiring user asked the most important question of the day: What are the ingredients of your ideal taco? And Damon did not hold back when answering the “fantastic question,” as he put it.
“My ideal taco is actually the taco I’m not supposed to have which is the taco we have on taco night at my house,” he wrote. (Side note: Raise your hand if you’d do just about anything to get invited to taco night at the Damon residence.) “It’s the crunchy corn shell with the good meat, just ground beef in there.”
As for toppings, The Martian star says, “It’s all about the layering.”
“The meats gotta be hot, and the cheese goes on first so that it melts,” he said. “And then you’re gonna get in there with a little bit of tomato and lettuce but not too much cause it’s not a salad, it’s a taco.” Amen.
Damon then finishes it off with some avocado, sour cream and generous serving of his favorite hot sauce, Cholula.
“I don’t know if you know what cholula hot sauce is but it’s the best,” he raves. “Throw a bunch of cholula on there, maybe squeeze some lime on top, and go to town.”
Reddit readers seemed pleased with his response. “Your comment on tacos not being salads has likely impacted me more than anything else in the past decade,” wrote one user.
Throughout the thread, Damon also revealed the one food he ate to lose over 60 pounds for a role (chicken breast) and weighed in on the great American debate: Is a hot dog a sandwich?
“I’ve never considered a hot dog a sandwich because a hot dog is a hot dog,” he says. “I mean technically it comes between 2 pieces of bread or one fold it into two, so I guess you can classify it as a sandwich. Then what would you call it, a hot dog sandwich? That’s like a hat on a hat so let’s just keep it as a hot dog.”
Well, that settles that.
Matt Damon and Julia Stiles React to Lena Dunham's Jason Bourne Gun Poster ProtestMatt Damon and Julia Stiles understand why people would be upset by the presence of guns in the Jason Bourne movie posters, but they don't think they should be changed. The actors, who star in another installment of the Bourne franchise, caught up with E! News' Maria Menounos in Las Vegas and explained why they think the guns should stay.
"I totally get it. I mean especially given what's going on recently, and I get not wanting to see a picture of a gun right now, and I don't blame her at all," Damon says. "I mean for the marketing purposes of Jason Bourne—I mean he is a guy who runs around with a gun, so it's not gratuitous marketing, but certainly in light of recent events I understand that impulse to want to tear the gun out of the picture."
Stiles echoes Damon's sentiments, but also notes that Damon's onscreen persona, titular Jason Bourne, doesn't promote violence even though he has to use it. "Obviously there's an incredible amount of violence going on in the world and in the United States right now that's devastating, but this movie's perspective is not one that glorifies or makes heroic the idea of being violent," Stiles tells Menonous. "In fact, it's the opposite."
She further explains, "The main character, Jason Bourne, is very much struggling with his own conscience, and the reason that he's been tortured throughout the whole series is because he regrets having to kill people for what he thought was a good cause. I feel like it promotes the idea of questioning violence and questioning your government."
Dunham's guns-on-posters protest actually began with producer Tami Sagher who proposed removing images of the gun that the titular character wields from the poster. Dunham, who is passionate about gun control awareness, captioned his picture, "Good idea @tulipbone! Let's go!"
In addition to responding to Dunham's protest, Damon also opens up about his intense training to get back into fighting shape, as well as what his wife thought about his buffer bod. "She was cool with it," Damon jokes. "When I met her I was pretty doughy, so I think I had her sold on the doughy version." His fitter body must be an added perk LOL!
Stiles also addresses the crazy stunts in the movie, and how she actually ended up getting more hurt off screen than on, so watch the videos to hear what these two have to say about their wild times on set.
Jason Bourne hits theaters July 29, 2016.
‘Jason Bourne’ cast celebrates film with top NBC execMatt Damon, Alicia Vikander and the stars of “Jason Bourne” premiered their new film in Las Vegas on Monday and also celebrated with NBCUniversal vice chairman Ron Meyer — who Page Six exclusively reported extended his contract for another five years the same day.
Under Meyer, Universal Pictures is coming off the highest-grossing box-office year in history.
“Bourne” regular Julia Stiles and co-stars Tommy Lee Jones and Riz Ahmed were also at the Caesars Palace premiere.
Matt Damon Remembers His First Bizarre Encounter with Prince, Plus His First Impressions of Heath LedgerMatt Damon has worked with some of the biggest celebrities in the world, but he will always remember his first impressions of two megastars who passed before their time.
The Jason Bourne star is the cover of the August issue of GQ, and some of his closest industry friends and costars shared their own personal memories of the actor in honor of the occasion.
Julia Stiles, who costarred with Damon in the Bourne series, recalled that time she and Damon had an audience with none of than Prince.
"After The Bourne Ultimatum came out, there was a premiere in London. Prince actually came to it, then got tickets for the cast to come see him [perform]," she explains.
"We were summoned into a room, to meet him [after the show]. Matt said, 'So you live in Minnesota? I hear you live in Minnesota.' "
Damon remembers, "Prince said, 'I live inside my own heart, Matt Damon.' "
The actor also spoke about his first impressions of Heath Ledger, whom he worked with on The Brother's Grimm.
"He was too bright for this world. Coming off [The Brother's Grimm, I was] telling everybody that I just worked with the best actor I've ever seen," he says.
And people were like, 'What are you talking about? The guy from A Knight's Tale?' And I was like, 'You just wait. And wait until you see what kind of director he's gonna be.' There were things that he did where I couldn't have got there in three lifetimes."
The issue also features hilarious Damon insights from Tina Fey, Ben Affleck, Julia Roberts, Martin Scorsese, Jimmy Kimmel and other industry big wigs.
For example, friend and frequent collaborator George Clooney, offered, "He looks swell in a Speedo."
Matt Damon taunted John Krasinski the first time they metMatt Damon may be one of the nicest people in Hollywood, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have a mischievous side.
As fellow actor John Krasinski recounts in the August issue of GQ, “The day I met [Damon] was the scene in ‘The Adjustment Bureau’ where he kisses my wife [Emily Blunt] in a very big way. And so when I went up to him, he turned to me, and the first thing he ever said to me was, ‘Hey, man. I was just totally tonguing your girl.’”
Noticing that the joke didn’t go over quite as expected, Damon quickly snapped back to his usual, perfectly nice self.
“And I went, ‘Oh, OK. Cool.’ And he saw my face and he just cratered,” Krasinksi continued. “He said, ‘Oh, my God. I am so sorry. I am so sorry.’ ”
Krasinski – who co-wrote and starred with Damon in “Promised Land” – and Blunt have since gone on to become good friends with the “Jason Bourne” star and his wife, Luciana.
“The four of us hang out constantly and drink way too much together,” Blunt told the magazine. “Red wine for the three of us, and John’s allergic to red wine, so he has to take down the bottle of white by himself. Which is not an issue.”
Allergy or not, Damon wasn’t about to let his pal off for making the couples’ hang-outs more complicated than they used to be.
“That allergy is recent. He used to not be allergic to red wine, so we were perfect dinner companions. Now everything is off,” Damon said.
‘Jason Bourne’ gets ‘Fast & Furious’ on the streets of Las VegasUniversal Pictures released three new clips of “Jason Bourne” this weekend, all clocking in at approximately 60 seconds. In one, Matt Damon can be seen as the titular character, deep in a Las Vegas car chase that has been hyped for some time now.
Another shows Bourne zipping through the streets on a motorcycle, picking up Julia Stiles’ Nicky Parsons. The last gives a glimpse at two new cast members, Alicia Vikander and Tommy Lee Jones as Heather Lee and Robert Dewey, respectively, as they engage in intense conversation with Bourne.
“Alicia represents the way the world has changed,” Damon said of the new cast additions in a recent interview with Empire magazine. “The whole cyber element wasn’t there ten years ago. And Tommy Lee and Vincent Cassel make it feel like a new Bourne movie, but it’s definitely recognizable as a Bourne movie.”
Cassel is also joining the franchise as the villain, as is Riz Ahmed as a CIA cyber specialist, along with Vikander’s character. Stiles also recently spoke about her character, revealing to Yahoo Movies that Nicky gets “outside of the office” in the upcoming sequel.
“It was really interesting what I got to do in terms of where we find Nicky,” she said. “She’s become more rebellious and dangerous. It was nice to see her outside of the office!”
Matt Damon Speaks Out on Gun Control: 'I Wish We Could Be Sensible' Like AustraliaJason Bourne is getting tough on guns.
Asked to comment on gun control while promoting his new film, Jason Bourne, in Sydney, Australia, Matt Damon told The Sydney Morning Herald he wishes America would learn from the land down under.
"You guys did it here in one fell swoop and I wish that could happen in my country, but it's such a personal issue for people that we cannot talk about it sensibly. We just can't," he said.
"People get so emotional that even when you make a suggestion about not selling AK-47s to people on terror watch lists, that's a non-starter. I don't know what needs to happen."
Damon also noted that, "Obviously mass shootings aren't going to do it. There have been so many of them at this point. Sandy Hook, when those children were murdered, if that didn't do it, you know, I just don't know. Maybe we just need to evolve further before we can have that conversation, I don't know."
The actor went on to praise Australia for implementing nationwide gun law reform, which according to researchers, has drastically reduced mass shootings in the last 20 years.
"It's wonderful what Australia did because you guys haven't had a mass shooting since you went, 'No, we're going to be sensible about this.' And nobody's rights have been infringed, you guys are fine."
"I wish we could be sensible like that but I don't think that's going to happen in my lifetime."
The U.S. Senate rejected four new gun control proposals in June after the mass shooting in Orlando, leading many celebrities, including Bette Midler and Mia Farrow, to vent their frustrations on social media.
Jason Bourne, the fifth film in the gun-heavy action series, hits theaters July 29.
Matt Damon Goes Into Bourne Spy Mode to Prank Fans—for Charity, ObviouslyMatt Damon Goes Into Bourne Spy Mode to Prank Fans—for Charity, Obviously: Video.
Matt Damon - PSA to Stop Yulin Dog Meat FestivalMatt Damon, Kate Mara and More Celebrities Come Together for PSA to Stop Yulin Dog Meat Festival: Video.
Reunited! Ben Affleck and Matt Damon Joke About Their 'Guys of the Decade' Trophy at the Guys Choice AwardsBen Affleck and Matt Damon's bromance is officially the one to beat.
The close friends were honored Saturday night with the "Guys of the Decade" award at Spike's 10th Annual Guys Choice Awards, taped at Sony Pictures Studios in Culver City, California.
"I think it goes without saying that this is an award Matt and I have been dreaming about since we were little boys," Affleck, 43, said in his speech, Damon, 45, at his side. "I did Gigli and Matt did that Liberace movie and all of a sudden it all seemed out of reach. Then I did [Batman v Superman] and all of a sudden it was back in reach again."
"Now we're the ... coveted Dudes of the Decade ... the Guys of the D---heads?" he continued. "What is it?"
"No, the D---heads of the Decade award," Damon replied.
While Affleck and Damon hung together backstage, they spent time chatting apart: Damon talked with Julia Roberts and Robert De Niro while Affleck spent several minutes speaking with Shilo Harris, an Army veteran-turned motivational speaker and writer, following injuries during an IED explosion.
Affleck and Harris had a "great talk," Harris told PEOPLE.
"He was a great man," Harris said. "He asked me what I do, and I told him that I was a motivational speaker, and that recently we've been combatting the epidemic of veteran suicides."
And of the possibility that Affleck might contribute to Harris' work with veterans, he said, "I don't know, but you know what, I kept talking and he kept listening. So I'm very proud of that."
Affleck and Damon have been close since growing up together in Massachusetts. They proved to be an award-winning pair, when their 1997 hit Good Will Hunting won two Oscars, and have continued to collaborate – currently on HBO movie Thirst, Syfy thriller Incorporated and an interactive competition series called The Runner.
Damon recently recalled the obstacles he and Affleck faced together as they tried to kickstart their careers, while delivering the commencement address at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology on Friday.
"For all the amazing successes I've been lucky to share, few things have shaped me more than the auditions Ben and I used to go on as young actors, where we'd get on a bus, show up in New York, wait our turn, cry our hearts out for a scene and then be told, 'Okay, thanks,' meaning game over," he said. "We used to call it, 'Okay, thanks,' and those experiences became our honor."
The 10th Annual Guys Choice Awards will air on June 9 (9 p.m. ET) on Spike.
Matt Damon tells MIT graduates to face the world's problemsMatt Damon is passing on to Massachusetts Institute of Technology graduates a little bit of advice that he got from former President Bill Clinton.
The actor spoke to more than 1,000 undergraduates and almost 1,800 graduate students at MIT's commencement Friday. After listing some of the world's greatest problems, he told them to "turn toward the problems you see, you have to engage."
The actor and filmmaker grew up near the Cambridge, Massachusetts, campus and played a mathematically gifted custodian at the school in the 1997 movie "Good Will Hunting."
Damon dropped out of Harvard so he could pursue his acting career.
"The Bourne Identity" star told MIT students that it was an honor to be part of their day, although it was an honor he didn't earn.
Teen Choice Awards 2016 NominationsChoice Movie Actor: Drama
Jacob Tremblay – Room
Leonardo DiCaprio – The Revenant
Matt Damon – The Martian
Michael B. Jordan – Creed
O'Shea Jackson Jr. – Straight Outta Compton
Taron Egerton – Eddie The Eagle