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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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Fox, Ben Affleck & Matt Damon Win Hot Package On Multi-Million Dollar Theft Of McDonald’s Monopoly Game(8/2/18) Fox is poised to win the hot lit property in the marketplace at the moment, a giant Happy Meal that everyone wanted. Ben Affleck is attached to direct and Matt Damon to star in a true-crime story written by Jeff Maysh and published in The Daily Beast several days ago about an ex-cop who rigged the McDonald’s Monopoly game, allegedly stealing over $24 million and sharing it with an unsavory group of co-conspirators who offered kickbacks to the mastermind. The Pearl Street partners will produce, and the Deadpool scribes Paul Wernick & Rhett Reese will write the script.
Sources said that bidding was ferocious for Maysh’s How An Ex-Cop Rigged McDonald’s Monopoly Game And Stole Millions. Lining up to bid were Universal for Kevin Hart, Warner Bros for John Requa & Glenn Ficarra and Steve Carell and producer Andrew Lazar, and Netflix, which bid for producing partners Eric Newman & Bryan Unkeless, Robert Downey Jr & Susan Downey, and Todd Phillips. The auction was handled by IPG’s Joel Gotler, who repped Maysh. David Klawans, who got rights to the article and exec veep on Affleck’s Oscar-winning Argo, is exec producing.
The article opens in 2001 in Rhode Island, as a million-dollar check is delivered to a man who said he’d won the $1 million grand prize after collecting Monopoly pieces attached to food products, defying the 1-in-250 million odds and modeled after the venerable board game that the piece says was invented as a warning about the destructive nature of greed. A camera crew was dispatched to hear how the man won, and they chronicled his series of lies. They were FBI agents closing in on a sting that began with a tip about an “Uncle Jerry,” who’d sell stolen game pieces. Solid detective work unearthed Jerry Jacobson, a head of security for a Los Angeles company responsible for generating the game pieces. It led to a wide conspiracy that involved mobsters, psychics, strip-club owners, drug traffickers and a family of Mormons who falsely claimed to have won more than $24 million in cash and prizes.
Pearl Street veep Madison Ainley brought in the project and will shepherd it for Pearl Street. Matt Reilly will steer it for Fox. Reilly worked with Affleck on The Town when he was an exec at Warner Bros before moving to Fox.
IPG brokered the sale, and WME reps Affleck and Damon, and Reese & Wernick.
Brad Pitt and Matt Damon turned down 'Brokeback Mountain' roles: Gus Van Sant(7/20/18) Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio both declined starring roles in Oscar-winning drama Brokeback Mountain, according to original director Gus Van Sant.
The moviemaker was initially attached to adapt author Annie Proulx’s short story of the same name into a feature film, but he struggled to convince a number of top actors to take on the cowboy love story.
“Nobody wanted to do it,” Van Sant recalled to IndieWire. “I was working on it, and I felt like we needed a really strong cast, like a famous cast. That wasn’t working out.
“I asked the usual suspects: Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Ryan Phillippe. They all said no.”
Reports at the time suggested Van Sant had wanted his Good Will Hunting star Damon to feature opposite Joaquin Phoenix as Ennis Del Mar and Jack Twist, the roles which eventually went to Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal, respectively, in director Ang Lee’s acclaimed 2005 release.
Producer Diana Ossana, who helped to adapt the script, confirmed the revelations in an email statement to the outlet, writing, “Yes, all those young gentlemen (at the time) turned down the project, for various reasons.”
Reflecting on his approach to casting the film over a decade ago, Van Sant admits he shouldn’t have focused so heavily on landing big names.
“What I could have done, and what I probably should have done, was cast more unknowns, not worried about who were the lead actors,” he said.
“I was not ready. I’m not sure why. There was just sort of a hiccup on my part. There was something off with myself, I guess, whatever was going on.”
Brokeback Mountain went on to lead all nominees at the 2006 Academy Awards with eight nods, including acting mentions for Ledger, Gyllenhaal, and Michelle Williams. It ended up picking up three honours, including Best Director for Lee, but missed out on Best Picture to Crash.
Meanwhile, Van Sant also told IndieWire he came close to taking charge of another acclaimed gay romance, 2017’s Call Me By Your Name, which was directed by Luca Guadagnino and starred Timothee Chalamet and Armie Hammer.
He explains a producer pal initially offered the project to him, and although the 65-year-old was interested, he doubts it would have been as well-received as Guadagnino’s version, because he found a “sentimentality” in the ending of the story that Van Sant didn’t.
“I think in that case in particular… I don’t think it would have panned out the way it did if I had directed it,” he shared. “I think it was great. I like the film… I’m not sure I would have ended up in the same place, so it probably wouldn’t have done as well.”
Call Me By Your Name, based on the 2007 novel of the same name by Andre Aciman, landed four Oscar nominations earlier this year, and earned James Ivory the Best Adapted Screenplay prize.
Matt Damon & John Krasinski Tap Into Bill Clinton-Pardoned Fugitive Marc Rich Tale ‘The King Of Oil’ At Universal(7/3/18) Matt Damon is in the early stages of attaching to star as the fugitive billionaire commodities trader Marc Rich in The King of Oil. Universal Pictures has optioned the project for Sunday Night Productions, which is John Krasinski’s production banner. Sources said Krasinski, who’s coming off the sleeper smash A Quiet Place, might eventually direct the film, but I’m being told right now that is premature.
The film is based on The King of Oil: The Secret Lives of Marc Rich, a no-holds-barred biography of Rich written by Daniel Ammann that sheds new light on one of the most controversial international businessmen of all time. Krasinski and Allyson Seeger are producing for Sunday Night Productions, and Vincent Sieber and Uri Singer are also producing.
Joe Shrapnel & Anna Waterhouse will adapt the screenplay. Executive Vice President Mark Sourian will oversee production for Universal.
The public will remember Rich from that controversial pardon by President Bill Clinton on his last day in office. Rich was a child of the Holocaust who became the wealthiest and most powerful oil and commodities trader of the century until his 1983 indictments on 65 criminal counts including tax evasion. The book detailed Rich’s illegal dealings with Iran during the hostage crisis and his quiet cooperation with the Cuban, Israeli, and U.S. governments. The Glencore founder never faced a judge or jury: Rich was in Switzerland when he was indicted on those criminal counts and lived his life abroad until he died at age 78 in 2013.
Boston-bred Damon and Krasinski have teamed before on Manchester By The Sea and together they wrote and starred in the Gus Van Sant-directed fracking drama Promised Land. Damon is revving to star with Christian Bale in Ford Vs. Ferrari which James Mangold is directing at Fox about the race for domination between those car makers at Le Mans in 1966. Krasinski next stars as Jack Ryan in the Amazon series.
Damon is repped by WME and Ziffren Brittenham; Krasinski is WME and Schreck Rose; the scribes are repped by CAA, Curtis Brown Group and attorney Sean A. Marks.
Why Matt Damon was cut from ‘Ocean’s 8’(6/11/18) If fans were excited to see Matt Damon‘s cameo in “Ocean’s 8,” they’ll be very disappointed.
The all-female heist movie was released on Friday, but viewers will note that Damon’s cameo landed a spot on the cutting room floor instead of on the big screen.
“[Picking the cameos] is an eclectic process of: How does it fit in the story and how is the narrative unfolding?” “Ocean’s 8” director Gary Ross told The Hollywood Reporter. “This more than any movie I’ve done had a really copious editorial process where you play with stuff, you find stuff. I’ve never shot anything after I’ve wrapped on any other movie before, but in a heist movie and an ensemble movie, you’re still working on the play …”
Carl Reiner’s appearance as Saul didn’t make the final cut either.
“There were a lot of people who were gracious to us that just for editorial and storytelling reasons didn’t make it in and some who did,” Ross said of Damon’s absence. “If you know, we ended up shooting probably another 10 days afterwards, so there’s a lot of material and a lot of shaping. But it really just comes to storytelling.”
Damon’s absence comes after fans of the franchise launched a petition to have Damon’s cameo cut from the film after he made controversial comments about the #MeToo movement and Harvey Weinstein.
“I do believe that there is a spectrum of behavior … there’s a difference between patting someone on the butt and rape or child molestation,” Damon told ABC News in the fall. “Both of those behaviors need to be confronted and eradicated, without question, but they shouldn’t be conflated.”
The petition received 28,848 signatures out of a goal of 30,000. It appears those signers got their wish.
Julianna Margulies defends Matt Damon amid #MeToo backlash(5/25/18) Even though Matt Damon apologized for his controversial comments about sexual misconduct, Julianna Margulies doesn’t think he should have.
“I didn’t think that was right. I understood what he was saying. He was completely compassionate about what was going with people who are raping, but it’s not the same as what’s going on with people who are joking around on a set,” the “Dietland” star said on Katie Couric’s podcast in an episode airing Thursday.
“You have to differentiate between what’s acceptable and what’s not acceptable. The dialogue has been opened, finally, after all these years. The reason the pendulum swung so far was that women, it’s been bubbling under the surface and this tiny little opening happened, and we all just ran out of that one ripped seam.”
In December 2017, Damon, 47, told “Popcorn with Peter Travers” that he believed there was a “spectrum of behavior … There’s a difference between patting someone on the butt and rape or child molestation.”
He later admitted, “I should close my mouth for a while.”
Margulies explained that her view of the #MeToo movement was about “people who abuse power.”
“I think what’s important to remember is that there is also women who abuse their power. This whole movement, I feel, has been bubbling under the surface for years … It’s just the beginning.”
Margulies herself previously claimed to have had several experiences with sexual harassment in the industry.
She accused Harvey Weinstein and an allegedly gun-toting Steven Seagal of luring her to hotel rooms in separate incidents when she was in her 20s.
Seagal and Weinstein have each denied all allegations of sexual misconduct.
“I truly do think that when you’re desperate for a job and you’re excited and you want to act and here is someone offering you something, you don’t think that’s going to happen, but now you will,” Margulies said. “So hopefully now that conversation will protect the next generation of actors.”
‘City On A Hill’: Showtime Picks Up Drama From Ben Affleck & Matt Damon To Series(5/18/18) Showtime has handed a 12-episode series order to City On A Hill, its drama pilot starring Kevin Bacon (The Following) and Aldis Hodge (Underground). The series, executive produced by Ben Affleck, Matt Damon and Jennifer Todd, will premiere in 2019.
Written by Chuck MacLean (Boston Strangler) and based on an original idea by Affleck, City on a Hill is set in early 1990s Boston when the city was rife with violent criminals emboldened by local law enforcement agencies in which corruption and racism was the norm, until it suddenly all changed. The drama is a fictional account of what was called the “Boston Miracle.” Driving that change is assistant district attorney Decourcy Ward (Hodge), who comes from Brooklyn and forms an unlikely alliance with a corrupt yet venerated FBI veteran, Jackie Rhodes (Bacon). Together, they take on a family of armored car robbers from Charlestown in a case that grows to involve, and ultimately subvert, the entire criminal justice system of Boston.
“City On A Hill has the veneer of a classic Boston cops-and-robbers drama, but actually dives head first into challenging the very institutions it depicts,” said David Nevins, President & CEO of Showtime Networks. “In reality, the series is a penetrating look at the larger criminal justice system and those who operate within it, with mesmerizing performances by Kevin Bacon and Aldis Hodge anchoring the suspense.”
City On A Hill also stars Jonathan Tucker (Kingdom), Mark O’Brien (Halt and Catch Fire), Jill Hennessy (Crossing Jordan), Lauren E. Banks (Instinct), Amanda Clayton (Tyler Perry’s If Loving You Is Wrong), Kevin Chapman (Brotherhood) and Jere Shea (Passion), with Kevin Dunn (Veep) recurring.
The series is executive produced by Affleck, Damon and Todd for Pearl Street Films as well as James Mangold. MacLean wrote the pilot and executive produces; Michael Cuesta directed the pilot and executive produces. Bacon will serve as co-executive producer.
City on a Hill joins another upcoming Showtime series, comedy Kidding starring Jim Carrey.
Even Matt Damon couldn’t save Ben Affleck from bad tattoo(3/23/18) Matt Damon won’t save Ben Affleck from bad tattoos.
On “The Daily Show” on Wednesday, Trevor Noah grilled Damon, 47, about whether his friendship with Affleck was over in light of the “Justice League” star’s notorious phoenix back tattoo.
“Unfortunately, I can’t seem to shake him — I’ve known him since I was 10, so that’s 37 years,” Damon said, adding, “I mean, it’s not one man’s job to tell another man what he can do to his back. I support him in all of his artistic expression.”
Affleck’s ink is a bright, colorful piece that covers his entire back — and he previously claimed the massive tat was fake and for an upcoming role.
“I actually do have a number of tattoos,” Affleck, 45, said in 2016. “But I try to have them in places where you don’t have to do a lot of cover-up … they get sort of addictive, tattoos, after a while.”
Affleck’s exes have much stronger opinions about the phoenix fiasco than his BFF does.
“You know what we would say in my hometown about that? ‘Bless his heart,’” Jennifer Garner said in 2016. “A phoenix rising from the ashes. Am I the ashes in this scenario? I take umbrage. I refuse to be the ashes.”
Former fiancée Jennifer Lopez isn’t a fan either.
“It’s awful! His tattoos always have too many colors, they shouldn’t be so colorful,” Lopez, 48, said previously. “They should be cooler.”
Matt Damon not moving to Australia to escape Trump, says rep(3/17/18) Reps for Matt Damon insist he is not moving to Australia permanently because of Donald Trump.
The Daily Telegraph newspaper in Sydney had reported that Damon, 47, was buying a home in Byron Bay near actor Chris Hemsworth. The two recently appeared in “Thor: Ragnarok” together.
Damon spokeswoman Jennifer Allen told the Associated Press that Damon had visited Australia a lot recently. But she insisted Damon has not bought a home there nor is he relocating there.
Page Six had reported that the “Bourne” star had told friends he was leaving the country because he disagrees with Trump, according to a top Hollywood insider.
Another source close to Damon told Page Six his plan was to go Down Under for around three months with his family, depending on his filming schedule, but the move would not be permanent.
Allen, who repeatedly ignored requests for comment from Page Six prior to publication, told the Associated Press, “He’s not moving out of the U.S.”
Damon has been outspoken against Trump in the past. He told The Hollywood Reporter last September that the president’s response to the white nationalist riots in Charlottesville, Virginia, was “absolutely abhorrent.”
Damon also supported Trump’s rival Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election.
Matt Damon moving family to Australia because of Trump(3/16/18) Matt Damon is moving his family to Australia — in part because the liberal star’s fed up with President Trump.
Damon, 47, reportedly has purchased a property in Byron Bay, New South Wales, according to Sydney’s Sunday Telegraph. The home’s next door to a place owned by Chris Hemsworth — with whom Damon recently appeared in “Thor: Ragnarok.”
A source exclusively tells Page Six: “Matt’s telling friends and colleagues in Hollywood that he’s moving the family to Australia” because the activist actor disagrees with Trump’s policies. The president’s frequently butted heads with liberal Hollywood A-listers including Meryl Streep. The source added, “Matt’s saying the move will not impact his work — as he will travel to wherever his projects are shooting. He’s also telling friends he wants to have a safe place to raise his kids.” Damon has four children with wife Luciana Barroso.
Perhaps Damon’s also allowing some of the controversy to die down after he had to publicly apologize for insensitive comments he made about the wave of sexual assault allegations shaking Hollywood. He said on an ABC movie show that the #MeToo allegations should be judged on a “spectrum of behavior.” But he then told NBC’s “Today” of the remark, “I really wish I’d listened a lot more before I weighed in on this. Ultimately, what it is for me is that I don’t want to further anybody’s pain with anything that I do or say. And so for that I’m really sorry.” Damon and best bud Ben Affleck‘s production company this week said it would adopt “inclusion riders” in stars’ contracts, after Frances McDormand spurred the trend from the stage at the Oscars.
Either way, it looks like Damon’s cleared his schedule for the big move Down Under: He’s producing a film version of Agatha Christie’s “Witness for the Prosecution” for Affleck, 45, to star in — but besides a cameo in the upcoming “Ocean’s 8” that’s wrapped, Damon has no major projects lined up as an actor.
His last film, “Downsizing,” was a critical and financial disappointment.
A rep for Damon did not get back to us.
Matt Damon And Ben Affleck To Add Inclusion Riders On Pearl Street Projects(3/13/18) Matt Damon and Ben Affleck have agreed that inclusion riders will be a part of all their future Pearl Street production deals.
The announcement was made via Twitter by actor/producer Fanshen Cox DiGiovanni at the South by Southwest Film Festival and follows the path set by actress Frances McDormand, who urged the Academy Awards audience to include the clause in future contract requests.The inclusion clause aims to promote diversity in casting and crew memberships.
Actor Michael B. Jordan announced last week that he would add an inclusion rider on all projects produced under his Outlier Society Productions banner.
The Twitter post by Cox DiGiovanni praised Jordan’s move. “Thank you for always supporting broader representation in the industry. On behalf of Pearl Street Films, Matt Damon, Ben Afflect, Jennifer Todd, Drew Vinton & I will be adopting the #InclusionRider for all of our projects moving forward.”
Jimmy Kimmel hosts A-listers at intimate post-Oscars party(3/5/18) After hosting the Oscars, Jimmy Kimmel oversaw a smaller affair — his private after-party at the Lot in West Hollywood that raged until 2 a.m.
Guests included the host’s arch frenemy Matt Damon (whom Kimmel dissed to end the show), Jennifer Aniston and Miley Cyrus.
Chefs from around the US provided the food, including Frank Castronovo and Frank Falcinelli of Brooklyn’s Frankies 457 Spuntino and Prime Meats.
Kimmel was presented with a bedazzled Don Julio 1942 magnum covered in crystals, echoing the Oscars’ stage.
His wife, Molly McNearney, dubbed the night’s signature cocktail the “Ciroc Jimlet.”
Minnie Driver slams Matt Damon, Harvey Weinstein(2/23/18) Minnie Driver is still annoyed at ex Matt Damon’s response to the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements.
“What was interesting about Matt Damon, which was not interesting to the media, but was interesting to me, was that he represented every intelligent, nice white male who feels it is their job to comment on the way that women metabolize stuff,” Driver, 48, told the New York Times this week.
“What he happened to be talking about in this instance was how women should metabolize abuse,” she continued. “That somehow we should have a hierarchical system whereby touch on the arse is this, tits is this, you know, front bottom, back bottom, over the shirt, rape! That there would be some criteria.”
In December 2017, Damon, 47, came under fire for his remarks about Hollywood’s many sexual misconduct scandals.
“I do believe that there is a spectrum of behavior,” he told “Popcorn with Peter Travers” at the time. “There’s a difference between patting someone on the butt and rape or child molestation. Both of those behaviors need to be confronted and eradicated, without question, but they shouldn’t be conflated.”
Driver previously blasted Damon after the interview first aired, tweeting, “Good God, seriously? Gosh, it’s so interesting how men with all these opinions about women’s differentiation between sexual misconduct, assault and rape reveal themselves to be utterly tone deaf and as a result, systemically part of the problem (profoundly unsurprising).”
She also told The Guardian the same week, “I honestly think that until we get on the same page, you can’t tell a woman about their abuse. A man cannot do that. No one can. It is so individual and so personal, it’s galling when a powerful man steps up and starts dictating the terms, whether he intends it or not.”
The “Speechless” star echoed those sentiments to the Times.
“There is no way this [movement] moves forward unless we do this together,” she said. “Women get to be heard. You get to be seen and heard and the accusers get to hear that and get to metabolize that and then there is due process and then there is healing.”
Driver addressed Harvey Weinstein, explaining that though she doesn’t consider herself a victim of the disgraced mogul, her experience with him was still unpleasant and reeked of sexism.
“He didn’t want to cast me [in ‘Good Will Hunting’] because he said to my face, and to the casting director and to Ben [Affleck], to Matt, to Chris Moore who was the actual producer of the movie on the set and to Gus Van Sant that, and I quote, I was ‘not f—kable.’ But that’s just business,” she said. “I got off lightly with him. I really did … When we talk about sexual harassment, it’s not about sex, it’s about power.”
For his part, Damon, who dated Driver from 1997 to 1998 (when he unceremoniously dumped her on “Oprah”), offered a sheepish mea culpa for his remarks last month.
“I really wish I’d listened a lot more before I weighed in on this,” he said on the “Today” show. “I think ultimately what it is for me is that I don’t want to further anybody’s pain. With anything that I do or say, so for that I’m really sorry … I should get in the back seat and close my mouth for a while.”
Damon wants you to 'make your Super Bowl matter'(2/3/18) (Video) This year, Matt Damon wants Super Bowl fans to feel good about having a drink — or two.
“Not to be a total homer, Mark, but I want you to make your Super Bowl matter,” Damon says down the line from New York.
Water.org, a charitable organization started by the Oscar-winning actor and co-founder Gary White, has once again partnered with Stella Artois to raise awareness and help end the global water crisis.
It’s a cause Damon has been passionate about for over a decade, and one that has helped millions of people in the developing world gain access to clean water.
A new ad — which is slated to air during Sunday’s big game — could, Damon says, be a game changer.
“If anybody in Canada between now and the middle of April buys a 12-pack of Stella, you are also buying clean water for someone in the developing world for six months,” Damon says.
Like last year, limited-edition chalices can also be purchased, with every sale giving one person in the developing world clean water for five years.
So far the partnership between Stella — which is making its return to the Super Bowl for the first time since 2011 — and Water.org has helped over a million people in the developing world. Together, they aim to provide 3.5 million people access to clean water by 2020.
“It’s just amazing,” Damon says. “This is a real, tangible way that people can move the needle for a fellow human being.”
While in the midst of a media blitz that included stops on the Today show and a pop-up bar in NYC, Damon rang up to speak about his commitment to activism, tell us why Tom Brady and the Patriots are about to win another Super Bowl title and the one piece of advice Clint Eastwood gave him that he never forgot.
Water.org is turning 10 next year. Why was clean water an issue you became so passionate about?
In looking at issues surrounding extreme poverty, I realized pretty quickly water and sanitation underpinned everything. It was just so massive. The scale of the problem and how no one was really talking about it was something I became fascinated with. It’s exceedingly complex and I’m still learning 12, 13 years later. It became clear to me a few years after starting my own organization, and trying to help make an impact, that I’d be better served partnering with the smartest person I could find. That led me to Gary and we folded our two organizations together almost 10 years ago. It doesn’t seem like it. It seems like almost yesterday, but then I look at the impact. We reached a million people in 2012. Now we’re hitting a million a quarter. We just reached our 10 millionth person last week. It’s really going well. It’s going the way we dreamed it would.
There are more than 663 million people worldwide with no access to clean water. You’re going to have an ad on during the Super Bowl that’s going to reach a lot of people. What are your hopes there?
It’s amazing that Stella is doing this. It’s an awesome partnership for us and they’re using their formidable reach to get this message out. It gives people an actionable way that they can participate and help. It’s beyond what we could have hoped for in a partner and we have really high hopes that it will activate its consumer base to participate in this.
You’ve been in the public eye for 20 years. Why is social activism such a big part of who you are?
I don’t know that it’s a bigger part of me than it is anyone else. I was always raised to believe that it was incumbent on us to do what we can within our sphere of influence to help better the lives of others — whatever that is. I don’t think that makes me particularly unique. A lot of people feel that way. But it’s hard. I think a lot of people are looking for ways to make a difference and it’s hard to find out how to do that. That’s why things like this are great. It’s simple and it’s really easy to understand. You know that you’re helping an organization that’s been vetted and has been doing good work for a long time.
We asked you the politics question last year and you said no. What about now: any chance you’ll run for office someday?
Absolutely not. I don’t want anything to do with it. Mark, after last month (when Damon waded into the #MeToo debate), does it look more attractive now? I’ll pass. I think I’ve found a way to make an impact and I want to keep doing that. I love what Gary and I and everyone at Water.org has been able to do and I just want to keep leaning into that momentum.
You ignited some controversy with comments you made in December about the sexual harassment scandals sweeping Hollywood. Do you regret what you said?
Yes, it’s been a little over a month and I just have been listening to the response — carefully — and in retrospect … I wouldn’t have said what I said. Ultimately, what it comes down to for me is I don’t ever want to further anybody’s pain with anything I say or do. So for that, I’m truly sorry.
Alright, Tom Brady and the New England Patriots are in the Super Bowl going for their sixth ring. Why does he keep getting better and better?
Tom is just completely committed to it. It’s not something where he goes to work and turns it on; he just never turns it off. It’s a lifestyle for him. I mean, look he put a book out about it just last year. It’s an absolute choice. I remember being out to dinner with him in 2008 in May with a group of people and someone ordered a bottle of wine and went to pour it in his glass. He said, ‘No,’ and I asked him, ‘Don’t you start training in two months?’ and he replied, ‘No.’ I remember looking at him thinking, ‘Wow, he won’t even have a glass of wine.’ He said, ‘No, not tonight.’ This is his priority: being the greatest ever and being the best he can be.
You’re a Boston Red Sox fan, what do you think of the Yankees landing the reigning NL MVP Giancarlo Stanton?
You’re from Toronto, why are you even bringing this up, man? Why are you trying to depress me? This is going to be horrible — for all of us. The Yankees are so stacked now. This is going to be a long summer — for you and me. I believe in the Red Sox, so hopefully they can mount some sort of attack on this juggernaut. We got (new manager) Alex Cora, and we’re excited by that.
It’s been 20 years since you and Ben Affleck won an Oscar for Good Will Hunting. Have you ever thought about making a sequel?
We did (laughs) in the Kevin Smith movie. Didn’t you see Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back? Fifteen years ago we shot the sequel to Good Will Hunting. It was called Good Will Hunting 2: Hunting Season.
You had a small cameo in Thor: Ragnarok. Did that give you an inkling to join the Marvel Cinematic Universe full time?
No, it didn’t give me a taste for the Marvel Universe. It was a Taika Waititi set, which means it was highly unprofessional and everyone was laughing a lot.
You’ve been in this business for over two decades. You’ve had hits and misses. Is there a film that you wished people had loved a little more?
Not many people saw either Suburbicon or Downsizing, so after the year I just had… I might just put the year 2017 up there. I was proud of both of those movies. Look, I had this conversation with Clint Eastwood once. I was asking him about different movies that he’d done and he said, ‘I love them all equally. They’re like my children. Some people said, one was a masterpiece and another was a failure. But I know why I made each one.’ That’s exactly how I feel and it was nice to get permission to feel that way from one of the greats of all time. We choose movies and they are highly personal choices. Some of them have success at the box office, some are loved by critics and some really don’t find success with either. But you don’t love them any less.
I looked at your IMDB page and saw that you have nothing in the works. What’s next?
It’s a blank IMDB page, which I don’t see changing in the near term (laughs). I had a really rough December and I lost my dad after a long protracted struggle, so I haven’t worked in over a year now and I don’t see myself working for the foreseeable future. I’m just going to take some time to hang with my family and regroup.
Matt Damon hints at 'Ocean's 8' surprises: 'A few of us pop up really quickly'(2/2/18) It’s time for the ladies to take over.
That’s how Matt Damon feels about this summer’s all-female instalment of his Ocean’s heist movie franchise.
Damon played Linus Caldwell in the Ocean’s trilogy, which also starred George Clooney and Brad Pitt, and will reprise the character in Ocean’s 8, starring Sandra Bullock.
“It’s just a very small cameo,” the Oscar winner says. “I’m not really in the movie a lot.”
The new reboot features Bullock as Debbie Ocean – sister of Clooney’s Danny Ocean – leading a group of female thieves and con artists as they attempt to steal very-expensive jewelry worn by Anne Hathaway’s character at the Met Gala.
Cate Blanchett, Sarah Paulson, Awkwafina, Rihanna, Mindy Kaling and Helena Bonham Carter round out the powerhouse cast, which has several Oscar, Golden Globe, Emmy and Grammy wins among them.
And while Damon will pop up as Caldwell, he hints that he might be joined by some other castmates from the original Ocean’s trilogy.
“I think there are a few of us who pop up really quickly.”
Damon won’t say if Danny Ocean or Pitt’s Rusty Ryan’s are the one’s “popping up.”
“I only worked for a day,” he says. “They asked me to do it and I really wanted to support the project and support these awesome actresses. This is a movie about the women.”
Bullock’s Ocean’s 8 follows a Ghostbusters reboot in 2016 that was derailed by a segment of men who decried its all-female cast.
In an interview with EW, Bullock said she hopes the film appeals to both genders.
“We don’t want it to be just for women,” Bullock said. “This is not a man-hating. We love the men. There’s men in this movie. We love them. But this one heist needs women.”
Ocean’s 8 hits theatres June 8, 2018.
Matt Damon backs Patriots' QB Tom Brady(1/21/18) New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady might be listed as questionable for Sunday’s AFC Championship Game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, but his biggest fan Matt Damon isn’t worried.
When asked to pick the teams he thinks will make it to Super Bowl LII, Damon simply says: “It’s going to be the Patriots and the team that loses.”
To Patriots Nation, and Damon, Brady has been a constant in the team’s five-Super Bowl wins and nearly two decade-long dynasty.
“Being the greatest ever and being the best he can be is his priority,” Damon says.
With five rings, Brady already has more than any other QB in NFL history. His head coach Bill Belichick has seven.
In his 18 years in the league, critics of Brady have tried to burst the bubble of Patriots fans.
But Damon, who watched the Patriots’ come-from-behind Super Bowl win last year with pal Ben Affleck, marvels at Brady’s work ethic.
“Tom is just completely committed to it. It’s not something where he goes to work and turns it on; he just never turns it off. It’s a lifestyle for him. I mean, look he put a book out about it just last year. It’s an absolute choice.”
I remember being out to dinner with him in 2008 in May with a group of people and someone ordered a bottle of wine and went to pour it in his glass. He said, ‘No,’ and I asked him, ‘Don’t you start training in two months?’ and he replied, ‘No.’
“I remember looking at him thinking, ‘Wow, he won’t even have a glass of wine.’”
Damon will be participating in the Super Bowl in his own way. This year, his charitable organization Water.org and Stella Artois are launching a Super Bowl ad, which touts the two companies ongoing partnership to bring clean water to developing countries.
Customers in Canada will be able to help people in need gain access to clean water through the purchase of 12-packs of Stella or limited-edition chalices designed by artists from countries where Water.org operates.
“It’s amazing that Stella is doing this,” Damon says. “It’s an awesome partnership for us. They’re using their formidable reach to really get this message out.”
Yankees ‘so stacked now’: Damon
When Matt Damon looks at a New York Yankees roster that now includes reigning NL MVP Giancarlo Stanton battling alongside AL Rookie of the Year Aaron Judge, the lifelong Boston Red Sox fan wants to cry.
Aaron Hicks and Aaron Judge of the New York Yankees celebrate after defeating the Houston Astros in Game 5 of the American League Championship Series at Yankee Stadium on Oct. 18, 2017. (Al Bello/Getty Images)
“You’re from Toronto, why are you even bringing this up, man?” Damon replies when asked how the other teams in the best division in baseball — the AL East — are going to fare in the upcoming baseball season.
“Why are you trying to depress me? This is going to be horrible — for all of us. The Yankees are so stacked now. This is going to be a long summer — for you and me.”
Matt Damon apologizes for his remarks on sexual misconduct(1/16/18) Matt Damon is apologizing to Time’s Up and #MeToo supporters after controversial remarks he recently made about sexual misconduct in Hollywood.
The Downsizing star – who has worked with disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein – came under fire last month after attempting to argue that inappropriate behaviour should be addressed according to its level of severity.
“I really wish I had listened before I weighed in on any of this,” Damon told Postmedia Network by phone Tuesday afternoon.
In a December 14 interview with ABC’s Peter Travers, the Oscar winner said: “There’s a difference between, you know, patting someone on the butt and rape or child molestation, right? Both of those behaviours need to be confronted and eradicated without question, but they shouldn’t be conflated, right?”
Those comments drew anger from actresses like Alyssa Milano, Damon’s ex Minnie Driver, and Evan Rachel Wood, who slammed him on Twitter. There was also a social media campaign to have Damon dropped from the upcoming female-led Ocean’s Eight.
Now, Damon says he regrets his remarks.
“Yes, it’s been a little over a month and I just have been listening to the response – carefully – and in retrospect… I wouldn’t have said what I said,” Damon said. “Ultimately, what it comes down to for me is I don’t ever want to further anybody’s pain with anything I say or do. So for that, I’m truly sorry.”
Damon was calling in support of his non-profit Water.org, which he started with co-founder and CEO Gary White. This year, Water.org and beer brand Stella Artois will once again team up in their ongoing collaborative effort to end the global water crisis.
Damon will appear in a Super Bowl ad Feb. 4, and customers in Canada will be able to help people in the developing world gain access to clean water through the purchase of 12-packs of Stella or limited-edition chalices designed by artists from countries where Water.org operates.
“It’s amazing that Stella is doing this,” Damon said. “It’s an awesome partnership for us. They’re using their formidable reach to really get this message out.
“If anybody in Canada, between now and the middle of April, buys a 12-pack of Stella, you are also buying clean water for someone in the developing world for six months. It’s just amazing… This is a real tangible way that you can move the needle for a fellow human being.”
Matt Damon’s dad dies at 74(12/23/17) Matt Damon‘s father has lost his battle with cancer.
A rep for the actor confirmed Kent Damon’s passing to Page Six. He was 74.
According to the Boston Globe, he passed away on December 14 from multiple myeloma, a specific bone marrow cancer.
The “Downsizing” actor’s father had been diagnosed since 2010 and had recently took a turn for the worse.
While promoting his latest film, Damon, 47, told Extra, “we’ll take any prayers you got, so throw ’em up there,” when talking about his father’s grim status.
The Globe reports that Damon has been active in raising awareness and funds for cancer having attended multiple benefits at Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center in Boston and hosting his own in Los Angeles.
Matt Damon: Not all men in Hollywood are predators(12/20/17) Despite backlash surrounding his comments on sexual misconduct in Hollywood, Matt Damon continues to speak out on the nature of harassment in the business.
“We’re in this watershed moment, and it’s great, but I think one thing that’s not being talked about is there are a whole s—tload of guys — the preponderance of men I’ve worked with — who don’t do this kind of thing and whose lives aren’t going to be affected,” Damon, 47, told Business Insider on Monday.
“If I have to sign a sexual harassment thing, I don’t care, I’ll sign it,” the Oscar winner, who previously said he’d lawyer up if he were ever accused of sexual misconduct, added. “I would have signed it before. I don’t do that, and most of the people I know don’t do that.”
The “Downsizing” star previously told ABC’s “Popcorn with Peter Travers” that he believes there is a “spectrum” of misconduct and that the respective allegations against Al Franken, Louis C.K., and Harvey Weinstein shouldn’t necessarily be treated equally.
“I do believe that there is a spectrum of behavior … there’s a difference between patting someone on the butt and rape or child molestation,” Damon said. “Both of those behaviors need to be confronted and eradicated, without question, but they shouldn’t be conflated.
“When you see Al Franken taking a picture putting his hands on that woman’s flak jacket and mugging for the camera … that is just like a terrible joke, and it’s not funny. It’s wrong, and he shouldn’t have done that,” Damon noted. “But when you talk about Harvey and what he’s accused of, there are no pictures of that. He knew he was up to no good. There’s no witnesses, there’s no pictures, there’s no braggadocio — that stuff happened secretly, because it was criminal and he knew it. So they don’t belong in the same category.”
As for whether he’d work with someone accused of sexual misconduct, Damon still declined to paint alleged predators with a broad brush.
“That always went into my thinking — I mean, I wouldn’t want to work with somebody who [was guilty of misconduct] — life’s too short for that. But the question of if somebody had allegations against them, you know, it would be a case-by-case basis,” he said. “You go, ‘What’s the story here?'”
Matt Damon's opinion on Hollywood sex assaults gets him in trouble(12/16/17) Matt Damon has divided opinion after an awkward discussion on the current sexual misconduct scandal in Hollywood.
The 47-year-old actor was quizzed by ABC News journalist Peter Travers on the topic during an interview to promote his new film Downsizing on Thursday, but his answers haven’t gone down so well with the public, with many labelling it a “car crash” interview.
The Bourne Identity star began the conversation by insisting it’s “wonderful” that women are feeling empowered enough to tell their stories, with Harvey Weinstein and Dustin Hoffman just a few of the men accused of inappropriate behaviour. However, the star then said that misconduct needed to be differentiated in terms of its severity.
“I do believe that there’s a spectrum of behaviour, right?” he started. “And we’re going to have to figure – you know, there’s a difference between, you know, patting someone on the butt and rape or child molestation, right? Both of those behaviours need to be confronted and eradicated without question, but they shouldn’t be conflated, right?”
He then touched upon the scandal surrounding comic Louis C.K., who admitted his guilt over the sexual assault claims made against him, and in the aftermath his film I Love You, Daddy was dropped by film distributors.
Expressing his fear that men may feel the need to deny reports for fear of losing their livelihoods, Damon appeared to suggest that C.K.’s admission of guilt may have come at too high a price.
“I did see his statement, which kind of, which (was) arresting to me. When he came out and said, ‘I did this. I did these things. These women are all telling the truth.’ And I just remember thinking, ‘Well, that’s the sign of somebody who – well, we can work with that’,” Damon said.
Kevin Spacey was also mentioned, with Damon praising director Ridley Scott for dropping the former House of Cards star from his production All the Money in the World after actor Anthony Rapp accused the star of making sexual advances towards him when he was just 14.
However, while discussing the exposure of harassers via social media, he controversially explained how in the past, he would have silenced allegations with lucrative settlements.
“Ten years ago, you made a claim against me and I had a big movie coming out, OK? I have $100 million or I have a movie that is personally important to me coming out, and close to the release of that film, you say, ‘Matt Damon grabbed my butt and stuck his tongue down my throat.’ We would then go to mediation and organize a settlement,” he admitted.
‘Downsizing’ Trailer: Matt Damon Gets Small & Dreams Big In Alexander Payne Pic(11/3/17) (Video) “In Leisureland, your $100,000 translates to $12 million.” Sounds great, but there’s gotta be a catch, right? Well yes, a little one: You must be shrunk to five inches tall.
Welcome to the wee, wacky world of Downsizing, Alexander Payne’s pic that opened the Venice Film Festival two months ago. It stars Matt Damon who decides, along with his wife (Kristin Wiig), to escape their routine yet stressful lives by undergoing an irreversible procedure that reduces them to the size of a broccoli stalk. It’s billed as an eventually permanent solution for the world’s overpopulation problem. But in this case the trouble is, she chickens out at the last minute; unaware of this rather important fact, he doesn’t. “I know this will put a pretty big dent in anyone’s self-esteem, but Downsizing is about hitting the reset button.” And how. Damon’s Paul Safranek then moves to a downsized community, and from there’s it’s a fantastical adventure in self-discovery and much else.
Christoph Waltz, Hong Chau and Jason Sudeikis co-star in the film co-written by Payne and Jim Taylor, who also serve as producers alongside Mark Johnson. Paramount opens the big little film December 22, just in time for Christmas — because, well, good things often come in small packages.
Check out the trailer above, groove to Talking Heads’ “Once in a Lifetime,” and tell us what you think.
Matt Damon Has "Family Emergency" and Is Unable to Attend Britannia Awards(10/29/17) Matt Damon received the Stanley Kubrick Award for Excellence in Film at the 2017 Britannia Awards on Friday but could not attend the event due to a "family emergency."
Kate Mara accepted the honor, presented by British Academy of Film and Television Arts Los Angeles, on his behalf.
"Unfortunately, Matt has urgently needed to travel back to Boston and couldn't join us tonight. As much as we wish he was here with us, we know family comes first. So our thoughts are with you, Matt and much love from your friends here in L.A.
A videotaped message from Damon was then screened.
"Hello and thank you to everyone at BAFTA," he said. "I found out about this award six months ago and I was just so incredibly honored to receive it and I was really looking forward to tonight. Unfortunately, I had to go back to Boston for a family emergency. I'm really sorry not to be with you tonight. Thank you for this wonderful honor and I hope you have a lovely evening. See you soon."
Matt Damon Brings Out George Clooney's "Twins" on Jimmy Kimmel Live!(10/24/17) (Video) Forget Oscar winner—Matt Damon has a new gig.
"He's the manny. You're my manny," George Clooney announced on Jimmy Kimmel Live! Monday night. "I'm his manny," the actor agreed.
For those who missed the hilarious moment, Clooney told the audience his twins, Alexander and Ella, were there and asked if everyone would like to see them. Upon thunderous applause, the Suburbicon star stepped out on stage pushing a double stroller and covered in baby accessories. The joke may have been on the audience, but Damon was the punchline.
"So, based on your physique, I guess your breastfeeding the children, too?" Kimmel teased the star. "No, no, I actually just wanted to get their nap, so I brought them to a place where they wouldn't be woken up by laughter," he retorted.
Jokes aside, it was time to actually see Clooney's twins. Actually, never mind. Damon had the last laugh when he reached into the strollers and grabbed two swaddled bundles, only to drop the empty blankets and reveal his two middle fingers.
"There they are—right there," the actor told the host. "This is Screw and this is You." Needless to say, Kimmel had his nemesis escorted out by security.
As Clooney quipped, "He's just very good with the kids."
Just like that—their feud wages on.
Matt Damon says he knew Weinstein harassed Paltrow(10/24/17) Matt Damon admitted he was aware that Harvey Weinstein sexually harassed Gwyneth Paltrow years ago, calling the fallen film mogul an “a–hole” and “womanizer.”
Damon, who co-starred in the Weinstein-produced “The Talented Mr. Ripley” in 1999 with Paltrow, said he learned of her allegations through his friend Ben Affleck.
“I knew the story about Gwyneth from Ben because he was with her after Brad [Pitt], so I knew that story,” Damon said Monday on ABC News. “I never talked to Gwyneth about it, Ben told me. But I knew that they had come to whatever, you know, agreement or understanding that they had come to, she had handled it. She was, you know, the first lady of Miramax. And he treated her incredibly respectfully.”
Weinstein, who back then headed Miramax Films, was proud of his bad-boy rap in Hollywood.
“So people say, ‘everybody knew,’ like, yeah I knew,” Damon explained. “I knew he was an a–hole, he was proud of that. That’s how he carried himself. I knew he was a womanizer. I wouldn’t want to be married to the guy. But the criminal sexual predation is not something that I ever thought was going on. Absolutely not.”
Damon, who got his big break in Hollywood starring alongside Affleck in the Miramax-produced “Good Will Hunting,” said Weinstein hooked him up with a three-movie deal but that he never worked with him again after that.
“You had to spend about five minutes with him to know that he was a bully. He was intimidating,” Damon said. “Miramax was the place, really the place, that was making great stuff in the ’90s. And it was like, ‘Could you survive Harvey?'”
Meanwhile, George Clooney, who appeared on ABC with Damon to promote their new movie “Suburbicon,” said Weinstein often bragged about his dalliances with his colleagues.
“Harvey would talk to me about women that he’d had affairs with. I didn’t necessarily believe him, quite honestly, because to believe him would be to believe kind of the worst of some actresses who were friends of mine,” said Clooney, who worked with Weinstein on 1996’s “From Dusk Till Dawn.”
Clooney added, “But the idea that this predator, this assaulter was out there silencing women like that, it’s beyond infuriating.”
Matt Damon & George Clooney Tell ‘GMA’ They Knew Harvey Weinstein Was An “A**hole” But Not A Sexual Predator(10/24/17) “You only had to spend five minutes with Harvey Weinstein to know he was a bully; he was intimidating,” Matt Damon told Michael Strahan on Good Morning America this morning.
“That was his legend; that was his whole M.O.: Could you survive a meeting with Harvey?” Damon said, seated next to George Clooney, in what was supposed to be a plug for their new ’50s-set crime dramedy Suburbicon. But, both men having been a big part of Weinstein’s world, they came well-prepared for those questions.
“People who worked for him were, like, ‘I’m coming to make good movies. Miramax was THE place making great stuff in the ’90s,” defended Damon, who worked often with the Hollywood mogul at the center of a Hollywood sex scandal. Weinstein has been accused of sexually harassing, assaulting or raping more than 40 women; police have launched investigations in London, New York City and Los Angeles; he already has been expelled from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and proceedings have begun to kick him out of the TV Academy and the Producers Guild. “When people say ‘everybody knew’ – yeah, I knew he was an a**hole,” Damon continued. “He was proud of that. That’s how he carried himself. And I knew he was a womanizer. I wouldn’t want to be married to the guy. But that’s not my business.”
Damon insisted he had not been aware of the “level of criminal sexual predation.” He acknowledged he “knew the story of Gwyneth” Paltrow from Ben Affleck, but never had discussed directly with her, saying they appeared to have “come to whatever agreement they had come to” and that “she handled it and was the First Lady of Miramax and he treated her incredibly respectfully. Always.”
Clooney, meanwhile, acknowledged Weinstein boasted to him about women with whom he claimed to have had affairs. “I didn’t necessarily believe him, quite honestly, because to believe would be to believe the worst of some actresses who were friends of mine.”
Clooney called it “beyond infuriating” that such a sexual predator had been “out there silencing women like that,” adding he now wants “to know all of it,” and there “has to be a comeuppance” so that women can feel safe, going forward, under similar circumstances.
Clooney said his wife told him there are “plenty of instances” of this behavior in “her line of work” too, but said nonetheless it is surprising “to some of us that it’s this big.”
Jimmy Kimmel And Matt Damon To Raffle Off Dysfunctional Dinner For Jon Stewart Fundraiser(10/21/17) (Video) Jimmy Kimmel’s final monologue from Brooklyn Week got interrupted by Jon Stewart and his breakdancing crew, in promotion of Stewart’s upcoming Night of Too Many Stars on HBO. As part of that fundraiser special, Kimmel and Matt Damon announce the incredibly awkward Omaze experience they’re offering.
Before Kimmel got interrupted, he was explaining to his BAM audience about their mayor:
“Last night, I mentioned your mayor, Bill De Blasio – who is not a Yankees fan – or a Mets fan. He loves the Red Sox. Which is like Mayor McCheese walking into Burger King and ordering a Whopper,” Kimmel said.
“He said it would be impossible for him to root for the Yankees, and still doesn’t seem to understand why this is a big deal.”
Stating the obvious, a reporter had asked De Blasio if it wasn’t part of the mayor’s job to rise above his personal preferences and root for the team from the city he was elected to run.
“Oh really? Okay, let’s take a vote,” Kimmel said. “Is this a thing New Yorkers care about?
“Literally, this is may be the only thing New Yorkers care about!” the late-night host insisted.
“They care about this – and the subway. And, if we’re talking baseball here, you’re 0 for 2,” Kimmel warned De Blasio in absentia.
“Even Anthony Weiner is like, ‘Dude, you’re embarrassing yourself. Stop!'”
Matt Damon Crashes Chris Hemsworth ‘Thor: Ragnarok’ Interview On ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live’(10/11/17) (Video) The rivalry between Jimmy Kimmel and Matt Damon seems to be alive and well based on tonight’s episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live which featured the cast and director of Thor: Ragnarok. Actors Chris Hemsworth and Mark Ruffalo along with director Taika Waititi thought that they were going to have a nice interview with Kimmel, but all was ruined when Damon decided to show up.
During the segment Hemsworth, fresh from the Thor: Ragnarok premiere was across the street, sits with Kimmel at the desk and reveals that he brought Ruffalo and Waititi with him to the show. Kimmel sends a camera crew backstage to the green room so that they are included in the interview — but throughout the interview, an uninvited Damon decides to pop in and steal the spotlight. From there, his presence just gets more inconvenient — and bigger before Kimmel cuts to an exclusive clip from the movie.
Thor: Ragnarok, which also stars Cate Blanchett, Tessa Thompson, Tom Hiddleston, Idris Elba, Karl Urban, and Anthony Hopkins, is the third standalone movie for the titular superhero played by Hemsworth. Since we last saw him, he has been imprisoned on the other side of the universe without his mighty hammer and finds himself in a race against time to get back to Asgard and stop Ragnarok — the destruction of his homeworld and the end of Asgardian civilization — at the hands of Hela, an all-powerful new threat. The movie opens in theaters on November 3.
Matt Damon Denies Trying To Kill 2004 NYT Harvey Weinstein Story: “If There Was Ever An Event And Harvey Was Doing This…I Would Have Stopped It”(10/10/17) The daily bombshells involving Harvey Weinstein are involving widening circles of Hollywood people, and hasty mis-characterizations are inevitable. Matt Damon, who won an Oscar for Good Will Hunting and made numerous other movies for Weinstein companies including The Talented Mr. Ripley, was tarred along with Russell Crowe in a The Wrap article by Sharon Waxman. The former New York Times reporter recalled in 2004 when she tried to file a story about Weinstein’s sexual misdeeds, only to see it neutered by editors. Waxman mentioned getting calls from Damon and Crowe at Weinstein’s behest, to vouch for Fabrizio Lombardo, who ran Miramax’s Italian office. And who, Waxman alleged, procured women for Weinstein.
(On Monday, NYT executive editor Dean Baquet wrote in response to Waxman’s claims that “it is unimaginable to me that The Times killed a story because of pressure from Harvey Weinstein, who was and is an advertiser”; that “the top two editors at the time, Bill Keller and Jill Abramson, say they have no recollection of being pressured over Ms. Waxman’s story”; and that Waxman’s “direct editor, Jonathan Landman, suggested she didn’t have it nailed.”)
Damon has since been singled out for scorn and called an enabler in tweets from the likes of Jessica Chastain and Rose McGowan. He has a much different recollection of events, and the father of four daughters has a strong opinion of the heinous misdeeds by Weinstein characterized in the New York Times and the New Yorker. He wanted the opportunity to convey his side of that story. Here it is.
DEADLINE: It was reported that you and Russell Crowe were conscripted by Harvey Weinstein to call Sharon Waxman in an effort to derail a New York Times piece similar to the ones we are reading now.
DAMON: My recollection was that it was about a one minute phone call. Harvey had called me and said, they’re writing a story about Fabrizio, who I knew from The Talented Mr. Ripley. He has organized our premiere in Italy and so I knew him in a professional capacity and I’d had dinner at his house. Harvey said, Sharon Waxman is writing a story about Fabrizio and it’s really negative. Can you just call and tell her what your experience with Fabrizio was. So I did, and that’s what I said to her. It didn’t even make the piece that she wrote. As I recall, her piece just said that Russell and I had called and relayed our experience with Fabrizio. That was the extent of it and so I was very surprised to see it come back. I was never conscripted to do anything. We vouch for each other, all the time, and it didn’t even make her article. Whether it didn’t jibe with her storyline…it was an incomplete rendering of someone that I was giving but I had perfectly professional experiences with Fabrizio and I didn’t mind telling her that.
I’m sure I mentioned to her that I didn’t know anything about the rest of her piece, because I didn’t. And I still don’t know anything about that and Fabrizio. My experience with him was all above board and that’s what I told her.
DEADLINE: After The New York Times piece last week, Harvey reportedly went to Hollywood power brokers urging them to defend him in messages that would be conveyed to the board of directors deciding if he should be fired. No one did, apparently. It would be easy to misinterpret your overture in a similar way. When Harvey asked you to do that, was there any mention that Sharon Waxman was reporting a piece on the indiscretions we are reading about now?
DAMON: No, I just remember it being a negative piece, a hit job on Fabrizio, was what Harvey was saying. Basically, that he had no professional experience. Harvey said, you worked with him. Can you tell her that he was a professional and you had a good experience, and that was it. I didn’t mind doing it, because that was all true.
DEADLINE: You’ve since been criticized in Tweets from Jessica Chastain and others and been dragged into this maelstrom.
DAMON: Look, even before I was famous, I didn’t abide this kind of behavior. But now, as the father of four daughters, this is the kind of sexual predation that keeps me up at night. This is the great fear for all of us. You have a daughter, you know…
DAMON: We know this stuff goes on in the world. I did five or six movies with Harvey. I never saw this. I think a lot of actors have come out and said, everybody’s saying we all knew. That’s not true. This type of predation happens behind closed doors, and out of public view. If there was ever an event that I was at and Harvey was doing this kind of thing and I didn’t see it, then I am so deeply sorry, because I would have stopped it. And I will peel my eyes back now, father than I ever have, to look for this type of behavior. Because we know that it happens. I feel horrible for these women and it’s wonderful they have this incredible courage and are standing up now.
We can all feel this change that’s happening, which is necessary and overdue. Men are a huge part of that change, and we have to be vigilant and we have to help protect and call this stuff out because we have our sisters and our daughters and our mothers. This kind of stuff can’t happen. This morning, I just feel absolutely sick to my stomach.
DEADLINE: This has been a difficult past few days…
DAMON: This would have been a difficult past couple of days even if my name hadn’t been dragged into it. I am not the story here. The story is these women and what happened to them. So if I’m experiencing this discomfort, it hardly bears mention. There are some real victims here and they are being incredibly brave. Hopefully, them going through this experience right now will help them heal. They are who we all should be thinking about.
DEADLINE: Waxman also mentioned Russell Crowe…
DAMON: I can only assume it was the same kind of thing. Russell worked over there too and must have known Fabrizio in a professional capacity because he was running Miramax Italy. He must have done a movie for Harvey around that time and must have a similar kind of conversation with her. Because nothing he said made it into that article, either. It was just a mention of our names.
DEADLINE: Just to reiterate, Waxman didn’t tell you the point of her story?
DAMON: She didn’t. She called us to apologize about this thing coming out, and she claimed she was in her car with her kids when I talked to her. It was a 30 second conversation.
For the record, I would never, ever, ever try to kill a story like that. I just wouldn’t do that. It’s not something I would do, for anybody.
Matt Damon, Russell Crowe Reportedly Helped Kill a 2004 New York Times Harvey Weinstein Article(10/10/17) (vulture.com) Though the New York Times has been widely celebrated for its article exposing decades of sexual-harassment accusations against Harvey Weinstein, one journalist claims the paper sat on an earlier article detailing the producer’s misconduct. Sharon Waxman, founder of the Wrap, writes that her own investigate reporting, which took her on an international trip to uncover rumors of Weinstein’s sexual misconduct, was cut from the Times in 2004 under pressure from several Hollywood elites. Waxman alleges in the Wrap that Matt Damon and Russell Crowe called her “directly” to dispel the reports she was following about Miramax’s Italian head Fabrizio Lombardo, who was allegedly hired “to take care of Weinstein’s women needs.” She says that because of their influence, and interference from Weinstein, whose company was a big advertiser in the Times, the article was edited to remove the more salacious details. Damon and Crowe had previously worked with Weinstein on pictures like Good Will Hunting, Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, and Cinderella Man.
Waxman claims that the gutted story could have exposed Weinstein much earlier. “I had people on the record telling me Lombardo knew nothing about film, and others citing evenings he organized with Russian escorts,” Waxman said. She also alleges that she tracked down an intern in London who had been paid off in a settlement with Weinstein. “I was devastated after traveling to two countries and overcoming immense challenges to confirm at least part of the story that wound up running last week, more than a decade later,” she writes.
Update: On Monday, the Times’ Executive Editor Dean Baquet replied to Sharon Waxman’s claim that the paper had “gutted” her 2004 report on Harvey Weinstein, denying that the paper would have declined to print a negative story simply because Weinstein was an advertiser. Instead, Baquet suggests, Waxman’s own description of her report reveals it consisted largely of “an off-the-record account from one woman.” You can read his full statement below:
I wasn’t here in 2004. But it is unimaginable to me that The Times killed a story because of pressure from Harvey Weinstein, who was and is an advertiser. After all, The Times is an institution that has published investigative reporting that caused our Chinese-language website to be blocked in China.
The top two editors at the time, Bill Keller and Jill Abramson, say they have no recollection of being pressured over Ms. Waxman’s story. And her direct editor, Jonathan Landman, suggested she didn’t have it nailed. The story we published last week took months of work by two experienced investigative reporters. It included the on-the-record accounts of numerous women who were harassed by Mr. Weinstein. It also included the fact that Mr. Weinstein paid settlements to keep women from talking. I’m sure Ms. Waxman believes she had a story. But if you read her own description, she did not have anything near what was revealed in our story. Mainly, she had an off-the-record account from one woman.
Matt Damon To Receive Stanley Kubrick Britannia Award From BAFTA LA(9/20/17) BAFTA LA has set Matt Damon as the recipient of its Stanley Kubrick Britannia Award for Excellence in Film. Presented by Newegg, the prize is given to “a unique individual, upon whose work is stamped the indelible mark of authorship and commitment, and who has lifted the craft to new heights,” BAFTA said.
Damon joins this year’s previously announced honorees Dick Van Dyke, Ava DuVernay, Claire Foy and Kenneth Branagh. The Britannia Awards will be handed out October 27 at the Beverly Hilton.
“Matt Damon is undoubtedly one of the most talented and respected actors working in film today,” said BAFTA LA Chairman Kieran Breen. “Having made a remarkable impact at a young age with Good Will Hunting, he has developed a phenomenal career — combining both big-budget studio movies and acclaimed independent films. As a favorite of some of the top contemporary directors in our industry, it seems particularly fitting that we are honoring his career with an award bearing the name of the legendary Stanley Kubrick.”
Damon recently attended the Venice Film Festival with Alexander Payne’s opening-night movie, Downsizing, and George Clooney’s Suburbicon. Clooney was the 2013 Kubrick Award honoree. Other prior recipients include Jodie Foster, Meryl Streep, Robert Downey Jr, Warren Beatty, Jeff Bridges, Tom Cruise, Daniel Day Lewis, Robert De Niro, Clint Eastwood, Tom Hanks, George Lucas, Sean Penn, Steven Spielberg and Denzel Washington.
The AMD Britannia Awards are BAFTA Los Angeles’ highest accolades, recognizing British and international talent.
Matt Damon to buy the priciest penthouse in BrooklynMatt Damon is setting his sights on Brooklyn.
The “Downsizing” star is in contract for a penthouse in Brooklyn Heights, according to the Wall Street Journal. The 6-bedroom apartment is located in The Standish on Columbia Heights, between Clark and Pierrepont streets, and was last seeking $16.645 million.
Should Damon purchase the penthouse at its listing price, the deal would be the most expensive residential sale ever to take place in Brooklyn, the newspaper notes. The current record is held by the $15.5 million sale of a townhouse in Cobble Hill in 2015. The Standish property is reportedly a combination of multiple units and has its own terrace and Austrian white oak flooring.
The Oscar winner previously scoped out a $40-million mansion in Brooklyn Heights last September after his kids were rejected by exclusive Brooklyn private school St. Ann’s.
Insiders told Page Six that the school — which boasts alumni including Lena Dunham, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Jemima Kirke and Zac Posen — told Damon that its classes for that academic year were fully booked.
‘Downsizing’ Trailer: Matt Damon Gets Small, And Discovers A Big New World(Video) Alexander Payne’s satire Downsizing drew plaudits when it opened the Venice Film Festival two weeks ago, and today Paramount has dropped the first full trailer. The film takes the premise of how much better our lives could be if we were to miniaturize (think dollhouse mansions, conflict-free diamonds for a couple of dollars…) and sets it within the context of being a solution to overpopulation and climate change.
Matt Damon stars as a man who opts to get small — shrinking down to five inches tall — and embarks on an eye-opening journey from a decidedly different point of view. Christoph Waltz, Hong Chau, Udo Kier, Kristen Wiig and Jason Sudeikis also star.
The smart adult comedy is Payne’s most ambitious work to date in terms of its scope and the use of visual effects (check out a look at the actual downsizing process in the trailer above). But, the big-picture question hovering over the future of the planet is woven in with a human and personal story that charts the characters’ journeys. The movie also incorporates several languages and locations. Of his role as the everyman whose life changes so drastically, Damon told the Venice press, “I love that it shows a relatable character whose life is different than our own but who we can find a common cause with.”
Paramount has a December 22 domestic release set, with some offshore markets beginning rollout simultaneously.
Matt Damon and wife jet to Rome after Venice Film FestivalMatt Damon debuted his film “Downsizing” at the Venice Film Festival — but he then headed to Rome, spies said, with his wife, Luciana Barroso.
They were seen holding court at a table at celebrity haunt Antica Pesa at the same time that Aerosmith rocker Steven Tyler arrived with 10 people, including some of his bandmates.
The singer, 69, was in town to perform at Andrea Bocelli’s Celebrity Fight Night at the Colosseum.
Susan Sarandon walked in and told Tyler she was “pumped” for his show. Also playing were Elton John and David Foster.
‘Suburbicon’ Trailer: Damon, Moore & Isaac In Clooney-Helmed Dark Satire Written By Coens(Video) “This is a tale of very flawed people making very bad choices.” That’s how Paramount describes Suburbicon, the George Clooney-directed satirical noir starring Matt Damon, Julianne Moore and Oscar Isaac. Scripted by Joel and Ethan with Clooney and his Smokehouse partner Grant Heslov, the pic drew hearty applause at its press screening in Venice last week and plays Toronto tonight.
Here is an exclusive new trailer for the darkly comic thriller about a family man who’s about to shake things up in his manicured-lawn life. Gardner Lodge (Damon) is in love with his wife’s sister (Moore), which leaves the wife (also Moore) little more than in the way. The lovers plan and stage a home invasion that gets rid of the excess spousal baggage; the scheme is to collect the insurance money and flee to Aruba. Some of it goes as planned, and the plot could work — if it weren’t for that meddling insurance investigator (Oscar Isaac). Noah Jupe and Glenn Fleshler also star.
Not helping matters in supposedly tranquil town of Suburbicon is a violent racist attack on the black family that has just moved in across the street. It’s all enough to send Lodge tearing down the street — on a kid-size bicycle.
Paramount opens the film October 27. Check out the trailer above — and the brand-new poster here.
Survival Guide Comedy Series From Military Vet Duo Ordered By Netflix With Matt Damon & Peter Berg ProducingNetflix has given an eight-episode straight-to-series order to The Green Beret’s Guide to Surviving the Apocalypse, a scripted comedy written, produced by and starring two military veterans, Shawn Vance, a former United States Special forces Green Beret, and Daril Fanin, a former combat army medic.
The duo brought the idea for a real-life “survival guide” series to Matt Damon who, along with Jennifer Todd, came on board to executive produce through their Pearl Street Films. They in turn brought the project to Peter Berg, Matt Goldberg and Brandon Carroll of Film 45, who also executive are producing.
The Green Beret’s Guide to Surviving the Apocalypse is a scripted action comedy, described as a mix of a survival show full of usable survival skills and how-to’s as well as smart low-brow humor. It is an anthology series, with each episode chronicling its own contained apocalypse as survived by the show’s hero, Shawn (Vance).
The unconventional comedy received a green light from Netflix, and I hear it recently wrapped production on its eight-episode order in Vancouver, Canada.
Vance and Fanin are repped by WME, attorney Derek Kroeger and Zero Gravity Management. Damon and Berg also are with WME.
George Clooney, Matt Damon, Julianne Moore Talk ‘Suburbicon’, American Anger & Next President? – VeniceFollowing well-received morning screenings of George Clooney’s Suburbicon, the filmmaker and stars Matt Damon and Julianne Moore discussed the 1950s-set crime comedy/drama with international journalists at the Venice Film Festival. The SRO press conference quickly turned to the current state of America which the movie immediately calls to mind.
Suburbicon, based on a script the Coen brothers wrote in the 1980s and which Clooney and Grant Heslov updated, is a mix of satire, noir and social commentary. It’s also an “angry” film as Clooney noted this afternoon. “People are angry. We’re angry at ourselves, at the way the country is going, the way the world is going. This (film) seems to reflect that and I think that’s probably a fair thing to do. But I didn’t want this to just be a civics lesson. I wanted it to be funny, but it’s certainly angry and it got angrier as we were shooting.”
The plot features two juxtaposed stories unfolding in the titular, and supposedly idyllic, town. One centers on Gardner Lodge (Matt Damon) a husband and father caught up in the sinister aftermath of a home invasion — and the awful choices he just continues to make. The other is about the Meyers, a black family that’s just moved in next door and is being violently attacked by a racist mob — and blamed for the unsettling occurrences in the neighborhood.
Damon, whose character uses his son’s bike as getaway transportation in one desperate scene, today said, “It’s the definition of white privilege where you’re riding around your neighborhood on a bicycle, covered in blood and murdering people — and the African American family is getting blamed for it.”
In these days of “Make America Great Again” rhetoric, a theme at this festival has been the perception that the mid-20th century is that ideal period to which MAGA supporters seek a return. Guillermo del Toro talked about it the other day in reference to his The Shape Of Water, and Clooney today noted it as well.
“The Eisenhower ’50s were great if you were a straight white male,” said Clooney. “Lift up the veil and you see problems of the country that it hasn’t come to terms with. Unfortunately these issues are never out of vogue in our country and we’re still trying to exorcise them.”
The racial tensions in Suburbicon are based on real events in 1950s Levittown, Pa but also immediately call to mind the recent tragedy in Charlottesville, Va.
The film was shot a year ago and so there would have been no way to predict that what happened in Charlottesville would transpire shortly before Suburbicon‘s premiere, Damon noted. But the project was nevertheless born during the U.S. presidential campaign when Clooney was watching speeches about “building fences and scapegoating minorities.”
Films, he said, “are used to put a pin in history. That’s when they work really well. (Today) it’s the angriest I’ve ever seen the country, and I lived during Watergate. There’s a dark cloud living over our country right now.” But Clooney allowed he is an “optimist” and believes in the youth of America, and the ability of government to work.
Moore plays the dual roles of Damon’s wife and sister-in-law. Asked if as a mother herself she believes that younger generations will do better than the current one, she responded: “The only way they will is if the generation before them is doing that as well.” With that, she turned to the controversy in the U.S. about Civil War statues which kicked off the violence in Charlottesville. “In the U.S., people are arguing about monuments. They must be removed. You simply cannot have these figures from the Civil War in town squares and universities for our children to see.”
Clooney added, “I grew up in Kentucky and they would come to my hometown to do Civil War reenactments and they’d go to the townspeople and you got to pick if you wanted to be a Union or a Rebel soldier. You wanted to be the Rebel, it was fun. You didn’t really understand the history of the Confederate flag… Now, if you want to wear it on your t-shirt or hang it off of your front lawn have at it, good luck with your neighbors. But to hang it on a public building where, partially, African American taxpayers are paying for it? That cannot stand and we have to come to terms with those things.”
Clooney is revered here and his press conference was typically jammed today. It was also lighthearted at times, despite the intense talk on such serious subjects.
To wit: Damon was asked how Clooney has evolved since they’ve known one another. “The key is when he gives you a piece of direction, you do the exact opposite,” he grinned. “It’s like he’s the greatest director in the world. You are always locked in, know exactly what to do and it’s great.”
Then Clooney fielded one final question: Would he like to be the next president? “Oh, that sounds like fun,” he said, and added, “I’d like anybody to be the next president — and right away please.” Cue applause and laughter in the room.
Oscar Isaac and Noah Jupe (The Night Manager) also star in Suburbicon which has its official world premiere in competition tonight.
Paramount releases the Black Bear Pictures-backed production that’s produced by Clooney, Heslov and Teddy Schwarzman on October 27 domestically.
Matt Damon talks the true cost of filming on Trump’s turfMatt Damon has never met Donald Trump, but he’s not a fan of the president, in part because of the demands he says filmmakers have to meet in order to shoot on his properties.
“The deal was that if you wanted to shoot in one of his buildings, you had to write him in a part,” Damon, 46, told The Hollywood Reporter in an interview released Friday.
“[Director] Martin Brest had to write something in ‘Scent of a Woman’ — and the whole crew was in on it,” he claimed. “You have to waste an hour of your day with a bulls—t shot: Donald Trump walks in and Al Pacino’s like, ‘Hello, Mr. Trump!’ — you had to call him by name — and then he exits. You waste a little time so that you can get the permit, and then you can cut the scene out. But I guess in ‘Home Alone 2’ they left it in.”
Chris O’Donnell, who starred in “Scent of a Woman” opposite Pacino, previously claimed that the cast was forced to film a scene with the now-president.
“We got new pages delivered to us one day when we were filming at the Plaza Hotel, which Trump owned at the time, and it said we were doing a scene with Donald Trump,” O’Donnell, 47, told Conan O’Brien in April. “It was explained to us that in order for us to film at the Plaza, we had to have a little walk-on part for Donald and Marla [Maples].”
In addition to Trump’s permit requirements, Damon is also opposed to the POTUS’ politics.
Referencing Trump’s remarks that “both sides” were to blame for the violence in Charlottesville, Damon said, “I thought Jimmy Kimmel’s line was the best, when he said that Trump said there were fine people on both sides, and showed the clip of the guys screaming ‘Jews will not replace us,’ and cut back to Jimmy saying: ‘Let’s get something straight. If you’re with a group of people chanting Jews will not replace us, and you don’t immediately leave that group, you are not a fine person.’”
Matt Damon Kicks Off Venice Film Festival with His Wife Luciana By His Side(Pic) The Venice Film Festival is officially underway!
Matt Damon‘s Downsizing opened the festival Wednesday night with a gala premiere at which the 46-year-old actor looked sharp in his suit as he posed with his wife Luciana Barroso in a red strapless dress.
The married couple of 11 years were joined by Damon’s costars in the film, including Kristen Wiig and Hong Chau, as well as Annette Bening, who is serving as the jury president for this year’s festival.
The Alexander Payne-directed movie follows Damon’s character as he and his wife (played by Wiig) debate whether or not to shrink themselves down to less than one percent of their body size in order to live on a luxurious compound funded by the government. The satire explores how overpopulation and rising inflation could lead people to make drastic decisions in order to live lush lives.
Also starring in the film are Jason Sudeikis, Laura Dern, Christoph Waltz and Neil Patrick Harris.
The 11-day festival will also feature the premiere of Suburbicon, another Damon film with George Clooney as director. The new father is expected to make his first public outing with wife Amal Clooney since they welcomed twins Ella and Alexander in early June.
Jennifer Lawrence and director Darren Aronofsky are also making their way to Venice with the premiere of mother! — which will mark their public debut as a couple.
Matt Damon, Ben Affleck Land 1990s Boston Crime Drama Pilot at ShowtimeHow do you like these apples: Showtime has ordered a drama pilot for City on a Hill, a gritty thriller based on an original idea by Ben Affleck and Chuck MacLean and chronicling the clean-up of Boston’s early-1990s crime problem.
Affleck will executive-produce the project with Matt Damon, director Gavin O’Connor, James Mangold and Jennifer Todd.
A fictional account of what was called the “Boston Miracle,” City on a Hill follows an African-American District Attorney who comes in from Brooklyn advocating change, and the unlikely alliance he forms with a corrupt-yet-venerated FBI veteran who is invested in maintaining the status quo. Together they take on a family of armored car robbers from Charlestown in a case that grows to encompass and eventually upend Boston’s city-wide criminal justice system.
“Chuck wrote a pressure-cooker of a script steeped in the tribal codes of a Shakespeare play — family, blood, betrayal, honor,” O’Connor said in a statement. “His take on the ties that bind is handled with a deep honesty and insight. I see the show as a brawling thriller — and an intimate family drama — played out on the rough streets of Boston.”
‘Suburbicon’ Trailer: Matt Damon & The Mob In George Clooney’s Venice-Bound Noir(Video) The George Clooney-directed Suburbicon was announced earlier this morning as a world premiere competition entry at the Venice Film Festival. Matt Damon stars as a family man dealing with the aftermath of a deadly home invasion in the quiet titular town. And, yes, it’s also a comedy. See for yourself above in the first trailer which Paramount dropped today.
The official synopsis reads: “Suburbicon is a peaceful, idyllic suburban community with affordable homes and manicured lawns… the perfect place to raise a family, and in the summer of 1959, the Lodge family is doing just that. But the tranquil surface masks a disturbing reality, as husband and father Gardner Lodge (Damon) must navigate the town’s dark underbelly of betrayal, deceit, and violence. This is a tale of very flawed people making very bad choices.”
Joel and Ethan Coen wrote the script with Clooney and Grant Heslov. It’s been a hot property since it came on the market, selling to Paramount for domestic and closing worldwide deals in Berlin 2016.
Oscar Isaac and Julianne Moore also star in the Black Bear Pictures-backed production that’s produced by Clooney, Heslov and Teddy Schwarzman.
Paramount, which will have a big presence in Venice this year, has set an October 27 domestic release. Offshore markets are currently lined up after that.
When it leaves the Lido, Suburbicon will head to Toronto.
Jimmy Kimmel Drags Matt Damon Into United Airlines' Bad Press(Video) Matt Damon deserves better.
Even though pretty much everyone considers Damon an A-Lister, there is one person who won't acknowledge him as Hollywood royalty: Jimmy Kimmel. And Tuesday night the late-night host brought his longtime feud with Damon to another level when he dragged him into United Airlines' bad press after the company received backlash for violently dragging a passenger off a flight. Kimmel aired a "new" commercial for the airline in which Damon provided the voice over.
The commercial started as a normal ad would, but then Damon went off script.
"I can't do this anymore because I know what it's like to get bumped. Trust me. I've been getting bumped from Jimmy's show for the last eight years and it takes a toll," Damon said as images of United Airlines flights displayed. "We're people, dammit, and we deserve to be treated with dignity—not told night after night, 'Oh there's somebody more important so take a hike.' No it's time to stand up—"
But then he was rudely cut off. "Hey, what are you doing?" Damon asked as the commercial continued.
"We need this seat," chimed in another voice over provided by Kimmel.
"What do you mean you need this seat?" Damon, growing angry, asked. "I'm doing a voiceover for your company."
"We need your cooperation, sir, we need this seat," said Kimmel, trying to keep calm.
"What do you mean 'sir?' I'm Matt Damon. I'm—Ow! Ow! Get your hands off me," Damon implored.
As sounds of Damon being bruised and battered continued in the background, Kimmel finished the commercial's voiceover. "Hi I'm Jimmy Kimmel inviting you to come fly the friendly skies."
But Damon wouldn't go down without a fight. "You people are animals!" he screamed.
Watch the hilarious video.
Matt Damon’s daughter stung by a jellyfish in AustraliaMatt Damon may have been the star of “Ocean’s 11” — but this body of water wasn’t so friendly.
Damon was on an Australian vacation with Chris Hemsworth this week when a jellyfish attacked his 6-year-old daughter Stella, according to local media.
The two Hollywood hunks were swimming on a beach with their families in the town of Byron Bay when the gelatinous blob stung little Stella — sending the youngster screaming and running to shore, the Courier Mail reports.
Perhaps aping his heroic onscreen personas, the 46-year-old father of three ran to a nearby cafe where he quickly grabbed ice for the wound, the paper said.
The families then called in paramedics to give the injured kid some professional help, while Damon and wife Luciana Barroso comforted the little girl.
The jellyfish attack was a miserable end to an otherwise idyllic vacation that saw the stars’ kids swimming in the sun and riding horses along the sand.
Paramount, Disney & STX Show Exhibitors Exactly What They Came To See With Help From Clooney, Damon And The Rock (Again!) – CinemaConCinemaCon came into full swing Tuesday with presentations from STX in the morning, Paramount in the afternoon, and Disney (including a screening of Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales) in the evening followed by an elaborate pirate-themed party. In between, STX again threw a lunch at Mr. Chow’s for exhibitors that had them lining up to take selfies with a very patient and cooperative Jessica Chastain, who is here in Las Vegas not only talking up Molly’s Game, her fall release from STX that marks writer Aaron Sorkin’s directorial debut, but also to receive the Female Star Of The Year award on Thursday night.
Chastain was definitely the belle of STX’s Mr. Chow ball, and also revealed during their presentation (where she appeared onstage with Sorkin) that this was her first time at this very big — and smoky — convention.
Deadline exhaustively covered that presentation (as we did for Paramount and Disney), the second year in a row for STX to get such a prime spot. But from my perspective, the impressive lineup they have put together is highlighted by Molly’s Game, the true story of Molly Bloom, the so-called controversial “poker madam” who presided over games with some very famous and infamous people and lived to tell the tale.
Last fall, during an interview I was doing with him for Hidden Figures, co-star Kevin Costner told me he was shooting Molly’s Game and that it was one of the best scripts he had ever read. He plays Molly’s dad, and at the Mr. Chow lunch Chastain told me she had an amazing scene with him toward the end of the film. She also raved about Sorkin when I asked what he was like as a first-time feature director. “You wouldn’t know it. He has been on sets forever and knows exactly what he’s doing,” she said. For his part, Sorkin couldn’t praise his lead actress enough, even though he noted the footage shown this morning is still in the early stages of post-production. Looking out over the Caesars Palace pool, he also told me he was enormously impressed by Costner who, also being an Oscar-winning director, could not have been more encouraging during the shoot. “He has had to deal with herds of buffalo in his movies so I really can’t begin to compare myself to him, but he’s great and even called me this morning to see how post-production is going.” He added that he hopes Costner decides to direct again, and agreed with me that the actor is on a roll in terms of performances lately.
But what about Sorkin? After this experience does he want to take the reins on set again? “There are still many great directors I want to work with for my screenplays, but yes I might want to do this again,” he said, noting the film is still undated but is definitely a fall release. He emphasized that the experience with STX has been great so far.
STX chairman Adam Fogelson, who hosted the Tuesday morning presentation, said onstage, and repeated to me at lunch, that he is proud of what the company has been able to do in just 19 months, including already having a $100M grosser in Bad Moms (the Christmas-themed sequel starts shooting in Atlanta in two weeks). Even though their terrific film The Edge Of Seventeen from producer James L. Brooks and director-writer Kelly Fremon Craig was a box office disappointment when it was released in November, I was happy to see Fogelson mention its critical success as a point of pride for the company. Most of the time studios only talk about the box office biggies at these events, but Fogelson showed class in praising Edge Of Seventeen which hopefully is finding its deserved audience in the ancillary afterlife. It’s a great movie that landed on my top 10 list for 2016.
Recently when I asked Shirley MacLaine what her favorite recent films were, she mentioned that one first, and pointed to the performance of its star Hailee Steinfeld as a big reason why. Also of note was an encouraging statistic that includes Edge Of Seventeen: Five of STX’s first 10 movies have been directed by women, and many of them have starred women in the key role, such as Chastain’s Molly’s Game which was something that drew her to the part. “It explores female power and what it means in society,” she told the convention.
It is too early to say, but the Molly’s Game plannedfFall release date along with the creative names involved will inevitably lead to awards talk, so count its CinemaCon footage debut as also the first step in that direction. One person associated with the company told me he doesn’t want to get ahead of himself in that regard — bad luck.
Over at Tuesday afternoon’s Paramount presentation, the studio showed off several films that also seem to be dipping their toe into the potential 2017 Oscar conversation, most notably Alexander Payne’s Downsizing — a movie that has been also in our Cannes speculation but may not be ready in time due to some tricky special effects work in which star Matt Damon is miniaturized. Payne and Damon appeared in person to introduce it, and the response to the uniquely original film was evident throughout the 10-minute clip Paramount showed.
The film, about a couple (Damon and Kristen Wiig) who decide to — literally — downsize so as to live a good life they could not afford unless miniaturized, is brilliantly absurd and right in line with the times, at least based on what I saw. The studio announced a December 22 release date so they clearly have awards season in mind. If Payne, who said he was “deep into editing,” can get it ready in time this would be the ideal American entry at Cannes this year. However, that seven-month gap between Cannes and its commercial release date might be problematic.
Paramount also showed off another obvious Cannes possibility in the dark comedy Suburbicon , a nearly two-decade-old Coen brothers script that has finally come to fruition under the guidance of director George Clooney. He was there to introduce the preview along with star Damon and Julianne Moore. It was just given a November 3 release date so that would indicate the studio may have an Oscar campaign in mind for this as well.
And based on the compelling footage shown of Alex Garland’s Ex Machina followup Annihilation , they could have another contender in this intriguing thriller starring Natalie Portman and Oscar Isaac. Finally among all the usual tentpole stuff like the new Transformers: The Last Knight and the high jinks of (I’ll admit it) hilarious-looking Baywatch, former Vice President Al Gore showed up to introduce the enormously effective trailer for the sequel to the Oscar winning docu An Inconvenient Truth, called An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth To Power which opens in July. Considering this was on the same day President Donald Trump rolled back several Obama environmental regulations, Gore was remarkably upbeat and non-partisan.
The Paramount presentation came on the heels of the announcement that Jim Gianopulos is the new Chairman and CEO, and president of worldwide marketing and distribution Megan Colligan made note of the excitement the studio feels about being in his hands. When I congratulated her and president of production Marc Evans later Tuesday night on their expert presentation she confirmed that the new chairman starts his job Monday. Also helping out in Par’s slate unveiling was president of distribution Kyle Davies who did a nice job interviewing the Transformers gang.
After two major bells-and-whistles shows, Disney kept it low-key with an all-pro account of its phenomenal success and future schedule by a very happy (and why shouldn’t he be?) distribution president Dave Hollis before he introduced the first showing (it’s not even quite finished) of its Memorial Day attraction Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales. The review embargo is in place until May so I can’t go into detail, but suffice to say the exhibitors exiting the Colosseum Theatre at Caesars Palace pn Tuesday night seemed very happy with what they just saw.
Oh, and the monkey nearly steals the show.
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