Great new interview where Matt talks about We Bought a Zoo, music, crying while watching movies and Tom Cruise, by The Washington Post:
I’m a little worried about “We Bought a Zoo.”
With all the hype about mega-marketed holiday films such as “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” and “Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol,” I fear moviegoers may forget all about Cameron Crowe and Matt Damon’s dramedy, or perhaps just dismiss it outright because the title is, admittedly, a little goofy.
They shouldn’t. For starters, Damon delivers one of the most authentic and likable star turns of his career as Benjamin Mee, the widower and father of two who, uh, well, buys a zoo. (In addition to being goofy, the title is also kind of a spoiler.)
I recently chatted with Damon and Crowe about the film for this Sunday Style piece, which, because of space limitations, couldn’t possibly capture the many topics covered during a 40-minute conversation. In addition to discussing New Yorker critic David Denby’s initial dismissal of “We Bought a Zoo,” we also talked about the impact that using music on the set (a signature Crowe move) had on Damon’s performance, as well as the acting abilities of their current multiplex competitor, Tom Cruise.
Here are more extracts from that interview, in which Damon uses big words like “amygdala” and says of Cruise, “He is a much better actor than I think people understand.”
Damon, on Crowe’s use of music during takes: There’s something that happens with music, and I’d never thought of using it this way, but it’s so brilliant because it’s so emotional. It’s like it leapfrogs your neocortex and goes straight to your amygdala and suddenly you’re feeling these things. It’s not rational; it’s going right really to your heart. As a performer, it’s just pulling stuff out of you.
That Jonsi music we have in the movie. . . . The song where I’m looking at the iPhoto stuff and looking at my wife [in the movie] — the song that’s in the movie is the song Cameron played that day, and it’s completely responsible for that whole sequence. It took me places that there is no amount of directing or cajoling or persuading he could have done to get me to that place. He didn’t say anything; he put the song on and we were gone. So that was something I’ve never seen before that’s an unbelievably valuable tool for me going forward, and eventually as a director.
Crowe, on why he changed his mind and decided to play music during certain takes of “We Bought a Zoo”: It happened on the first day when we were doing the scene in the hallway of the school. It was a close-up on Matt, and he kind of turned into the shot. I had two instincts: One is, wow, Matt has really connected to this character and this is the movie happening before me. And the second: I hear Tom Petty, “Don’t Come Around Here No More.”
So I put it on, on instinct, and something started to surge on Matt’s face and in the people around us, and it felt like music has always been for me, kind of an emotional partner. And suddenly we had kind of another character in the room, which was the music. As soon as the take was over, Matt and some other people came over and said, “Wow, I really felt that.” I think in that instant I pivoted and decided to keep doing it. And one of the reasons was because Matt just soaks up music. He’s a music fan, and the music was always a reminder of what movie we were in. And sometimes that’s so much more profound than anything you could say.
Damon, on whether he’ll use music when he makes his directorial debut next year: Definitely, definitely. I’m already thinking about that, when to use it and what songs. Because it really does work.
It was weird to come across a tactic — like, I thought I knew everything. Tactically speaking, without geeking out on theory, a lot of people make good movies, and I know a lot of them and we talk. And so, it was surprising to have this happen on the first day of filming. I was so excited. I had dinner with Ben Affleck that night, actually, and it’s all we talked about, was this Tom Petty thing that had happened. I just couldn’t believe it. I was like, man, you have no idea what this felt like. It was all about a feeling and being lifted by this music, and so yeah, it’s definitely something that I want to do. Because it works.
Damon, on what gets to him in Crowe’s movie “Jerry Maguire”:
There are a few parts, actually. I was watching it with my wife. It’s Tom [Cruise], is what gets to me. Tom’s performance is what gets to me, ultimately. He anchored that movie. He’s such a better actor than I think people understand, and that performance is still great 15 years later. It is worth going back and looking at again. It is one of the great leading-man performances.
When a movie gets to you, there are a bunch of things that start to work on you. The relationship between Cuba [Gooding Jr.]’s character and his wife, that starts to get to me. By the end of it I’m just so teed up for the final scene with Tom and Renee [Zellweger] in front of the women’s group. My wife looks over, and tears are running down [my face] and I’m wiping them away.
But it got to her, too. . . . I’m not ashamed to say that.
Crowe and Damon, on the possibility of Crowe making a movie that brings together Damon, Cruise and “Say Anything . . .” star John Cusack:
Damon: I love that idea.
Crowe: Oh, man. Tom Cruise came to visit the set when we were making “We Bought a Zoo,” and I kind of stood back at a certain point and watched the two of them talking, and I had the same idea. It’s like, damn. . . .
Damon: I had met [Tom Cruise] briefly a couple of times, but we really got to talk and, uh, spend a little time together. And then I talked to him on the phone after he saw some scenes. He dropped by the editing room and saw some stuff and called me. And that was amazing.
After the actor pulled out of directing the untitled film due to “scheduling conflicts,” Van Sant will now take his chair.
Matt Damon might not be directing his untitled drama he co-wrote with John Krasinski and Dave Eggers, but the project is far from dead.
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Matt Damon Won’t Direct Movie He Co-Wrote with John Krasinski
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Gus Van Sant will sit in the director’s chair after Damon fell out due to “scheduling issues.” (The actor said yes to several movies this year, and the time required to prep what would have been his directorial debut would have impacted his other commitments.)
Damon came to the realization he would be unable to direct during the holidays and called Van Sant, who helmed him in his 1997 breakthrough Good Will Hunting, to step in.
Damon will still star in the movie, along with which centers on a salesman (Damon) who arrives in a small town only to have his life changed. Krasinski was also due to star. The two are producing as is Chris Moore.
The next step for the project, which hopes to shoot in the spring, is financing. The project was initially set up at Warner Bros. in October but is no longer there. Discussions are underway with financiers to take it over.
Van Sant, repped by WME, last directed Restless, which starred Mia Wasikowska.
Continuing, these are are all new albums, and some new photoshoots! Huge thanks to Olivia from Shelley Conn Online for the set with Josh Brolin.
I’ve also included the new GQ photoshoot and outtakes. Matt is currently featured on GQ magazine, January edition. I’m looking for scans, if you can scan it, please mail them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hope you enjoy!
Photoshoot #088, Photoshoot #089, Photoshoot #090, Photoshoot #091, Photoshoot #092, Photoshoot #093, Photoshoot #094, Photoshoot #095, Photoshoot #096, Photoshoot #097, Photoshoot #098, Photoshoot #099, Photoshoot #100, Photoshoot #101, Photoshoot #102, Photoshoot #103, Photoshoot #104, Photoshoot #105, Photoshoot #106, Photoshoot #107, Photoshoot #108
Hello everyone! I’ve updated the gallery with a lot of photoshoots, some are new, some are old, some are HQ version of what had already been posted. In all cases, it’s Matt Damon *eye*candy*.
Photoshoot #006, Photoshoot #012, , Photoshoot #021, Photoshoot #027, Photoshoot #026, Photoshoot #038, Photoshoot #040, Photoshoot #041, Photoshoot #043, Photoshoot #047, Photoshoot #046, Photoshoot #049, Photoshoot #051, Photoshoot #066, Photoshoot #063, Photoshoot #084
I’ve added more pictures from the We Bought a Zoo premiere and there’s a Today Show Clip at MSNBC Site. Thanks Roberta from Jim Parsons Web for the pictures.
Matt will be on Late Show with David Letterman this wednesday! Don’t miss it!
The clip is after the “Read more” link. It’s autoplay.
Matt was featured in this sunday’s edition of Parade Magazine. Huge thanks to Colleen from Eva-LaRue for scanning it! 😀
Matt Damon attented the We Bought a Zoo New York premiere yesterday, here are some pictures.
Matt Damon is featured on the January 2012 cover of GQ magazine.
Is there friggin’ anything Matt Damon can’t do? As the action hero/leading man/activist/Oscar-winning screenwriter/sitcom revelation/Internet meme finally makes the transition to Serious Director, we’re about to find out
I’m ducking Matt Damon. We’re supposed to meet at the Central Park Zoo ticket booth precisely at noon, but I’m not there. I’m thirty feet away, standing behind a huge oak tree, keeping watch.
Cameron Crowe, the director, has urged me to try to get a glimpse of the 41-year-old actor when he doesn’t know I’m there. “Matt’s fans relate to him as an older brother or a member of the family. And that’s how he relates to them,” Crowe says, recalling how during the shoot of their new movie, We Bought a Zoo, he liked to do reconnaissance on Damon as he signed autographs and interacted with his public.
The Boston native, who now calls New York home, can be reticent in interviews, reluctant to reveal too much or get too personal. I want to observe him in his natural habitat, and I imagine that my stealth will be rewarded with the kind of unguarded moment that can only be viewed in the wild. As minutes pass, however, and I don’t spot him anywhere, a thought looms: This is Jason Bourne I’m hunting—the master of evasion. What if Matt Damon is ducking me?
Stepping into the open, I sort of wave my notebook like a journalistic homing beacon, and suddenly there he is, all smiles. “Hi, I’m Matt,” he says, extending a hand. He’s in jeans, a gray waffle-y long-sleeve T-shirt, and what look to be brand-new black Puma sneakers. He has a knit cap pulled down to his eyebrows, which makes it easy to notice that his hat and his eyes are exactly the same blue. He’s taller than I thought he’d be and exactly a quarter inch taller than the man standing next to him: a gray-haired, bespectacled guy in pleated chinos and a baseball cap.
“This,” Damon proclaims, “is my dad.”
When Damon the younger pulls out a credit card to gain us entry to what we will all agree must be the smallest zoo on earth, Damon the elder (his name is Kent) observes wryly, “This is the first time the son buys the father a ticket to the zoo. When has that happened before?” Whereupon the son grins big and says, “There’s, like, a disturbance in the Force!”
“Come on,” Kent says. “Let’s go see the polar bears.”
As we set off, I’m immediately struck by the constant cross-generational ball-busting between father and son. For example, the story of when 12-year-old Matt announced his intent to play point guard for the Boston Celtics.
Kent: I said, “Matt, I have to tell you a little bit about the real world.”
Matt: My favorite player was Tiny Archibald, and he goes, “You know they call him Tiny because he’s six foot one.” He told me that he was the tallest Damon to ever evolve at five foot ten.
Kent: Five ten and a half, by the way.
Matt: Used to be, man.
Kent: Not that we’re sensitive about it.
Read the rest of the article at GQ.com
ToiletDay.org and Matt Damon want you to donate your voice — that is your Twitter or Facebook voice — to talk shi*t about the global toilet crisis.
Starting Monday, individuals can authorize ToiletDay.org to post once daily status updates from either their Facebook or Twitter account until World Toilet Day this Saturday, Nov. 19. If you chose to sign up, ToiletDay.org’s daily posts will be blasted from your account without your review of each individual message.
Billions of people around the world lack access to toilets, causing a host of infectious illnesses. Children in developing countries often carry 1,000 parasitic worms in their bodies due to poor sanitation, according to ToiletDay.org. More people in the world have mobile phones than access to toilets.
The “Talk sh*t all week” campaign is using social media to spark conversations about global sanitation issues. The campaign is using expletives such as “shit” and “crap” to draw attention to the cause with a bit of humor, explains Mike McCamon, chief community officer of Water.org.
“We’re talking about something no one knows how to address, and we’re using the words to talk about it,” McMahon says about the campaign’s word choice.
The first message, being tweeted Monday, says “More people have a mobile phone than a toilet” and uses the Twitter hashtag #TalkShit. Similar updates will be shared daily for the next six days, although you can sign up at any point during the week. If you’re concerned about indefinitely handing over permission to your account, the campaign assures participants their access will only last through Saturday.
The campaign is a partnership between Water.org (co-founded by Matt Damon, who lends his voice in videos including the one above), the Gates Foundation, Acumen, ONE, Watertoilet.org, Change.org and Water for People. It uses similar technology to Water.org’s “Twitter Twakeover” this summer, which surrendered the organization’s @Water handle to the user who racked up the most votes from an online competition.
Do you think this catchy campaign lingo will help attract new advocates for global sanitation issues? Tell us in the comments.
Awesome news! The Adjustment Bureau has been nominated for Favorite Drama for the 2012 People’s Choice Awards!