Friday January 7th, 2011 · by Annie

Matt Damon is 40 and happy

Matt Damon arrives at the gala screening of 'Hereafter' at the Toronto International Film Festival in Toronto on Sunday, Sept. 12, 2010. (Chris Young / THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Matt Damon is more content with life now than he was 10 years ago.

The 40-year-old actor — who has four-year-old Isabella, two-year-old Gia and three-month old Stella with wife Luciana, and is stepfather to her 11-year-old daughter Alexia from a previous marriage — didn’t mind reaching the milestone age recently because he has fulfilled his personal goals.

He said: “It’s a good birthday – because a lot of the bigger questions are answered.

“I’m married with kids, all the things I was worried about at 30 I don’t worry about any more.”

Though Matt is content with his personal life, he still has professional ambitions he wants to achieve – including working with his friend Ben Affleck again.

He told Empire magazine: “You don’t always get to work with the people that you want to. I mean, I haven’t worked with Ben in years and he’s my best friend.”

Matt and Ben shot to fame after co-writing and starring in ‘Good Will Hunting’ together in 1997.

The movie earned them the Oscar for Best Writing in 1998.

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Tags: General
Friday January 7th, 2011 · by Annie

Matt Damon and Jennifer Lopez to Present Golden Globe Awards

Academy Award-winning actor Matt Damon will present the Cecil B. DeMille Award to Robert De Niro at the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s 68th Annual Golden Globe Awards, which will be held Jan. 16 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.

Ricky Gervais will host the ceremony, which will be broadcast live on NBC beginning at 8 PM ET. Also announced to present are “American Idol” judge Jennifer Lopez, “Twilight” star Robert Pattinson, Garrett Hedlund (“Friday Night Lights”) and “Gossip Girl” cast member Leighton Meester.

“30 Rock,” “The Big Bang Theory,” “The Big C,” “Glee,” “Modern Family” and “Nurse Jackie,” all shows starring stage folk, are among the television shows competing in the Best Television Series-Comedy or Musical category; while Broadway’s Alan Menken and Glenn Slater were nominated in the Best Original Song-Motion Picture category for “I See the Light,” from the animated film “Tangled.”

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Tags: General
Friday January 7th, 2011 · by Annie

Matt Damon: “I’m happy to be 40″

Matt Damon says that he is happy to have turned 40 because all of his ‘bigger questions’ have been answered.

The married father-of-three said that he was happy to reach the milestone because he has everything that he wants.

He told Empire magazine, ‘It’s a good birthday – because a lot of the bigger questions are answered.

‘I’m married with kids, all the things I was worried about at 30 I don’t worry about any more.’

The actor shot to fame alongside best friend Ben Affleck after they co-wrote Good Will Hunting in 1997, and he said he hopes to be able to team up with his buddy again sometime in the future.

‘You don’t always get to work with the people that you want to. I mean, I haven’t worked with Ben in years, and he’s my best friend,’ he added.

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Tags: General
Friday January 7th, 2011 · by Annie

Matt Damon to take on Universal over fourth Bourne movie?

A-list star Matt Damon is said to be locked in a dispute with Hollywood giant Universal, after finding out he was being replaced for the fourth film over the Internet.

The star features in all three of the current films, as action star Jason Bourne. But late last year rumours circle that Matt would not be reprising his role.

Now the star has confirmed that bosses are planning on taking the Bourne films forward without him, revealing he only found out they were planning to make a fourth movie after he found out over the internet.

‘I read online they are doing another Jason Bourne movie with Tony Gilroy directing that I’m not in,’ the Sun reports the angry star as saying.

‘No one told me, literally nobody called me. People think I have inside information, but you can get a sense of where I am in the pecking order.’

Now it’s thought Matt might even make his own version of the new Bourne movie, along with director of the previous three films, Paul Greengrass.

‘I’d do it again with Paul. Universal doesn’t actually own the Bourne character – the estate does – so technically I could go to Warner Bros… and Universal could read about it online,’ he said.

Will the Bourne films be the same without Matt Damon? Or would you like to see the star make more of the hit movies? Let us know your thoughts in the comments box below.

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Tags: Movie News
Friday January 7th, 2011 · by Annie

Matt Damon, Jude Law movie “Contagion” filming at CDC

The CDC is starring in a new film with Matt Damon, Jude Law, Kate Winslet, Gwyneth Paltrow and Laurence Fishburne.

The movie, “Contagion,” is filming some scenes today over at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. If you work or live over that way, expect more traffic than usual, given all the crew and gear.

The movie has been allowed onto the campus of the CDC, to film some exterior shots, but isn’t shooting inside the building.

The production did a good bit of filming in Chicago before heading to Atlanta, and it’ll be here for a while. We hear that in addition to the CDC/Emory area the film will be shooting some in Decatur as well as downtown Atlanta. Based on what we’re hearing, it sounds like the downtown W hotel might be a good spot to keep your eyes peeled for a star encounter.

The movie is billed as a bio-med drama, where a team of doctors must race to find a cure for a deadly epidemic. It’s the second project here recently to feature the CDC in its plot line. The final episodes of the first season of AMC’s “The Walking Dead” set scenes in the CDC, but did not actually film there. Instead, the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre played the role of the CDC.

Unlike “The Walking Dead,” the movie “Contagion” doesn’t feature zombies – and doesn’t plan to have the CDC explode.

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Friday January 7th, 2011 · by Annie

Matt Damon Honored For Charitable Work With Critics Choice Award

The Broadcast Film Critics Association announced today that at this year’s 16th annual Critics’ Choice Movie Awards, Matt Damon will receive the Joel Siegel award. Get it, Damon!

The show will air live on Jan. 14th, and this is the 4th annual Siegel award to be given out. The award and its name comes from “Good Morning America” film critic and BFCA member Joel Siegel, who lost a battle with cancer in June, 2007.

According to the BFCA, their reasons for choosing Damon as a recipient are many, and not only include his astounding film career— this past year he appeared in the Coen Brothers’ True Grit, Clint Eastwood’s Hereafter, and Paul Greengrass’ Green Zone— but also his dedication to charitable work.

“Matt personifies the values celebrated by the Joel Siegel Award,” said BFCA President Joey Berlin after the announcement. “Among his many charitable endeavors, Matt’s work as co-founder of Water.org has inspired us to honor him… Matt is also a founder of Not On Our Watch, which focuses global attention and resources to stop and prevent mass atrocities. He helps fight AIDS and poverty as a supporter of the ONE Campaign. He is also an ambassador for ONEXONE, a non-profit foundation committed to supporting, preserving and improving the lives of children at home in the United States and around the world, and a spokesperson for Feeding America, this country’s largest hunger-relief organization.”

After providing the many examples of charity work that Damon has immersed himself in, Berlin added, “Clearly Matt understands, as Joel did, that the true value of celebrity is as an enhanced platform to do good works for others.”

Damon is a true eco-celeb, not only supporting causes that better humanity but the world at large, and we hope that this award will show just how much charitable work is appreciated!

If knowledge of one category isn’t enough for you, then click here to see a full list of nominations or tune into VH1 on Jan. 12 to watch it live.

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Tags: General
Friday January 7th, 2011 · by Annie

Matt to present at 2011 Golden Globe Awards

The Golden Globes is always a big party – and now the Hollywood Foreign Press Association has confirmed some of its high-profile guests.

Matt Damon will also be on-hand to present the Cecil B. DeMille Award to Robert De Niro during the Jan. 16 telecast.

The 68th Annual Golden Globe Awards, hosted by Ricky Gervais, air live Jan. 16 on NBC at 5 p.m. from the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills.

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Tags: General
Friday January 7th, 2011 · by Annie

Matt Damon to get humanitarian award

Matt Damon, right, pours traditional Haitian sauce on a plate of rice and beans held by Haitian-born singer Wyclef Jean as they help distribute food to flood victims in a church being used as a shelter after four tropical storms hit the area within one month in Cabaret, Haiti, on Sept. 13, 2008.

“True Grit” co-star Matt Damon will receive the Broadcast Film Critics Association’s fourth annual Joel Siegel Award during this year’s Critics Choice Movie Awards this month, the association announced Wednesday.

The award is for Damon’s humanitarian and charitable efforts, including co-founding Water.org. The organization is committed to helping “draw attention to the world’s number one health problem, unsafe and inadequate water supplies, and to raise funds to help fight this immense problem — one community at a time,” according to its website.

Damon is also a founder — along with celebrity buddies George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Don Cheadle and others — of Not On Our Watch, to bring attention to genocide and other crises around the world; is spokesman for the Feeding America anti-hunger campaign; supports the One Campaign to end extreme poverty, particularly in Africa; and serves as an ambassador for the nonprofit foundation OneXOne, which works to improve the lives of children in this country and around the world.

“Matt personifies the values celebrated by the Joel Siegel Award,” BFCA President Joey Berlin said in a statement. “Clearly Matt understands, as Joel did, that the true value of celebrity is as an enhanced platform to do good works for others.”

Joel Siegel, longtime film critic for ABC’s “Good Morning America” and a BFCA member, died from complications of cancer in June 2007.

The Critics Choice Movie Awards will air Jan. 14 at 9 p.m. on VH1.

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Tags: General
Friday January 7th, 2011 · by Annie

Matt Damon Says Terrence Malick Suggested the Ending for GOOD WILL HUNTING

There used to be a rumor that William Goldman was the true screenwriter behind Good Will Hunting, rather than Ben Affleck and Matt Damon, who won an Oscar for that script. As Goldman himself put it in his denial of the rumor, “People don’t want to think those two cute guys wrote it.“ But it turns out Affleck and Damon actually had help from another film legend: Terrence Malick. Malick happens to be best friends with Affleck’s godfather, so Damon and Affleck visited the director in Boston while they were writing the film. Damon recalls:

“We had it in the script that my character and Minnie’s left together at the end of the movie. Terry didn’t read the script but we explained the whole story to him, and in the middle of the dinner, he said, ‘I think it would be better if she left and he went after her.’ And Ben and I looked at each other. It was one of those things where you go: of course that ‘s better. He said it and he probably doesn’t even remember that he said it.”

Hit the jump for more quotes from Damon on the evolution of the Good Will Hunting script.

According to Damon, Malick cited his inspiration for the new ending from Italian cinema:

“[Malick] started talking about Antonioni. ‘In Italian movies a guy just leaves town at the end and that enough.’ And we said of course that’s enough. That’s where we come from. If you just leave that’s a big enough deal. It doesn’t have to build up to anything more.”

I’ve always liked the ending to Good Will Hunting, so it’s funny to hear that it was at one point much, much worse. In fact, the script benefited from the punch-up work of another legendary film director: Rob Reiner. Damon told Tom Shone [via Vulture]:

“The original script that we sold had this high concept thing where the government was trying to get Will. Rob Riener sat with us for script meeting and said ‘Why don’t you guys take all that stuff out?’ Wait a minute. We can do that? ‘Yeah its enough just to make the movie about these guys. That’s a really good movie. That’s what we really love about it. And we said ‘We thought there was this whole high concept thing.’ ‘No you don’t need any of that.’ “

Ironically enough, the most useless advice came from Gus Van Sant, the director of Good Will Hunting:

“At one point after Gus [Van Sant] became involved I was shooting The Rainmaker in Memphis and everyone came down for script meeting. Gus came down and said ‘I want to do a draft where Chucky, Ben’s character, dies on the construction site.’ And Ben and I were just mortified. ‘What are you talking about’ ‘I want him to get crushed like a bug.’ We said ‘Gus what are you talking about? You cant just fucking smush Ben. That’s a terrible idea.’ Gus said ‘No, I really want to see what would happen.’ So we did a whole new draft on weekends of The Rainmaker, when I wasn’t working, we would write, Ben and I did a whole draft, with a wake and everything. It was took a left turn and went into this other place. The scenes in a vacuum I thought were good, but we still didn’t like the idea, then Gus read it said ‘Okay, its a terrible idea let’s go back to what we had.’”

Fascinating. Good Will Hunting is already a very flawed movie (video at their site). I’d love to see this bizarro version where Damon is a spy, Affleck dies, and everything ends happily ever after.

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Tuesday January 4th, 2011 · by Annie

Matt Damon enjoys being ‘a true nincompoop’ in ‘True Grit’

The actor has wanted to work with the Coen brothers for years and got his chance as the verbose Texas Ranger LaBoeuf in the western remake.

On a clear New Mexico morning this year, Matt Damon sat and watched the Coen brothers and the crew of “True Grit” as they prepared horses, six-shooters and the camera for the next scene. With more than three dozen feature films under his belt, it could have been just another mundane moment between close-ups, but instead Damon holds on to the snapshot memory with scrapbook affection.

“We were halfway through the movie and I was sitting on the set, we were doing this corn dodger scene — the characters are throwing these little cornbread cakes up in the air and shooting at them, it’s ridiculous — and it really hit me,” Damon recalled. “I turned to [cinematographer] Roger Deakins — he and I go back, we worked on ‘Courage Under Fire’ in the 1990s — and I said to him, ‘Roger, this is really special, right?,’ and he smiled and he said, ‘Yeah, it really is.'”

“True Grit” has just arrived in theaters as an idiosyncratic gun-smoke adventure with characters who talk like prophets as they ride through rivers, snow and ravines in search of revenge and reward. It’s the first visit to the Old West by the Coens — the Oscar-winning filmmakers best known for “No Country for Old Men” and “Fargo” — and their cast is led by a grizzled Jeff Bridges, the young newcomer Hailee Steinfeld and Damon, who plays a Texas Ranger who may be more windbag than Winchester.

“I am,” Damon declared with mock pride, “a true nincompoop in this movie.”

“True Grit” presents the story of a 14-year-old girl (Steinfeld) who hires a battered and boozy U.S. marshal named “Rooster” Cogburn (Bridges) to hunt down the dim outlaw ( Josh Brolin) who murdered her father. Tagging along on the manhunt is Damon’s Lone Star lawman, LaBoeuf (pronounced “la beef”), who fits in nicely with the Coens’ long cinematic parade of quirky and feckless souls.

That’s not to say that LaBoeuf doesn’t have his moments of valor. Joel and Ethan Coen, though, have stacked the deck against the character; their script is far more faithful to the 1968 novel by Charles Portis than the first Hollywood adaptation (which was released in 1969 and won an Oscar for John Wayne in the Cogburn role), but there is a major added scene of comedic mayhem that leaves the verbose LaBoeuf sputtering blood.

Damon can barely recount the filming of the scene without seizing up with laughter and a bit of lingering horror as well. Without giving too much away, LaBoeuf suffers a significant tongue injury and Cogburn, announcing that he once knew a teamster with a similar injury, reaches down to rip away the flap of flesh. On the set, Joel Coen advised Damon to really enunciate his dialogue, and on the big screen it’s hard to forget Damon’s stricken expression in the moment.

“It’s such a horrible situation, blood is gushing out of my mouth, I’ve been shot and there’s this guy sticking his filthy hand in my mouth, ‘I will rip it free,’ and I’m trying to get him to stop, and as soon as they yell ‘cut’ we just fall down laughing,” Damon said. “It was that kind of stuff. I would come home and tell my wife, ‘I am having so much fun on this movie.'”

Damon reserved a special brand of praise for Bridges, the 61-year-old star who grew up in Hollywood, put together decades of integrity work and now is enjoying a new stratum of acclaim as a celebrated elder statesmen.

“When he works and things are clicking like they were on this film, he’s in a state of just pure joy, and you can feel it, everyone can,” Damon said. “It was a relief in a way too. When you work with someone you really respect and admire, you always have that worry that they’ll be a [a jerk]. To have him show up and live up to his reputation in every way and be so wonderful, it made it all memorable. He’s a good guy, and that’s what you want him to be.”

And if Damon had to list the people who weren’t the good guys as he had hoped? The 40-year-old actor let out a sharp laugh. “That’s at the end of my career. Can I call you back on that one?”

Damon was speaking by phone from frosty Chicago, and he was in no hurry to hang up. The wind outside was too frigid, the hotel room too quiet and his wife and children too far away. “It’s like 10 degrees here, I’m not going anywhere,” said the father of three, “and it’s nice to have a grown-up conversation any time.”

The Illinois visit was for “Contagion,” the Steven Soderbergh pandemic thriller that also stars Marion Cotillard, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kate Winslet, Laurence Fishburne, Elliott Gould and Jude Law. “It’s an ensemble movie because, you know, everybody is dropping like flies.” Damon will reunite with Soderbergh for the biopic “Liberace,” which has Michael Douglas slated for the lead role and Damon as the music star’s lover. The Cambridge, Mass., native is also reportedly in talks to star in the sci-fi film “Elysium,” from “District 9″ director Neill Blomkamp.

Damon has become a signature Hollywood star for his generation after the Jason Bourne films, two Oscar nominations for acting (“Good Will Hunting” and “Invictus”) and his work with directors such as Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, Clint Eastwood and Soderbergh. There’s also his winking appearances on “30 Rock” and his ongoing comedy feud with Jimmy Kimmel and his good-karma portrayal in the tabloids as an earnest family man and co-founder of Water.org, which champions the cause of safe drinking water and sanitation in impoverished regions.

It was 13 years ago this month that Damon found his real breakthrough with the release of “Good Will Hunting,” which he starred in with Robin Williams and Ben Affleck. Damon and Affleck won Oscars for the script. That film followed the good notices Damon earned a year earlier in “Courage Under Fire” and was followed in short order by Damon’s successes in “The Rainmaker” and “Saving Private Ryan.”

Damon has a flinty American everyman quality that he can play against — as he does as the haunted-soul assassin in “The Bourne Identity” — or channel with unexpected tints, as he did this year in Eastwood’s “Hereafter.” “He’s a gem to work with,” Eastwood said. “He has this reticent Americana persona on screen, and he brings a lot to the set with his writing background and insights.”

Bridges echoed those sentiments: “For ‘Grit,’ he took this character and just ran off with it. He’s a guy that does terrific work and makes good choices, and that’s a big thing in the long haul of a career.”

For years, Damon has wanted to work with the Coens. Back when Damon was working on the 1999 film “The Talented Mr. Ripley,” he would lean forward as Philip Seymour Hoffman told tales of Coen filmmaking. The actors were especially impressed by the Coens’ tradition of giving their cast a daily visual aid by distributing the sketches of storyboard artist J. Todd Anderson.

“Phil had just done ‘The Big Lebowski’ with them, and he was telling me how every day on a Coen set when they hand out the sides — the miniature version of script pages for the day — they also hand out the boards,” Damon said. “You can look at the movie, in a sort of cartoon form, and know what all the shots are. Phil was like, ‘You’re not even going to believe it if you work with them, because you not only know what the scene will look like but you know what shots you will be in.’ That gives you so much as an actor.”

The flip side of that, Damon suspected, was that the shoot would be intensely regimented and perhaps even smothering when it came to improvisation. “But really what happened is they are so deep into the material by the time they actually are on the set shooting that they aren’t afraid to improvise,” the actor said. “They were pretty loose. We had a lot of fun out there.”

If Damon were describing his LaBoeuf character to one of his young daughters he might use a “Toy Story” example — the Texas Ranger dresses like Sheriff Woody but acts like the doofus do-gooder Buzz Lightyear. Damon said he and Joel Coen came to the idea of making the cowboy a sort of Cliff Clavin of the Old West by modeling him on Texas actor Tommy Lee Jones but subtracting the notable fact that Jones is a Harvard-educated intellect.

“The plan was a Tommy Lee who didn’t know what he was talking about — and never stopped talking,” Damon said. “And to practice for the tongue [injury] I actually took one of my daughter’s ponytail bands — one of her hair ties — and just wrapped it around my tongue to try to get this way of talking down. I’m sure the neighbors heard me and just shook their head and thought, ‘This whole Hollywood thing has just gotten to him.'”

By Geoff Boucher, Los Angeles Times. Source

Tags: True Grit
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