Friday January 7th, 2011 · by Annie

Matt Damon to receive Critics Choice Award, but when will he direct?

The Broadcast Film Critics Association announced today that Matt Damon will receive its Joel Siegel Award on Jan. 14 at the 16th annual Critics’ Choice Movie Awards. Damon appeared in three high-profile films in 2010, including the Coen brothers’ current hit Western True Grit, as well as Clint Eastwood’s Hereafter and Paul Greengrass’ Green Zone. I specifically mention the directors because since Damon burst upon the scene with 1997′s Good Will Hunting, he’s shrewdly partnered up with an impressive string of accomplished directors for what his pal Ben Affleck has called “the world’s greatest apprenticeship”: Gus Van Sant, Steven Spielberg, Anthony Minghella, Robert Redford, Steven Soderbergh, Greengrass, Terry Gilliam, Martin Scorsese, Robert De Niro, Eastwood, and the Coens, just to name a few.

He keeps extremely good company, and at only 40, he’s crafted a brand for himself that never seems to disappoint his fans — even if it doesn’t always deliver at the box office. In a word, it’s “smart.” Damon’s films are intelligent and have integrity, and his very name attached to a project lends it a type of credibility that many bigger “movie stars” envy. When he does an action film, it’s Bourne. When he cameos on a TV show, it’s 30 Rock. When he signs on for a science-fiction movie, it’s with Neill Blomkamp and Jodie Foster.

Next up for Damon is Cameron Crowe’s We Bought a Zoo, and at some point, he will probably take all the lessons he’s culled from watching the masters that have directed him and follow Affleck behind the camera. It would be a waste if he didn’t. (Damon has expressed the desire to direct, and there have been reports that Damon might direct Affleck and himself in The Trade, a project about two wife-swapping New York Yankees pitchers from the 1970s.)

Can you think of any other actor who’s put together a more impressive and varied string of director collaborations? (Because I’m only coming up with Jack Nicholson in the 1970s.) And when Damon does finally direct a film, which director’s fingerprints will be most evident? My guess is his films will look and feel like a combination of Soderbergh and Van Sant.

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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