The new movie “Promised Land,” which Matt Damon co-wrote and co-produced, came in under budget and ahead of schedule because it had a script, the actor and Oscar-winning screenwriter said Tuesday night in New York. The talk was distributed on the Internet through Livestream.
Damon, who discussed the film along with co-star and co-producer John Krasinski of the NBC sitcom “The Office” and director Gus Van Sant, contrasted that to his last Jason Bourne movie, which he said they were writing day to day while they were shooting it. “It took years off our lives. It was so much pressure because you’re so aware of how much money … once you get on set, the money is just burning.”
He added, “(Director) Paul Greengrass and I would say like we’re in the wrong country. … It was 4 in the morning and we’re on a street and I’m going, Is there anything else we can shoot in Spain?”
Damon said watching “The Bourne Legacy,” the fourth movie in the series based on Robert Ludlum’s novels and the only one in\which he did not appear, was “very odd.” “It had a lot of same bells and whistles of the Bourne series but I didn’t know anything about it.”
That movie made it less likely that Damon will appear in another movie about the assassin with amnesia though “I don’t think it makes it impossible,” he said.
Damon said “Promised Land,” which opens in New York on Dec. 28 and nationwide Jan. 4, was made for slightly less than $18 million. It deals with the controversial procedure of capturing natural gas called fracking.
A nice article from ComingSoon.net
As we mentioned in our Gotham Awards coverage, this is the week when Focus Features is stepping up their game to get word out on Matt Damon and John Krasinski’s Promised Land, directed by Gus Van Sant. Earlier today, ComingSoon.net was one of a couple dozen journalists invited to a special luncheon at midtown New York’s prestigious Aquavit restaurant, specializing in Swedish cuisine and famous for kicking off the career of superstar chef Marcus Samuelsson. Damon, Krasinski and Van Sant were all on hand to field questions and talk about their movie in between bites.
Our positive review of the movie is still under embargo, but the film has Matt Damon playing the salesman for a natural gas company who comes to a small town along with a co-worker, played by Frances McDormand, with the intention of leasing land from the local farmers where they can extract natural gas. Along comes an activist named Dustin, played by Krasinski, who throws a monkey wrench in their progress at convincing the locals to sign contracts, and that’s where the film gets interesting.
Damon met Krasinski when he was working with his future wife Emily Blunt on The Adjustment Bureau in New York and they began working on the script together two years ago after author Dave Eggers helped Krasinski develop the story but then had to go off and write his own book.
The film was shot earlier this year outside of Pittsburgh in a small town much like the one in the film and during his time at our table, Krasinski talked to us about how his father’s own small town experiences inspired him to write the screenplay and how freaked out he got when his father visited the set and started pointing out places where they spent time in his youth.
Krasinski also told us an amazing story about his early years as an actor in New York and how he was almost ready to give up when he traveled to Los Angeles and two weeks later booked the pilot of “The Office.” The rest as they say is history.
All three mentioned how the films of Frank Capra and Elia Kazan were hugely influential on the writing process and the feel of the film, and they’re trying hard not to focus too much on the political side of the story and how “fracking” for natural gas has become a huge political and environmental issue in recent years.
When Matt Damon came over to our table, we spoke with him about the process of writing Promised Land with Krasinski and how that differed from writing Good Will Hunting with Ben Affleck over 15 years ago while they were both struggling actors. He told us how neither of them had any formal education on how to write a screenplay.
Damon complimented Krasinski on the speed at which his brain worked in terms of trying to figure out the mechanics of the screenplay and we heard some amazing stories from both of them about their co-stars, Frances McDormand and Scoot McNairy.
Krasinski was really impressed by what McDormand brought to her role, seemingly without even trying, although she did tell them at the very beginning of the project that she wouldn’t do any press. It’s a shame since it might be her best performance since the Coens’ Fargo, for which she won her Oscar.
McNairy’s audition so impressed the three of them that they changed one of the characters in order to give him a speech. The speech McNairy gives in the film was originally going to be performed by an older actor whose son went to war in Afghanistan, but after seeing his audition, they changed the role for McNairy. Apparently, McNairy did a reading on camera for Van Sant and after it was over, he started talking about his wife and her own struggles with the subject of the movie. Van Sant started rolling tape again to capture the emotion in McNairy’s story, and the part was changed for him. McNairy is having a bit of a moment, appearing not only in this movie but also Andrew Dominik’s Killing Them Softly, opening this weekend, and Ben Affleck’s Argo.
Krasinski also told us how he was crushed when right before last Christmas, Damon decided not to direct the film himself after they had all the pieces in places to go into production, but having to go right into pre-production in January would have kept Damon away from his family for too long.
Director Gus Van Sant filled in the rest of the story, telling us how he came on board in the project’s hour of need when Matt texted him asking if he would read the script and he sent it right over in PDF form before boarding a plane, and Van Sant decided to do it. Van Sant talked about some of his sound design and production decisions and how his style has changed from ten years ago when he made Elephant.
Since this was a fairly informal luncheon, we also talked about more esoteric New Yorker topics like the new Barclay Center in Brooklyn (thumbs up from Matt!), living on the Upper East Side (Krasinski and a couple other journalists, not us) and such. Even though both actors are from Boston, they both try to spend as much time in the city as possible.
Hopefully we’ll have more formal interviews with actual quotes from the trio sometime leading up to Promised Land’s release in New York and L.A. on December 28 and wide release on January 4, 2013.
Matt Damon attended the “TimesTalk Presents An Evening With Marion Cotillard, Matt Damon & Gus Van Sant” tonight, below are pictures and the video interview.
Promise Land star Matt Damon reveals why he turned down the most recent installment of the Bourne franchise and what it was like when going through a period without work. “It was sobering. It didn’t really feel like a rough ride at the time. I did have a couple of movies that didn’t work and some of them had big enough budgets that people cared and so basically my phone just stopped ringing” said the Academy Award-winning actor.
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.
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
More Matt Damon & Steve Sodebergh movies? I approve! And it’s a competition with George Clooney? Meaning more movies from both? I approve twice!
Washington, Oct 17 (ANI): Matt Damon has revealed that he is determined to outdo his friend George Clooney and appear in more of director Steven Soberbergh’s movies than him.
Till now both the stars have been seen in the same number of Soberbergh’s movies, with each of them having one in the pipeline, but now Damon has shown his will to outdo his friend in the collaboration stakes.
“We’re tied at six. But I’m going to win – that’s all I’m saying. We each have another one lined up with Steve and then I’m hoping that I can sneak in as an extra in the one he directs after that. I told Steven that it really matters to me. I want the title. I really want it,” Contactmusic quoted him as saying.
The 41-year-old actor who can next be seen in ‘Contagion’, a thriller about a fatal pandemic that sweeps the world admitted that the subject matter made everybody involved in the movie more hygiene conscious.
“Steve actually sent the script over with a note that read, ‘Read this and then wash your hands.’
“We were saying when we were making the movie, ‘We should get some stocks in Purell [a hand sanitiser]‘. We did have that conversation,” he added.
Via: Truth Dive
Matt Damon has revealed George Clooney may be “a pro” at pranks, but Brad Pitt once got the better of him.
The trio worked together on Ocean’s Eleven, Ocean’s Twelve and Ocean’s Thirteen, and Matt admitted the silver-haired heartthrob was hard to catch out.
“I’ve never gotten George, no. The thing is, George is a pro. He’s very tough to get. He’s got them all down. He’s very, very funny,” he told Shortlist magazine.
But the Contagion actor added: “The best one I saw on George was on Ocean’s Twelve when Brad had a fake memo translated and given to the Italian crew. It was this whole thing saying, ‘Please do not look Mr Clooney in the eye, only refer to him as Mr Ocean or Danny (the name of George’s character).’
“It was so the opposite of George that he was mortified and when he found out, he was not happy about it.
“So that was the one time I saw someone get him.”
Back in 1997, Matt Damon and Ben Affleck catapulted to stardom, winning an Oscar for writing “Good Will Hunting,” the coming-of-age story in which they also starred. They were the young toasts of Hollywood, and in the years that followed, each went on to make some impressive films: “Saving Private Ryan,” “Rounders” and “The Talented Mr. Ripley” for Damon, and “Armageddon,” “Shakespeare In Love” and “Boiler Room” for Affleck.
Damon continued to make hit films, starting up the Bourne series, amongst others, but it became a bit more dicey for Affleck. He suffered through a number of public relationships, and began featuring in movies that didn’t quite hit it big with the public or critics; “Gigli” and “Daredevil,” amongst others, now stain his IMDB page.
Life wasn’t easy, and as his best friend and writing partner, Damon had a hard time watching it.
“That was really hard for me to watch as his friend, because I didn’t think it was fair to him,” Damon told Shortlist.com, before shifting over to Affleck’s more recently revived career. “It’s more of a relief to me, to be honest. As his writing partner, I know how great he is. I always knew that better than anybody, so now I just feel vindicated. So I’m not at all surprised, but I’m glad to see him doing so well and it’s turned back the way it should be. Everything is right with the Force again.”
Indeed, Affleck has returned to making hit movies, not only as an actor, but now as a director, too. He got behind the camera for his first feature in 2007, directing the solidly received “Gone Baby Gone,” and then scored a major hit with his 2010 crime pic, “The Town.”
In fact, the two old partners are planning a reunion.
“Yeah, we really want to work together again,” he said. “We have a couple of things we’re developing and we have a deal together over at Warner Bros, but he’s making a great movie right now called ‘Argo.’ It’s really, really good.”
Affleck is directing and starring in that film, the true story of the bizarre way the CIA worked to rescue hostages in Iran in the late 70s. Bryan Cranston, John Goodman, Kyle Chandler and Alan Arkin also star in the film. Damon, who just featured in Steven Soderbergh’s “Contagion,” will next star in Cameron Crowe’s “We Bought A Zoo,” and was just announced as a co-star in HBO’s biopic of Liberace.
“Contagion’s” Matt Damon, 40, is the proud father of four daughters, and when asked by “Extra’s” Jerry Penacoli if he would consider trying again for a boy, Damon replied he was “done,” adding, “We’re closing the shop. That’s a wrap. Our life is full. I want to know our kids’ names.”
The actor commented on his pal Brad Pitt and the Brangelina brood, saying, “I honestly don’t know how they do it. They seem to do it so effortlessly. I’m sure they’re cloning themselves.”
Addressing the latest political rumor of documentarian Michael Moore calling on Damon to run for President, he laughed, “See how desperate he [Moore] is getting?! Seriously, I don’t have any aspirations to go into politics.”
Damon stars alongside Gwyneth Paltrow, Kate Winslet and Jude Law in Steven Soderberg’s thriller, “Contagion.” Damon says the action film, about a deadly outbreak, probably influenced the cast members to “wash our hands more.”
“Contagion” spreads into theaters September 9.