The career of Matt Damon it could have been even more blockbuster, if possible. since avatar to Minority Report: previous judgment, the American actor declined roles and saw the possibility of directing the Oscar-winning Manchester by the sea, as he explained on Friday in Cannes.
Passing through the festival to present his latest work, Stillwater, by Tom McCarthy, Damon talked about his decisions as an actor, always motivated “by who directs the film” and recalled those early days when he and Ben Affleck knocked on the door of Hollywood presenting the script of In search of destiny.
Damon, 50, has starred in nearly a hundred titles and shot with the most sought-after directors, from Steven Soderbergh to Ridley Scott to Christopher Nolan.
Matt Damon was one of the great attractions of the 74th edition of the Cannes Film Festival, where he was the focus of the press conference to present ‘Stillwater’. Photo Kate Green/Getty Images
But if the agenda had allowed it, it wouldn’t have declined. avatar (2009), by James Cameron, the highest grossing film in history. “James proposed to me to act and 10%” of the collection, Damon said. “Now I would be a billionaire,” I said. “I would have bought a rocket and would be in space”Said.
“I let slip the possibility of working with him; the next time I propose it, I will do it for free,” he said, before sentencing: “You’re never going to meet an actor who’s lost more money”.
He could also have acted alongside Tom Cruise in Minority Report: previous judgment and in Planet of the Apes, by Tim Burton. But he had already committed to the release of the trilogy. Bourne and The Big Scam, which at the end of the day contributed to magnify his fame.
Damon has “been on the verge of directing several times”, as was the case with Manchester by the sea, of which he was a producer.
Morgan Freeman as Nelson Mandela shares the scene with a Matt Damon in the shoes of Francois Pienaar, in the film “Invictus”. Foto AP Photo/Warner Bros.,Keith Bernstein
Under the orders of Clint Eastwood in the film Invictus, Damon was not entitled to the error. “First day, first take. I ask Clint to start over and he says, ‘Why? Do you want to waste everyone’s time?'”
Instead, in The Good Shepherd, the actor was made in the “repetitive style” of Robert de Niro: for one scene he pronounced “the same seven lines for 44 minutes. You have to have a lot of discipline.”
For Damon, nothing that makes him lose his passion for his work. At the end of the day, he’s always wanted to be an actor. That is why, at the age of 50, he categorically states that it will only stop acting as soon as it loses enthusiasm, although at the moment there is no sign that that moment is near.
“I really like doing this. I’ve always liked it. When I applied for college, my first sentence said that for as long as I can remember I wanted to be an actor“, said
Of course, before rubbing shoulders with the big names in Hollywood, he had to make his way. But the script of In search of destiny, which he wrote with his friend Ben Affleck it changed everything.
Matt Damon and Ben Affleck fought it from below, and from sleeping on a couch they went on to buy two Cherokees and win an Oscar. Foto AP Photo/Susan Sterner
“There were three of us in a horrible apartment, Ben slept on the couch and his legs were over,” he recalls from the distance. But in 1994, they managed to sell the script. “We’ve never had so much money and we both have we went straight out to buy us two Cherokees“.
The sum also allowed them to look for a better home and to prove their solvency, “we presented the cover of the magazine Variety who was talking about us. Without that item, we wouldn’t have been able to rent anything.” Three years later, Damon and Affleck won the Oscar for best screenplay and the former was also nominated for best actor.
Married to Argentine Luciana Barroso, with whom he has four children, Damon is glad to be a “boring” guy and that the paparazzi have stopped taking an interest in his private life. “They wouldn’t make a lot of money in front of my house,” he said.
“Normally what sells is sex and scandals, and everyone knows that I am married and that I am a father. I’m relatively free of controversies. It doesn’t pay the media to wait in front of my house,” he said.
Luciana Barroso and Matt Damon, the happy couple does not give a topic of conversation to the yellow press or the paparazzi.
The list of titles that have him as a protagonist or participant and the list of directors with whom he worked, impresses, gus Van Sant (Promised Land and In search of…) to Martin Scorsese (Infiltrated), passing george clooney (Suburbicon: Welcome to Paradise), Christopher Nolan (interstellar), Steven Soderbergh (Contagion), the Coen brothers (Law value) and Clint Eastwood (Invictus).
“It’s been a real privilege. If I had to work only with those I’ve already done, I’d consider me lucky, even though there are so many directors I’d like to work with,” added Damon, who in turn admitted he learned to economize on his efforts.
“It’s not that I work less, it’s that I do it better,” he said, adding that having found the strategy that works for him has made him waste less time. This gradual change has also been influenced by his three children: “In a way you become more fragile. I don’t have as much trouble getting certain emotions, like joy or sadness. And that’s the result of being a father.”
As the privileged one he knows he is, Damon is especially pleased with his friendships in the industry: “We all like this job. The only best thing is to do it with friends,” he said.
Damon admits to feeling luckier than his friend Brad Pitt, harassed by the press and embroiled in endless post-marital conflict. Photo AFP/Gabriel Bouys
In that sense, he admitted to feeling luckier than his friend Brad Pitt, a “guy so normal” but “surrounded by completely crazy people.” “I couldn’t.” “I feel very lucky because I had the best thing: I can do the job I want and all this… I keep on the sidelines.”
Not at all a minor issue in a medium that although it can be a fantastic business, “is also brutal”.
Source: AFP/Anna PELEGRI – EFE