Affleck, who wrote The last duel with Damon and Nicole Holofcener and who also stars in the film, he was understandably reservations when I brought this up to him. “In your question about it there is a subtle implication or judgment,” he said, “that I chose to seek attention, and Matt did not. Both he and I have assiduously tried to maintain our privacy. ” He added: “I am not a psychiatrist, but I would think that the process of believing the implausible when seeing an actor would be more difficult for the public if they knew more about the person they are seeing.”
Here’s what we know about Matt Damon: he and his older brother, Kyle, were raised in Cambridge, Massachusetts, by his father, Kent, a stockbroker, and his mother, Nancy Carlsson-Paige, an emeritus professor of early childhood education. . The couple divorced when the children were young, but the relationship remained friendly. “They really did co-parent,” said Damon, whose posture stiffened slightly when questions turned to the personal. Damon said his mother knew he would be an actor since he was a little boy. A family legend has it that when his mother accidentally started a fire in her apartment by forgetting to open the chimney flue, 6-year-old Matt’s response was to put on a makeshift firefighter costume and pretend to turn it off. He studied at Harvard, planned to study English, but left after landing a role in Geronimo, the 1993 western, and he never seriously thought about having a different job. “I used to feel bad when my friends talked about their future after college and didn’t know what they were going to do,” Damon said. “I always knew”.
Damon and his wife met in Miami, where she worked as a waitress and he shot the Farrelly brothers’ antics movie. Stick to you, and they have been married for 16 years. His four daughters range in age from 10 to 23, and their influence makes the online presences of Taylor Swift and Timothée Chalamet a source of pleasure for their father, whose social media presence is largely non-existent. The family home in Brooklyn Heights, according to The New York Post, was the most expensive private residence in the neighborhood at the time of its purchase in 2018. While in Australia he did some surfing for fun (“I’m pretty terrible,” he said) and was riding on horseback. The last non-fiction book he read was Hate Inc: Why Today’s Media Makes Us Despise One Anotherby Matt Taibbi. The last novel he read was Desert centaursby Alan Le May, which became the 1956 classic western and had been sent by producers who were thinking of a remake. “What else do I do?” Damon said when I wanted to know more. “I don’t know, I sound like a pretty boring guy.”
Call it what you want, boring or sneaky, but Damon looks like “at the end of that line of people who want to keep privacy,” he said. “There is this new line of people inviting everyone into their everyday life: I’m in the gym! This is me exercising! There’s something tactically brilliant about it, in the sense that you’re controlling the narrative, but it’s the exact opposite of what I’ve always thought, which is ‘Circulate, there’s nothing to see here’, and just get the job done. ” This idea, that knowing where a movie star buys his coffee undermines the public’s ability to believe the implausible – to imagine – is outdated, and also one we often hear from older white men, at least those lucky enough not to feel the pressure to build an audience without selling too much of themselves. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t any of that.
“Brad probably can’t even remember how many of the movies I’m in were offered to him first.”
Even before he was famous, Damon’s drive as an actor has always been toward a certain interiority, an emotional mutability that he identified in his idols early on. He recalls, thinking back to the fall of 1987, a backstage discussion he had with Affleck during a rehearsal for his high school production of Friedrich Durrenmatt’s gloomy moral play. The old lady’s visit. The two boys, students at the Cambridge Rindge and Latin School in Massachusetts, were arguing about the kind of actors they wanted to be when they grew up. They were a couple of self-taught moviegoers who had a habit of renting cultured movies at the local Blockbuster. They had recently seen the 1985 film version of The death of a salesman, which sparked a conversation. The film starred 48-year-old Dustin Hoffman as 63-year-old Willy Loman, that icon of delusional effort, and in the opinion of Affleck and Damon, Hoffman could be seen working to make that difference of age will manifest itself in their interpretation; you could see the gear turning. They wondered: was it a good performance when the performance advertised itself? Did they want to be actors who did that, self-reflective technicians? Was it more preferable to be a chameleon? Damon already knew the answer: He wanted to be like Gene Hackman.
When Damon and Affleck were chatting about this, Hackman was 57, seven years older than Damon now, the star of classics like Contact in France and Hoosiers and the type of actor who disappears into a character but without doing a whole show about it, an anti-magician, downplaying his transformation. “Hackman could get so deeply into a character,” Damon said, “and be so moving even when he was doing very little.” Damon pointed to Hackman’s work on The conversation, that paranoid masterpiece by Francis Ford Coppola from 1974. In his book At the moment of the blink, the legendary editor Walter Murch, who worked on The conversation Among other classics, he discovered that every time he went to cut, Hackman blinked, so invested was the actor with the narrative rhythms of the film. “He was really into it,” Damon said of Hackman. It was a job, like many others by Damon, that elevates a film and that, paradoxically, you will not perceive as a great performance.