Matt Damon: I’d be the youngest Oscar screenwriter except for Ben, f’ing a-hole


These are some rare photos of hot dad Matt Damon with his family. He’s shown at LAX airport yesterday holding daughter Stella, 2. She’s adorable! Matt’s wife of seven years, Luciana, is trailing behind him and I think I spot his two oldest daughters, Alexia and Isabella. I don’t see their daughter, Gia, 4. It’s possible she’s off-camera. In his recent Playboy interview, Damon mentioned that the paparazzi don’t hound his family daily the way they follow the Garner-Afflecks, but he also said they’re careful not to go to paparazzi hot spots. It sounded like he was mildly calling out the Afflecks for staging photo ops, which have been all too obvious during Ben’s Oscar campaign. So that’s why it’s nice to see photos of Damon with his family, because we only get the occasional chance. He’s not pimping his kids and he’ll tell you about it. (Update: an earlier version of this story incorrectly claimed that Matt was with his daughter Gia, 4. The photo agency mislabeled the captions and we’re sorry for the confusion.)

There’s plenty of news about Damon, but my favorite is a new extensive interview in Boston Magazine in which Damon and Affleck discuss the making of their Oscar winning film Good Will Hunting. It’s a long, good read on the history of the film 15 years later. The piece includes quotes from director Gus Van Sant, and co-stars Cole Hauser and Stellan Skarsgård among others. I was surprised at how long it took for the film to get made and what these two went through to finally get to production. In no way can I do justice to the article here, and I would recommend that you read it in full if you’re a GWH fanatic like me. Here are some of my favorite excerpts:

Their frustrations at constant rewrites
Affleck: We were so frustrated that Castle Rock wasn’t reading the script, so we felt like we had to develop this test. We started writing in screen direction like, “Sean talks to Will and unloads his conscience.” And then: “Will takes a moment and then gives Sean a soulful look and leans in and starts blowing him.”

Damon: They weren’t reading the script closely anymore. It was literally probably a full paragraph about what these two characters were doing to each other.

Affleck: We would turn that in, and they wouldn’t ever mention all those scenes where Sean and Will were jerking each other off.

Damon: Ben gave it to [Chasing Amy director] Kevin Smith and said, “Will you please save us? Will you direct this movie?” And Kevin read the script and was unbelievably kind. I still remember the message. He said, “I wouldn’t dare direct this movie, this is so beautiful.” Kevin went in personally to Harvey Weinstein’s office at Miramax and handed him the script, and basically said, “Drop everything you’re doing right now and read this.”

Damon: I still remember the phone call with Harvey. He had two notes on the script that were excellent, both very minor things. In one of his notes, he said, “I don’t like the chess thing”—there was a thing where Will played chess—“take that out.” And he goes, “And the bl*w jobs gotta come out, guys.” And we were like, “Okay, we found a home.”

On how they reacted the first day of filming
Damon: The very first day, I remember we started crying, because it was a scene between Robin and Stellan. And when Gus called action and we watched these guys—I mean accomplished actors—do our scene verbatim, we had waited so long for this to happen. I remember just sitting next to Ben and I had tears rolling down my cheeks because I was just so happy and relieved that it was really happening.

Affleck: We did tear up a little bit. But why is Matt saying this shit? Like, he holds his f’ing tongue for 15 years and now because it’s Boston magazine, he says he started crying? His career is not over, you know what I mean? He needs people to believe that he’s like Jason Bourne or whatever!

On winning the Oscar
Damon: Ben and I talked about it recently. We were younger than we felt. I was 22 and Ben was 20 when we first started writing it. And then it came out when I was 27 and Ben was 25. I mean, Ben’s still the youngest writer to ever win an Oscar for screenwriting. I’d be the youngest if it weren’t for Ben. F’ing asshole.

On what GWH means to them
Damon: I don’t think there could ever be another movie that I felt that way about. Because of what it meant for our lives, because of that time in our life. Another movie couldn’t occupy that much of my heart and soul at this point in my life. A movie could never change my life like that again.

On their future working together
Affleck: For a while, we thought maybe we should chill and just do other stuff, and not be Matt and Ben, Matt and Ben. But now, I’m gonna direct Matt in the Whitey movie. We have our company together, we’re developing together. And Matt lives down the street from me like he used to. His kids are living with him, the way we used to live with our folks. The only difference is that we have pools.

[From Boston Magazine via PopSugar]

I loved this article, and just wish that the people at Boston Mag would have taped the whole interview and put it on YouTube. It’s kind of frustrating to only imagine it and not be able to see these two giving each other shit.

There’s more news about Matt! The Daily Mail has some quotes about how he really wanted to direct his new film with John Krasinski, Promised Land, but stepped down when he realized that he would have to spend so much time away from his family. He described how he contacted Gus Van Sant in a panic and was able to get the former Good Will Hunting director on board instead. “The next morning, I was leaving to go to Florida with my family and I was sitting on the plane, feeling horrible. I emailed Gus and told him everything that had happened, and he emailed me back, right before we had to switch our phones off. He said, ‘I love your writing. I’d love to read it.’ At that point, it was what they officially call the Alec Baldwin moment. The flight attendant was like, ‘Turn that f***ing thing off, or I’m going to come and take it from you!’ So, I forwarded it to Gus from my Blackberry, as fast as I could, and then switched it off.” That’s so funny, “Alec Baldwin moment.” Except Alec was defending his right to play Words with Friends, not to save a movie.

Photo credit: Crown/BJJ/FameFlynet

 

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37 Responses to “Matt Damon: I’d be the youngest Oscar screenwriter except for Ben, f’ing a-hole”

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  1. Amelia says:

    Matt Damon is just so lovely, what a guy.
    I bet he gives great hugs :)
    Ad no, that’s not a euphemism! I’m all sniffly and self-pitying today, so I’ve been cuddle hunting.

  2. Lorn says:

    Not important, but that’s got to be the 2 year old he’s holding. That child is not 4.

  3. Falula says:

    SWOON. My forever, ever dong.

  4. Bowers says:

    He is a real actor not a celebrity.

    • poppy says:

      for some reason i buy what he’s selling and i generally despise all of hollywood.
      he’s the gifted of the 2. ben was smart enough to stick to him. he would be nothing without matt. i can’t believe i just said afflack was smart.
      perfect example of finding the balance of playing the game and having a private life.

      • ahoyhoy says:

        I used to think that too, poppy, but after “Gone Baby Gone” and “Argo”, I am starting to doubt that old story about the supposed imbalance in their contributions to GWH.

        The WORST thing Ben does is cast himself—acting seems his weakest link, funny enough. Just write & direct, Ben, write & direct. Damon should start taking the roles Affleck writes for himself, he is a much better actor.

      • TQB says:

        I co-sign ahoyhoy. I always thought Ben was talentless, but I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the films he’s directed. Thus, I am SUPER excited to see a Whitey film by Ben starring Matt! Had not heard of this before.

  5. FirstTimer says:

    Yeah, I though so too. That’s Stella he’s holding. I think every interview with Matt should have a video. He’s a very intelligent, funny guy to listen and watch.

  6. mln76 says:

    The kids are adorable. Matt is adorable.

    And now we know where all those gay rumors come from :)

  7. Hoya_chick says:

    The most amazing thing about him besides his acting and directing is how private he is. I literally don’t know what his girls look like and I love how he has embraced Lucy’s eldest as is own. He never makes a diffenciation. Always says he has 4 girls. Love that. Haven’t seen too much of the Garner-Afflecks whose kids faces are permanently imprinted on my brain from seeing them every day! Wonder if Ben is trying to curtail his campaigning? It was getting ridiculous.

    Has anyone seen the movie? I was planning on checking it out. I love how he priorities his wife and kids. Some people wouldn’t think twice about taking on the task of directing even if it meant time away from home. Damn I love him more and more. Ha!

    • Emma - the JP Lover says:

      “Promised Land” opens today (January 4th) nationwide in 1,675 theaters. (Blinks) That really doesn’t seem like a normal wide release, does it? I guess because the film only has a $15 million budget and is therefore considered to be in the ‘Independent’ market.

    • Amanda says:

      I saw the movie (I’ll see anything Matt is in. Love him!) and it is good, but it’s only going to appeal to a certain type of audience. How many people who live in big cities (where the film first opened in December) can relate to a farming community and actually know what “fracking” is? I grew up in the Midwest, and my parents were raised in one of these communities, so I get it. It’s a controversial subject that means a lot to people who live in these dying farming communities and the film tells a good story, without a real ending. I hope it does well, but I think without Matt and John behind it, the film would never have been made (or received the attention it is getting).

      Movie aside, I have to agree that Matt has done a great job of keeping his personal and private lives separate, has stayed out of the tabloids for the most part, and used his influence to draw attention to more important issues such as “fracking,” lack of clean water for a developing countries, the issue of teachers and tenure/low salaries, speaking out against the war in Iraq, and his disillusionment with President Obama.

      As a side note, Stella is a doll! She looks so much like her dad. I love that he seems to put his family first. That’s such a rarity these days – and not just in Hollywood.

  8. ahoyhoy says:

    MATT DAMON!

    Should be the new ‘Steve Holt’ w/ the gesture and everything. Because isn’t Matt Damon the embodiment of the hot, popular guy we all wanted in High School? SIGH.

  9. flor says:

    I only truly like Ben when he is with Matt.

  10. TQB says:

    Thank you for giving me a little warm fuzzy matt & Ben for the morning!!!

  11. Gwen says:

    I love those two together. It’s a good thing that they’re going to do more together in the future :D

    A question: is the oldest daughter Matt’s? I thought his wife had her when she met him.

  12. Dirtnap says:

    Is anyone else unable to access the full article through the link?

  13. EmmaStoneWannabe says:

    Alec Baldwin moment…haha that was cute. MD can do no wrong.

  14. fabgrrl says:

    He is so great! Have you all seen that video where he defends his mom, a teacher, and all teachers, against some reporter and cameraman spouting anti-teacher drivel? Love him!

  15. Lipsy says:

    He’s soooo funny! Smart and funny guys are SEXY.

  16. Axis2ClusterB says:

    Just love these two, especially together. Matt really brings out the best in Ben.

  17. B says:

    He looks good and the kid is adorable. BTW, look at the crazy dude in the first pic w/ long hair & a piece of paper…whack-a-doodle.

  18. Jennifer12 says:

    I love Matt Damon; he’s incredibly sexy and a fantastic actor as well as being smart. He went off on some reporter insulting teachers once- I would LOVE to hear him go off on Kristen Stewart, who also did that. She is so inarticulate and full of herself and I would love to hear her face someone who is actually intelligent and articulate.

  19. Angel says:

    All I can focus on is that “chick” in the first picture with the long goatee. WTF? LOL!!!!!

  20. A says:

    I love Matt…Promise Land did poorly when it opened in limited release last week….I hope it does better this weekend in wide release. More Matt, less Ben :)