Matt Damon: James Bond is ‘a misogynist, he kills people & cracks jokes about it’

Matt Damon covers the August issue of Esquire UK, which just makes me want to hug the people at the American edition of Esquire who made the decision to put Liev Schreiber on their cover this month. Don’t get me wrong, I love Matt Damon, I just think he gets plenty of press and that Jason Bourne will be a hit no matter what. Liev and Ray Donovan need the exposure more. As far as I can find, Esquire UK has not published Damon’s interview yet but my girl Kaiser pointed me to some quotes from the piece reprinted in the Toronto Sun. I like how Damon talks smack about James Bond vs. his own character, Jason Bourne. He’s not afraid to start an action character beef but it’s not like he has to worry about another actor defending Bond. We don’t even know who will be playing Bond at this point. Damon also talks about how playing Jason Bourne in the first movie, in 2002, turned his career around. (I wish it did the same for Franka Potente, I last saw her in The Conjuring 2.) He’s discussed this topic before, and brought it up during an interview on Australian TV earlier this week.

“He (Bourne) is so much more relatable. Think about it. Bond is from the 1960s so has the values of that time,” Matt explained to Britain’s Esquire magazine. “He’s a misogynist, he swills martinis and kills people and cracks jokes about it.

“But Bourne is modern. He’s an anti-establishment figure, he doesn’t trust institutions, he’s going against the system. He has one woman that he loved and when she’s gone he doesn’t pursue anything else.”

Bourne is just one of 45-year-old Matt’s many successes. The Oscar-winning actor has starred in countless box office smashes, but his stellar career hasn’t been all plain sailing. After his initial late ’90s success, Matt starred in a string of flops and admits it was hard going at times.

“I noticed how differently I was treated in the business,” he remembered. “But it helped me to come to peace with the fact it’s not personal, it’s about numbers. Friendships don’t lead to jobs. In fact, friends could lament the fact they can’t hire me because I’m not on the list.”

[Esquire quotes via The Toronto Sun]

Spoilers for Bourne Supremacy
I miss Marie, I really do. I still remember that scene when she died in the water after being shot when Bourne kissed her goodbye. The Bourne scriptwriters did a great job showing how he pined for her afterwards and how he grieved while focusing on revenge. I half expected Bourne to hook up with Nicky when they had an alliance but it was better for his character that they didn’t. I didn’t read the books so I don’t know how close the films are to the source material, but he’s right about Bourne being a one-woman guy while Bond just hooks up with the hottest women around. It always bugged me how Bond didn’t even seem bothered when his hookups got murdered. I’m thinking of a particular scene from Quantum of Solace when Bond, played by Daniel Craig, just seemed stoic and determined instead of shocked or sad. At least Sean Connery was slightly taken aback to find his lover dead from gold asphyxiation. (In fact one of every three of Bond’s lovers ends up dead.) Bourne has a vulnerability that makes him seem human, albeit extremely skilled. Bond is kind of an a-hole, Damon has a point.

 

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45 Responses to “Matt Damon: James Bond is ‘a misogynist, he kills people & cracks jokes about it’”

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  1. LB says:

    I prefer Nicky to Marie but definitely agree that it was nice that they resisted the temptation to throw him from love interest to love interest. I’ve heard some rumors about the new movie though that have me concerned.

  2. Carnivalbaby says:

    Haven’t seen a Bourne movie since the first one and couldn’t even stomach the entire thing. Matt Damon is also annoying. Most likeable in the Mars movie.

    • Jane says:

      I agree. There’s something about him that annoys me, but I cannot put my finger on exactly what.

      • Kiki says:

        I am just about had it with Matt Damon. He needs to shut up and play cop and robbers like good little actors do. If he really wants to be political, then walk the walk, if not SHUT UP.

      • Emma - The JP Lover says:

        @Kiki, who wrote: “I am just about had it with Matt Damon. He needs to shut up and play cop and robbers like good little actors do. If he really wants to be political, then walk the walk, if not SHUT UP.”

        Everyone, every single person alive on this planet is entitled to their own opinion and the freedom/right to voice their opinion, whether they be actors, kings, celebrities, or dish washers.

        There is a difference between the actor and actress we see playing a role on screen and the man and woman they are when they aren’t working. They are parents, children, husbands, and wives and are allowed to ‘be’ those things just like you and I. They have the right to live their private lives just like everyone else in the same day to day roles as everyone else.

      • Kiki says:

        @Emma, Have been in the shoes of a Black person? Do you know what it is like to not have the equal opportunities just because you are black? Or even have the same rights and freedoms as any other person, or dear I say “WHITE PEOPLE”?
        I think not.

        All I am saying is that Matt thinks that just because he is an Oscar winning actor and makes millions and millions of dollars in bank that he thinks he can voice his opinion on an issue that he know little to nothing about and expects people to listen to him. Yes, I am calling out on his BS because since when has he stood up against lives of the Black Lives Matter movement, or look out for people who are going through hard times in their lives. I am not saying he should give all his money to the poor or protest with the BLM but acknowledge that He MATT DAMON that he has everything handed to him because he is white and all the privileges he has because he is white, and the Oscars because he is White and the millions and millions of dollars because HE IS WHITE.
        However, goes on saying stupid shit all the time and I have had enough. So he should put up or shut up. AND GO PLAY COPS AND ROBBERS LIKE EVERY OTHER ACTOR,

      • Emma - The JP Lover says:

        @Kiki, who wrote: @Emma, Have been in the shoes of a Black person? Do you know what it is like to not have the equal opportunities just because you are black? Or even have the same rights and freedoms as any other person, or dear I say “WHITE PEOPLE”?
        I think not. … All I am saying is that Matt thinks that just because he is an Oscar winning actor and makes millions and millions of dollars in bank that he thinks he can voice his opinion on an issue that he know little to nothing about and expects people to listen to him. Yes, I am calling out on his BS because since when has he stood up against lives of the Black Lives Matter movement, or look out for people who are going through hard times in their lives.”

        I am black. Matt Damon is not an “Oscar winning actor” … he is an Oscar winning screenwriter. He is not the only white celebrity who hasn’t spoken out publicly on “Black Lives Matter.” I have only heard Matt Damon voice his opinion on matters, not act as an expert … and it is an assumption that ‘experts’ (whoever they may be) take action on whatever he says.

        I celebrated my 61st birthday in March 2016 (I was born in 1955 in Birmingham, Alabama). Please do not lecture me on civil rights unless you have walked in my shoes. Thanks and welcome to “Celebitchy.”

      • Timbuktu says:

        @Kiki,
        I’m with Emma and not entirely sure what you’re talking about. I’m not sure why the choice is “shut up” or “be political” and why he can’t speak out against misogyny if he doesn’t speak up for BLM. It is possible for a person to be right on one issue and wrong on another. Doesn’t mean he should shut up altogether, does it? Cause I’m pretty sure none of us will be allowed to speak then.
        Also, your statement that he had “everything handed to him” because he’s white is a tad of a hyperbole, don’t you think? I’m white, and no one handed me millions of dollars – did I miss when I had to sign up for that?

      • Kiki says:

        @Timbuktu

        I will give some detail. He said something about guns. Yes we all need background checks for guns, but my problem with Matt Damon is that he thinks he is the savior of things that matter to him when he has nothing to do with it. I am not saying all white people have the spoils but when Rich people like Matt Damon who has all the money in the world and can do what he wants with his money, that he thinks he can make a greater cause by caring about world’s problems without acknowledging what he has. Which is white privilege. It is a touchy subject and no one should feel guilty about it but ignoring it is a problem, but addressing it would be a solution. This has nothing to do with being white or black, it has everything to do with social and economical injustice to all.

      • Timbuktu says:

        @Kiki
        I’m not sure what “the savior of things that matter to him” exactly means, and I’m not sure why you think he thinks that.
        He speaks up about things that he feels passionate about and about things that he, hopefully, educated himself about, such as gun control and education. I actually agree with him on most issues he speaks up on.
        Yes, he recently stepped in it by both mains paining something AND dismissing the diversity problem. That was wrong, and he got called out on that. But it doesn’t mean he doesn’t have a point here. As far as misogynists go, I think Matt Damon is definitely not the worst kind, and while he may not be able to help himself with some more subtle manifestations of misogyny, he has enough of a healthy prospective to see it when it’s blatant.

  3. Sixer says:

    I’m not interested in action films so shan’t comment on the relative merits of the franchise in a filmic sense. But as characters go, I concur. Bourne is much better than Bond. For all the reasons above.

    • LoveIsBlynd says:

      My therapist is always saying how James Bond is iconic example of narcissistic misogynists. Maybe he read her thesis. Her feeling is that women in our culture seek this type of man and try in vain to be in relationship.

  4. lisa2 says:

    Matt obviously has a right to his opinion. I’m a Bourne fan and I don’t really LOVE Bond. But Matt is always shading someone or something. Bond is a product of his time. I you took a character from any book and made them different they are not the same character and you lose the essence of what makes that character who and what they are. I think one of the problems I have had with Bond is how they have changed the character to be more “Modern”..

    Matt should just talk about his movie and not shade other characters. He is a pro at doing this.. whether it be with how HE is so different than his famous friends; how his life is so Regular and he can go under the radar and they can’t. Same thing here.. it is now he has moved to comparing his character to another famous one.

    • jinni says:

      So true. He’s always talking mad smack and humble-bragging.

    • Carol says:

      You are so right. Never noticed it but it is so true. I used to like him better than Affleck but I think not so much anymore.

    • marshmellow says:

      No, Bond doesn’t have to remain a misogynistic a-hole just because the previous takes on him were from Mad Men eras of misogyny. Most comic book film adaptations feature characters who started in very misogynistic times, yet they’ve all adapted to a more modern audience.

      Unless you’re saying that a major defining characteristic of Bond is his a-holish misogyny. If so, that’s kind of sad…

      • Locke Lamora says:

        But it is, isn’t it? Apart from his romantic endeavours and martinis, there’s not much to him. I hate the Bond movies.

      • lisa2 says:

        James Bond is a misogynist. We know that. That is who he is. I don’t need every male character to be sensitive and enlightened. I love All in the Family. Archie Bunker is a racist and ignorant. If they remade that role and changed him. Would that be the same character. NOPE.. I don’t have to agree with the character and their behavior to enjoy the show. Characters should be flawed. And it is OK for them to be unlikable. Humphrey Bogart’s characters were misogynists. But how would we change them to something else. Clint Eastwood’s Dirty Harry. It goes on. These are the way these characters are. We don’t need every male character to be sensitive and PC..

      • marshmellow says:

        @lisa2

        It’s one thing to have an awful and unlikable character. It’s quite another for the show itself to be misogynistic. To be fair, I haven’t seen an entire Bond film from start to finish, but I do recall that the female characters were also ridiculous. The films are over-the-top ridiculous, though, so maybe it’s supposed to be self-satire? I don’t know. I don’t get the Bond films…

        Archer is a good counter-example. While Archer is probably even worse than Bond, he often gets called out for his outlandish actions and comments, and the show is obviously meant to be a comedy.

        Maybe we can leave all the aged material back in the old days where it belongs, and Hollywood can try its hand at originality.

      • lisa2 says:

        @marshmellow..

        that is what I’m saying.. Bond was at the beginning CAMPY.. just crazy plots and gadgets. You knew it wasn’t real. That he couldn’t really get out of the predicaments he was in. All the cool weapons.. Then slowly they changed him to be more serious and real. Trying to turn him into a man of the day. And that to me is the problem. I don’t mind the fantasy/camp Bond. I do mind the he could be a real spy Bond not appealing.

        and to my point and yours.. if they want a NEW Bond then create him. Let the original stay as he has been.

    • Timbuktu says:

      I don’t see shade at all. I think he was trying to be funny. I’m sure he gets a lot of those questions, so he thought about it and gave a decent answer.

  5. Fee says:

    Matt chill out. Different eras of Bond, that’s why they took it in a new direction with Craig, he didn’t even sleep with the leading lady in the 2nd. Anyhow, looking back at Bond in the “old” days is ridiculous. In the newer ones, when one of his own agents was shot n killed,for once he was still around, when he fought he actually bled as opposed the non blinking Bonds. 2 did characters, one is brain damaged Matt. Love Bourne but no need to shade Bond. BTW, s Idris the next Bond yet? Looove him.

  6. Rachel Phelps says:

    Bourne vs. Bond, now THAT’S a movie I’d pay good money to see! Make it happen, Hollywood!

  7. OriginallyBlue says:

    Ugh I really don’t like him. He gets somethings right, but he seems so whiney sometimes.

  8. marshmellow says:

    Yeah, I never got Bond. What few parts I’ve seen of Bond films… they’ve always seemed so corny, but they weren’t funny enough to be a comedy. I’ll stick with Archer.

  9. LisaH says:

    Hear, hear! Bond is sexist tripe and I no longer watch the franchise because of it.

    Besides, I’m over sequels in general. If the movie industry was like this in the 80′s, we would have never had films like The Breakfast Club, Back to the Future or Gremlins. Bring back the creativity, take risks!

  10. Starkiller says:

    Take a Stade de France’s worth of seats, you dullard. You’ve got a rap sheet of misogynist offences as long as your arm.

  11. Tara says:

    It’s so different than the book. I’ve read the book several times, it’s one of Ludlum’s best. Maybe the best. They completely changed it, but as much as I loved the book I was fine with that. They basically updated it.

    • Ally8 says:

      Have you seen the Richard Chamberlain version of Bourne? It’s up on YouTube or Daily Motion. I think it’s more faithful to the novel, and it offers a wonderful cinéma vérité tour of 1980s European hotels, but the cheese of it did finally put me off about 2/3 of the way through.

  12. Bread and Circuses says:

    I remember writer Michael Slade once saying that James Bond (of the books, anyway) is very well-characterized as long as you understand he’s a clinical psychopath.

    The lack of empathy? Of remorse? The thrill-seeking? The lack of fear? The willingness to use others, sexually and otherwise?

    Those are all traits of a psychopath. James Bond is a villain who happens to work for the good guys.

    • d says:

      It’s amazing how many people don’t get this about Bond! He’s a SPY/trained assassin! He’s not supposed to be nice, he’s a trained killer and his personality makes him a perfect for it. The contrariness – bad guy who works for the good guys – is what makes the stories interesting. Trying to make him touchy-feely in the movies is so…ugh…just waters it down. Let him be the fantasy.
      That said though, I enjoyed the Bourne books and movies more, in part because of the “normal guy against the bad guys” aspect. I read the books while living overseas and they were a ripping good read when I needed a break from the culture shock.

  13. Dangles says:

    You could argue that cracking jokes after killing people is gallows humor one uses as a coping mechanism.

  14. iheartgossip says:

    So says Jason Bourne. Please.

  15. Meadow says:

    Time to shut up Matt. Bond is a bady , Bourne’s a goody. It’s not like Bourne doesn’t do collateral damage. Killing people on screen and headlining movies were multiple people are killed to entertain the public , perpetuated the gun culture which you were on your high on about a few days ago. The worse thing is he doesn’t even see how hypocritical he is. Does anyone believe HE doesn’t own a gun?