Matt Damon calls Philip Seymour Hoffman ‘one of the best actors that ever lived’


Premiere of 'The Monuments Men' - Arrivals
These are photos of Matt Damon and his wife, Luciana, at the premiere of The Monuments Men in New York last night. Kaiser has more photos from the premiere, including Cate Blanchett, George Clooney and Jean Dujardin. I don’t have a designer ID on Luciana’s dress, but I’m assuming it’s Naeem Khan as it looks like his other designs and the Damons are close friends of the Khans. The dress is a little fussy for me with the elaborate pattern and the jeweled empire waist, but Luciana sure looks gorgeous in it.

Matt was on Good Morning America yesterday to promote Monuments Men, which is out on Friday. I can’t wait! As Kaiser mentioned, Matt’s co-star George Clooney covers Variety, with his big mug front and center. Damon is doing his part too, although I’m saddened by that fact that he doesn’t get as much publicity. It’s just accepted that everyone loves Matt Damon (I mean, I accept that, I’m sure he has his detractors) and he doesn’t get as much attention as more controversial actors. Maybe that’s a testament to what an excellent actor he is; he’s convinced us that he isn’t worthy of our gossip. (I love Matt! I’m just saying that he’s not like Affleck, he won’t tell you his issues and he’s very careful about his public image. He doesn’t give the tabloids anything to go on. He’s also a genuinely great guy.)

The first thing that Robin Roberts asked Matt about was the death of Philip Seymour Hoffman, whom he worked with in The Talented Mr. Ripley in 1999. (If you haven’t seen that excellent movie yet, it’s on Netflix instant.) I started crying when Damon talked about Hoffman. He said “He was one of the best actors that ever lived without a doubt. And he was an even better person. He was a beautiful person. It’s horrible.”

Matt then talked Monuments Men, which tells the true story of the art curators and historians who were recruited into the army specifically to save priceless art seized in Germany during World War II. He said that there were no Monuments Men during the war in Iraq ten years ago and that was a real tragedy. (More on that.)

Robin brought up the issue of Matt directing someday, and he said “Sometime, if I can take time away from all these kids. It’s really a logistical issue for me. I like to be home.” I’m telling you, Matt is on script. That doesn’t mean this isn’t an accurate version of who he is, he just plans his image carefully.

Matt’s mom, Nancy Carlsson-Paige, is a professor of early childhood education and she recently penned an article for CNN titled “How to raise a grounded, creative child.” She details how she tried to help Matt develop into the man he is today by helping him “build inner security, confidence and a strong inner moral compass.” She sure did a great job. Matt’s mom also has a book out called Taking Back Childhood: A Proven Roadmap for Raising Confident, Creative, Compassionate Kids.

Here’s Matt’s GMA interview:

And here’s the trailer for Monuments Men.

New York Premiere of 'The Monuments Men'

World Premiere of "The Monuments Men"

"Monuments Men" New York City Premiere - Arrivals

Photo credit: WENN.com and PRPhotos

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34 Responses to “Matt Damon calls Philip Seymour Hoffman ‘one of the best actors that ever lived’”

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  1. blue marie says:

    I like Matt, as an actor and a person. He seems (haven’t seen anything to the contrary) to stand behind what he says, comes across as genuine. Anyway, I completely agree with him regarding PSH, the man will be missed.

    • Smith says:

      I don’t think the guy has ever put a foot wrong, including his charity (water.org) which very simply (and kind of quietly) gets the job done. Whenever I read about it, it’s like he’s the anti-Sean Penn (with all due respect to Penn’s acting ability).

      Also came to say Luciana looks absolutely beautiful. People sometimes throw shade and say things like “Matt could do better.” That kind of ridiculous statement only applies if you’re looking for arm candy for a night out. She is his wife, partner and the mother of his children. And she can bring it …

      RIP Phillip. We will miss your talent and energy. Thoughts to his dear Mother and family.

  2. Suze says:

    I love Matt Damon as an actor, and I agree, he certainly knows exactly the right thing to say in interviews. He’s accessible without giving away too much of his personal life (and rightly so, he and his family deserve privacy.)

    His comments on PSH were quite lovely.

  3. NAS says:

    Matt is a very likable person though i have only movies and interviews to base this upon. PSH…i am sad about his passing. Talented. Luv the dress Matt’s wife is wearing; luvly!

  4. AG-UK says:

    I like that Matt seems so normal. Also he is not with some stick wanna be actress. He always seems to have intelligent remarks.

    • Suze says:

      It’a relief to see Luciana. She’s lovely and she doesn’t mug for the cameras (side eye to Hilaria Baldwin).

      • ahoyhoy says:

        SO agree. I think Matt smartly chose a ‘civilian’. They seem on the same page as far as family roles and goals and I REALLY envy Luciana. She gets the gowns, the parties, the comfortable income, WITHOUT having to be famous for it!

      • AG-UK says:

        I know that Hilaria gets on my LAST NERVE. There is a mutual friend of mine in NY who dated Baldwin for years…. lawyer then he dumps her and marries this woman. I like that Luciana is comfortable in her own skin. I think he was smart in his choice of partner.

      • ctkat1 says:

        Matt Damon married a non-famous woman who seems to have NO interest in being famous herself- I don’t think I’ve ever heard her speak.
        This seems to actually be pretty rare- even when the woman isn’t an actress/singer/”personality”, many seem to try and leverage some fame for themselves (and Hilaria Baldwin drives me crazy- that yoga-on-the-plane photo sums it up for me).
        He was smart in choosing Luciana, because it allows him to have the kind of private family life that he wants. I couldn’t pick their daughters out of a lineup, whereas I could recognize the Affleck kids as easily as I could their parents.

  5. Barrett says:

    I must be half asleep, I thought his wife was Elaine from Seinfeld when I first looked at this photo. PSH was a phenomenal actor , it’s a shame the high from heroin must be so addictive it makes you lose all sense of what’s truly important. I wish he had been sent away for months w proper detox steps. So sad.

    • Nick says:

      To me, the craziest thing about the PSH tragedy is that he admitted he had an issue with opiates (cannot remember if he admitted to heroin use) and went to rehab due to the urging of Mimi and family/friends. However, he only went for 10 days. 10 days barely gets a heroin addict through the physical withdrawals. A heroin/opiate addict needs a lot more than 10 days in a rehab facility. The fact that he left the rehab facility after 10 days should have been a huge red flag. Did the media discuss this issue with him? My first question after PSH said “I went to rehab for 10 days….” would have been, “was that what the rehab facility recommended?”

      By the way I am not blaming Mimi or his family/friends, the rehab facility or the media.

      • Kath says:

        What got me was the 20 empty bags of heroin + the additional 50 full ones.

        That flies in the face of everything I know about heroin addicts who want to quit but want just “one more hit”, so get enough to last a day or two.

        To have that much of a stash says to me that he really wasn’t looking to quit anytime soon, but thought he could remain functional with a full-blown habit. Sad.

  6. GiGi says:

    I’ve always kind of been meh on Damon, but I love his mother! She’s such a champion for education reform in this country – and she obviously raised some grounded kids.

  7. lucy2 says:

    He seems to be an incredibly well adjusted and well balanced guy in a very unbalanced industry, so I’d say his mom definitely did something right.
    I can’t imagine trying to do a live interview, and having to talk about the very recent and very sudden death of someone you cared about.

  8. paola says:

    I remember somebody commenting on this website about Matt’s wife, Luciana. They were saying she was a gold digger and how very carefully she managed to drive him into her cobweb to finally get married to a movie star.
    I don’t know if all of that is true but they seem so in love and she seems to adore him very much…
    I think Matt damon is one of the most talented and versatile actors out there and i realle hated him in ‘The Departed’ so it means he was very good in it.
    Can’t wait to see this other movie.

    • Tazina says:

      Luciana is certainly no gold digger. He saw her in a bar in South America where she was working as a waitress and that was it. He said he saw her across the room and knew she was the one before he even spoke to her. He went behind the bar to escape the paps and try to talk to her and she thought he was just some crazy drunk. He pursued her, not the other way around. Perhaps the person making the nasty comment was jealous.

    • Jayna says:

      Or, hey, how about this? A handsome guy walks into the bar flirting with you and you like it. Movie star or not Matt Damon back then with his million dollar smile I’m sure melted many women’s hearts. Everyone always has to be a golddigger if they marry someone with money. I would only say golddigger if she was marrying someone like Harvey Weinstein, who looks like a troll, and doesn’t even have a wonderful personality to go along with it.

    • Emma - the JP Lover says:

      Ladies … Matt Damon met Luciana in Miami, Florida in 2003 while he was there filming “Stuck on You” with Greg Kinnear. She was a bartender in the bar Matt and Greg went to during filming. Damon said they met one night when he ducked behind the bar to get away from some fans who were hasseling him. Luciana came back from getting something out of the storage room and asked “What the hell are you doing back here?” He sat at the bar and talked to her the rest of the night, came back several more times and talked to her at the bar while she worked, and then finally asked her out.

      I don’t know where the ‘gold digger’ story came from, but the person who posted it here also thought that Luciana was a cocktail waitress in a bar who told her other waitress friends that she was going to ‘go after Matt Damon.’ Since the poster was wrong about Luci’s occupation, and Matt has told us how they actually met, I’d take the rest of the story with a grain of salt. Another poster said that Luciana was a single woman with a child who was working as a waitress in a bar to land a meal ticket.

      Luciana Bozan Barroso is from Salta, Argentina. Her ex-husband (the father of her oldest daughter) is Cuban and was living in Miami, Florida when Matt and Luciana started dating.

  9. MrsBPitt says:

    Monuments Men has a great cast, but its not getting very good reviews and personally, I think it looks a little boring…

  10. Adrien says:

    Just saw The Master last night and he should have won over Christoph Waltz. I was rooting for Christophe last year because I haven’t seen The Master but PSH was really the more deserving actor. Not saying that because he just died but because he was truly mesmerizing and not caricaturish in his portrayal as a L. ron Hubbard type figure. Damn, why is he dead? This is one of those rare moments that I will truly miss a celebrity.

    • Tippy says:

      ” mesmerizing ” is probably the highest compliment that could be paid to an actor.

      Too many actors nowadays lack the range or are apprehensive about leaving their comfort zone. Their performances seem so much alike that the characters they play take on the persona of the actor instead of the other way around.

  11. shellybean says:

    I like Matt as an actor, but I absolutely cannot stand him as a person. So yeah, count me as a detractor.

    • Mary says:

      I pretty much agree with you. Except I like him as a supporting actor more than a leading actor. If he’s the lead in any movie, I really just won’t watch it. However, if he’s a supporting actor in a movie, that won’t keep me from watching the movie (if that makes sense).

    • Kath says:

      Really, why? His politics?

  12. Lena says:

    Surprised nobody has mentioned Monuments Men is certified rotten ~ Its really getting slammed by critics. That’s why it was taken from Oscar season to February. What a waste of that cast. George must be devastated.

    A couple of years ago Matt was desperate to direct . In all his interviews he kept talking about how he was gonna do it as soon as possible. Now he says he rather be home even though he makes like 3 movies a year away from home. So it’s B.S. but nobody ever calls him out on that. Wonder why?

    • Jane says:

      It was moved to February due to the special effects not being completed and was never meant to be an awards contender. Don’t dismiss the movie based on the overall scores, a lot of people enjoy the film, and it was never going to compete with The Lego Movie. It’s a film for adults.

      Matt doesn’t make three movies a year away from home. He’s never away for more than 14 days from his wife and kids and only made one film last year, plus a one-week role in Interstellar.

    • Emma - the JP Lover says:

      @Lena, who wrote: “A couple of years ago Matt was desperate to direct . In all his interviews he kept talking about how he was gonna do it as soon as possible. Now he says he rather be home even though he makes like 3 movies a year away from home. So it’s B.S. but nobody ever calls him out on that. Wonder why?”

      I’m not ashamed to say that, as a HUGE Matt Damon fan (except for Celebitchy … waves!), I read everything written about the man. He has never brought up the topic of directing himself, but he is always asked “When are you going to direct a film?” and “When are you and Ben going to write another screenplay?” in his interviews. He has always replied “When the right project comes along.” He was originally slatted to direct “Promised Land,” but decided that co-writing the script and co-starring in the film was time consuming enough.

      And he doesn’t make three films a year. “Elysium” came out a year and a half ‘after’ it was filmed. “Green Zone” was released in 2010 and was actually filmed in 2007 after he and Paul Greengrass finished filming “The Bourne Ultimatum.” Universal held the film hostage in an attempt to get Damon and Pual Greengrass to commit to filming a 4th Jason Bourne film. And the film “Margaret” with Anna Pacquin was released in 2011, but it was actually filmed in 2005 or 2006.

      And what’s wrong with saying “I’d rather be at home?” I go to work everyday and I’d rather be at home. I’m sure many people feel that way. Should we call them ‘all’ out for not being able to be home because they work? Matt Damon doesn’t always get the big payday. He will, and ‘has,’ gladly worked for reduced salary in order to work with a particular director. He did so with “Departed” (all of the actors did) in order to work with Martin Scorsese.

  13. TherapyCranes says:

    His death made me very sad. I absolutely loved The Talent Mr Ripley with Hoffman and Damon. It’s so sad. What a waste and loss of a talented man.

  14. truthful says:

    Matt Damon spoke the truth and I am still sad over this news.

    I remember being sooo happy that he and Joaquin were both going to be playing in the “Master” two of my favorite actors..

    with Hoffman, it almost wasn’t the movie in itself–it was his role PERIOD.. whatever work he did, he embodied it.