Matt Damon Tells Sweet Story About His Dad's Final Moments, And How He Made The Actor And His Brother Laugh With A Three Amigos Reference

Matt Damon in Ford v Ferrari
(Image credit: 20th Century Studios)

Movies are one of those things that bring people together. We tend to remember films that were introduced to us by people we love, or the movies we constantly watched growing up. For Matt Damon, one of these films was the comedy classic, Three Amigos!, which stars Steve Martin, Martin Short, and Chevy Chase. The Ford v Ferrari actor recently opened up about how much the film meant to him and his dad, and told a heartwarming story about a reference his father made in his final moments that made the actor and his brother laugh. 

In a recent interview with New York Live, the Oscar winner was asked by the media outlet about different movie lines, and if there are any lines or moments in particular from great films that have stuck with him throughout his life. He immediately recalled Three Amigos!, and how the silly comedy bonded his family. He said:

There was a great movie on our family, and my father, brother and I went to together, and it's called The Three Amigos. And there's a point where Steve Martin get shot, and the Three Amigos think it's all fake. And then he realizes that these bandits are going to kill him, and he walks back over to the other guys, and he goes, 'It's real.'

While a funny moment from the film, it ended up carrying a deeper meaning later on. While his father was battling cancer, he quoted the line from the 1980s comedy to make him and his brother laugh. While a really emotional moment, his father found a way to lighten the mood and find humor even in the most somber of circumstances. Damon recalled:

My father, in 2017 when he was dying, he had terminal cancer. And we were sitting there, and he just turned to me and goes: 'Matthew,' and I go 'Yeah,' and he goes 'It's real.' And my brother and I were laughing with him, and we're crying but we're laughing. But, it was just the fact that he referenced the Three Amigos.

Such an incredibly moving story about how powerful movies can be, and have such an emotional impact on people. While Three Amigos! may not be the most earnest or intentionally heartfelt movie out there, it still connected with Damon and his family. And the movie stuck with him, resulting in a special moment with his father that he’ll never forget. You can watch the 52-year-old actor tell this moving story below:

The actor himself has been lucky enough to be a part of incredibly resonant films with powerful lines that have stuck with audiences. “It’s not your fault” from Good Will Hunting is so powerful, and still stands the test of time, and who can forget “How about them apples?” His monologue to Tom Hanks about his brother in Saving Private Ryan is also very memorable, making the film one of Matt Damon’s best. We Bought A Zoo may be one of the actors move average movies, but the line “Sometimes all you need is twenty seconds of insane courage” has been a fan-favorite of many audiences. 

It takes true skill to write an iconic movie like, and a strong actor like Damon to nail the delivery, cementing it in movie history. Clearly the comedy mind of Steve Martin had this skill, as his comedic “It’s real” line was so integral to this touching moment, and the beautiful memory Damon now has of his father.

You can see Matt Damon delivering some great movie lines of his own in his latest film, Oppenheimer, which is playing exclusively in theaters, and just extended its IMAX run. Fans of the actor should also check out our feature on some of The Martian actor’s other great films, and where to watch them. For more information on other movies heading to cinemas later this year, make sure to consult our 2023 movie release schedule. 

Caroline Young

Writer, podcaster, CinemaBlend contributor, film and television nerd, enthusiastic person. Hoping to bring undying passion for storytelling to CinemaBlend.