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Apart from Jimmy Kimmel, I’m not sure there’s anyone in the world who doesn’t like Matt Damon. He’s just such a genuine guy, and on top of it, he’s got a sincere talent for both acting and writing. Altogether, it’s a very pleasing combination for fans, and not surprisingly, his AMA only continued those good vibes today.
The actor didn’t dispense as many batshit crazy stories as Bill Murray or Robin Williams, but he was open, honest and highly engaging. He talked on a wide variety of subjects, and if you have the time, I highly suggest you check out the entire Ask Me Anything. If you just want the cliff notes, however, you can scroll below for 7 of the more fascinating things…
The Team America: World Police portrayal didn’t bother him. He was confused by it initially, of course, but after he saw an interview with Matt Stone and Trey Parker in which they admitted the puppet came out looking really stupid and there was no time to change it, he started to think it was really funny. Besides, it offered a weird kind of satisfaction based on his own personal politics.
"All the comedy they’re doing is really next-level stuff. Also, I liked being included as a person who was against the Iraq war."
Damon has only gotten his asked salary one time. He’s been very well compensated throughout his career in Hollywood, of course, but on nearly every film he’s ever done, he’s taken a percentage of the standard figure he quotes in order to make sure the larger film has a reasonable enough budget to get made. Take a peek behind the curtain with this fascinating quote…
"For most films you take a pay cut, especially if you’re working with an ensemble. They just can’t pay what everyone’s quote is, because the movie would be too cumbersome and no one could make it. I’ve done that with all of the Ocean’s movies. You have an established quote, and the studio decides what percentage everyone takes. So everyone cuts the same percentage of their agreed upon salary. Actually, I think the only time I got my full quote was for the 3rd Bourne movie."
George Clooney sent a letter to Amy Poehler and Tina Fey claiming to be Matt Damon and bitching about how he was really offended about what happened at the Golden Globes. He even printed up stationary with Damon's name on it. They sorta fell for it, kind of. Unsure of whether they were being pranked or Damon was actually upset, they responded by sending two gift baskets, one with an apology letter and one saying if Clooney was responsible they weren’t fooled.
"I photographed the letters and emailed them to George with a caption that said "Go fuck yourself." He’s honestly a child. I can just see his shoulders shaking when he laughs alone in his house."
He always chooses the same piece in Monopoly. That’s the great thing about most AMAs. There usually winds up being a pretty good balance between fascinating stories about ex-projects and bizarre personal life tidbits---like what Monopoly piece Damon plays with. It’s the top hat, of course.
"Top hat. I think that’s an easy answer. It classes up the joint."
Damon stayed in touch with Philip Seymour Hoffman after Talented Mr. Ripley. The two weren’t exactly best friends, but Damon always made it a point to see Hoffman perform in plays, and they had dinner together on an infrequent basis, most recently during the filming of Monuments Men.
"It’s just incredibly weird that he’s not around anymore."
Damon And Ben Affleck called the Robin Williams role in Good Will Hunting the Harvey Keitel role. While they were writing their screenplay, the two actors continually looked to Reservoir Dogs as an example. Quentin Tarantino was able to get that movie made because Harvey Keitel read it and liked it. So, the goal became to snare a big fish that would want to play the therapist role. Mission accomplished.
"There were so were so many ways to play that character, we were casting a wide net and just hoping to we caught a big fish, and our agent Patrick, who’s still our agent, forced (Williams) to read it and he loved it. He kicked it up to the lit department, and then we had lit agents."
He gets confused with Mark Wahlberg on the street all the time. Yeah, I know. They really don’t look that much alike, but there’s "no convincing" people who have made up their minds that he’s Wahlberg. In fact, here’s an incident that happened earlier this week…
"I was walking down the street with my kids, and this guy screamed "MARK WAHLBERG!" I just kept walking, because I’m not Mark, and he kept screaming "MARK WAHLBERG! I SEE YOU! DON’T WALK AWAY! MARK WAHLBERG! WE KNOW IT’S YOU!" and then he runs up to me and he says, "I love your work!" And then this woman comes up, and says "I love your family, tell your brother I said Hi!" So I said "Yes, I’ll tell Donnie Wahlberg you said Hi."