In the build-up to the Academy Awards, all eyes seem to be on Leonardo DiCaprio. His performance in The Revenant seems to be the one to beat. Much of the reason for all the talk is centered around the apparently harrowing experience that DiCaprio and the rest of the cast and crew went through in order to make the film. Well, Matt Damon would like to point out that he’s nominated for the same award, and he earned it while staying warm.
Damon was introducing Ridley Scott, his director on The Martian, at the Director’s Guild Awards on Saturday night and felt obligated to point out that it is possible to make great movies without risking life and limb. The Martian, like The Revenant, is also a movie about a lone man trying to survive amidst harsh conditions, but when filming ended for Damon, the harsh conditions did as well. It turns out you can actually be quite comfortable, and you don’t have to eat raw liver.
Every night at 6 o'clock, the horn blew and Ridley [Scott] and I went to dinner. And that's how you make a movie, and we finished the film really early and we saved 2 million bucks. And Leo – we weren’t cold at all. I’m just sayin’. There’s another way to do it.
Matt Damon’s comments were spoken with his tongue planted firmly in his cheek as he was simply having a bit of fun at the expense of his former co-star. Both Leonardo DiCaprio and The Revenant director Alejandro González Iñárritu were in attendance at the awards show and, according to Vanity Fair, both laughed along with Damon at the joke. It’s not the first time they’ve heard it.
The Revenant has become as famous for the experience of making the movie as it has for the quality of the film itself. According to all reports the shoot took much longer and was much more expensive than originally planned. It cost about double what The Martian did, and took about twice as long as well. The shoot was so brutal that the movie was even attacked for unsafe working conditions. While it’s true that all that work did eventually lead to a quality movie, we can’t help but agree a little bit with Matt Damon, it’s not exactly necessary to go to such lengths. Having said that, The Revenant has had a much stronger awards season, so maybe all the hard work did pay off.
We’ll see who has the last laugh when Matt Damon and Leonardo DiCaprio go up against each other for the Academy Award for Best Actor later this month.