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When you're a celebrity in the public eye it's pretty much expected that you will be the butt of jokes; it's difficult to avoid. Matt Damon was among many targets in Team America: World Police, and the actor recently spoke about his caricature in puppet form. One might expect that Damon would be mildly insulted that his character in the film is only capable of saying his own name in the film. Either that, or maybe the actor took it in good fun and laughed along with everybody else. As it turns out, his reaction isn't really either of those things. He's mostly just confused by it.
Matt Damon will next be seen in the newest entry of the Jason Bourne action franchise. As part of the promotion for the new film, the actor took part in a Reddit AMA, and one of the questions posed to him was in regards to what he thought of the "Matt Damon" character created by Trey Parker and Matt Stone for their marionette action film, Team America: World Police. The word Damon uses is "bewildered," but he also has some interesting insight into how that whole "celebrity" thing works from their side of it.
I was always kind of bewildered by Team America, I think because it's hard for us to understand what our images are in public, I think we're not good judges of that, and when I saw myself on screen just only able to say my own name and not really that well, I kind of wondered "Wow, is that how people perceive me?" At that point I just kind of was like, I'm a screenwriter and an actor, and like really? I can barely say my own name? So I was always bewildered by that, and I never talked to Trey and Matt about that. And incidentally, I believe those two are geniuses, and I don't use that word lightly. I think they are absolute geniuses, and what they've done is awesome and I'm a big fan of theirs, but I never quite understood that one. But I will say this. Those of us who were parodied in that video were parodied because we were against the Iraq war, and we went on the record against that War, and so history is on my side not theirs.
It's an interesting question of how the public perceives a celebrity as opposed to how they perceive themselves. We all look at ourselves differently than others look at us, but when you're in the public eye that external view can be amplified several times over. Unless a celebrity really takes the time to manage their public image (and most don't waste the time) they won't really know how millions of strangers actually view them, until the South Park guys make fun of them.
From what Trey Parker and Matt Stone have said, their portrayal of Matt Damon had less to do with any perception that Damon was like that, and more to do with the fact that the puppet designed to be him didn't come out right. They thought the puppet looked stupid, and since there wasn't time to rebuild it, "Matt Damon" became stupid.
Based on the response to Matt Damon in the Reddit AMA, it doesn't appear that anybody views him as an idiot. It certainly doesn't stop them for going to see his movies. Jason Bourne hits theaters on July 29.