Matt Damon Poster

Quotes (58)

  • Some people get into this business and they're so afraid to lose anything. They try to protect their position like clinging to a beachhead. These actors end up making really safe choices. I never wanted to go that route. If I go down, I'm going down swinging. I know that's the way Heath Ledger feels and Ben Affleck feels the same way, too. We want to take the big swings.
  • If your movies don't perform, they just stop calling you.
  • I found myself getting more publicly shy when the gala events and big crowds started. Some people embrace it. To me, it's not worth enough to risk my private life being public.
  • I'm not being a monk. I live my life in New York. I have a girlfriend [Luciana Barroso]. But it's not cost-effective for paparazzi to follow us. They can get one picture of us walking down the street.
  • Now I feel I have an unspoken deal with the paparazzi: "I won't do anything publicly interesting if you agree not to follow me."
  • I'd love to be a dad. I hope I'd be great at it. That's every man's fear, yet his most important job.
  • [on The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)] We're all signed on in principle, in the sense that we've all agreed that we want to do it, but we're not going to do it unless we have a great script. It's ours to lose at the minute and, if we do make a third one, we want to make it as good as the first two. And if we can't do that, then we're going to have to let it drop.
  • [on The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)] If you have any ideas for a script, please, call Universal! We've gone so far from the book. [Robert Ludlum] wrote it as a trilogy and we've really kind of ignored that plot because it's very Cold War. And so, in the updating process, we kind of threw out most of what he had so we're kind of on our own to find a third one. "Bourne Ultimatum" is the third one and I feel like I've given ultimatums in both the first two!
  • If anybody wanted to photograph my life, they'd get bored in a day. "Here's Matt at home learning his lines. Here's Matt researching in aisle six of his local library". A few hours of that and they'd go home.
  • What I want to do is a character-driven porn movie. It's all going to be about characters, and the porn's gonna grow all out of the character's and it's going to serve as character development.
  • It's just better to be yourself than to try to be some version of what you think the other person wants.
  • There are people who appear in the magazines and I don't know who they are. I've never seen anything they've done and their careers are over already. They're famous for maybe 10 minutes. Real careers, I think, take a long time to unfold.
  • I'd had people say, "You'll enjoy being famous for a week, and you'll never enjoy it again". But I don't think I had that week. I may have been working and missed that moment.
  • Bond is part of the system. He's an imperialist and a misogynist, and he laughs at killing people, and he sits there slugging martinis. It'll never be the same thing as this, because Bourne is a guy who is against the establishment, who is paranoid and on the run. I just think fundamentally they're just very different things.
  • The Bond character will always be anchored in the 1960s and in the values of the 1960s. It's so anachronistic when you put it in the world we live in today that Mike Myers made a fortune with his own spy franchise [Austin Powers] - it makes for great comedy. Bond is an imperialist and a misogynist who kills people and laughs about it, and drinks martinis and cracks jokes. Bourne is a serial monogamist whose girlfriend is dead and he does nothing but think about her. He doesn't have the support of gadgets, and he feels guilty for what he's done.
  • (On being seen as a 'nice' celebrity) I don't hold myself to some higher standard of behavior. You don't have to do a lot to be seen as nice. I guess some of these people must be such rampant pricks that people are amazed when you say hello. I don't know why people like me, and I don't know if I want to know. That might be the kiss of death. I'd rather people not know a lot about me and go see the movies.
  • You've given an aging suburban dad the ego-boost of a lifetime. (On being named People magazine's Sexiest Man Alive 2007)
  • (On celebrity campaigns against such things as childhood poverty and disease) Look, I would much rather people were listening to politicians about this than actors. But the politicians aren't talking about this, you know.
  • (Talking about working with Robert De Niro in The Good Shepherd (2006)): I think I can say I'm a better actor after having worked with Robert De Niro.
  • (On his favorite roles) Good Will Hunting (1997) is so close to my heart because my best friend [Ben Affleck] and I invented him, he's from Boston, and it was what we knew. The stakes were pretty high with "Good Will Hunting" and it worked out as best as it can in this business - people saw the movie, it got good reviews, I was happy with the finished product, and they gave us an Oscar. I am also pretty fond of "Tom Ripley" - playing smart and sinister is just so much fun. I wasn't that fond of his choice of swim trunks, though, so a few points away for that. And "John Grady Cole" in All the Pretty Horses (2000) was good, too. The integrity of that character is admirable. Unfortunately, I am the only one who saw that movie, so no one will get that reference.
  • You do the actuary tables, there's a one out of three chance, if not more, that McCain doesn't survive his first term, and it'll be President Palin. It's like a really bad Disney movie, 'The Hockey Mom.' Oh, I'm just a hockey mom from Alaska, and she's president. She's facing down Vladimir Putin and using the folksy stuff she learned at the hockey rink. It's absurd.
  • (On James Bond) He's repulsive. Bond is an imperialist, misogynist, sociopath who goes around bedding women and swilling martinis and killing people. The movies have a formula, they stick to it, and it makes them a lot of money. They know what they are doing and they're going to keep doing it.
  • [on the difference between Jason Bourne and James Bond] He's not like Bond, who goes on individual missions. I mean, you could make Bond movies forever, because you'd start each film at the beginning of a new mission. But Bourne isn't built that way, unfortunately.
  • [on 9/11] That day is seared into who I am more than I'd even like. It was weird because I stepped outside my apartment, looked up and saw it happening and then went back in and just watched CNN because I just wanted information. I remember everything about that day.
  • Ask anybody on the street which actors starred in the "Ocean's" movies, and they'll tell you it was George [Clooney] and Brad [Pitt]. I'm 'support' in "Ocean's". As I was in Saving Private Ryan (1998) - Tom [Hanks] carried that movie. You could accuse me of piggybacking on other people's brilliance more than anything.
  • [on the Oscars] They should give them out 10 years later, like the way they do the Hall of Fame in baseball. They do it in five years, but if you did 10 years later, if this year (2010), we were voting on what was the best picture of 2000, I think it would be much more honest. It's like, when you pick up great old movies and you go, why the hell didn't Brando win the Oscar for this one? Who won that year? Whatever the sizzle was about that year. 50 years later you're looking at a movie and going, this is a historic cinematic performance.
  • [on the possibility of a fourth Jason Bourne movie] I don't know, you know. I think it will be a prequel of some kind with another actor and another director before we (himself and director Paul Greengrass) do another one. I think we are probably five years away from another one. We gotta get a script.
  • I want to direct someday and I can't really pass up the chance to work with the people I'm getting to work with. I've worked with Paul Greengrass three times now, and Clint Eastwood twice, and Steven Soderbergh five or six times, and the Coen Brothers this month. As long as that keeps happening, I can't see myself taking time off, unless the work dried up.
  • Usually the scripts I get have got Brad Pitt's fingerprints on them, or Leonardo DiCaprio's.
  • I've come to believe that the best way, if we really wanted to try to give out awards, would be to wait at least ten years.
  • I'm becoming far more interested in just functionality and making sure my body is as strong as it can be so I can swing my kids around and not worry about aches and pains.
  • [on what kind of political leadership he supports] Somebody who believes that building a strong, solid, educated middle class is ultimately the best thing for America. Someone like FDR. There's a misconception that leaders lead. They don't. They follow. Every great movement has come from the bottom up.
  • [on how he would react to a pandemic in real life] I have the benefit of knowing the virologist Ian Lipkin, our technical adviser [on _Contagion_]. He's not the guy to talk to if you don't want to get paranoid. He will freak you out. But I would follow his advice during an outbreak.
  • Working with Steven [Soderbergh] is very different from working with anybody else. He takes the hocus-pocus out of making movies, and I like that.
  • I'm always cautious about overstepping any boundaries. At the end of the day, it's a director's medium, and if they don't want to hear from me I just step back.
  • As disturbed as I am by a lot of the things that Obama has done and is doing, I would not have preferred a Romney presidency, that's for sure. The alternative is even more frightening.
  • I think the values that I have are consistent with the values I was raised with. I vote against my own self-interests constantly. I campaign against my own self-interests. If you're born with a silver spoon in your mouth, you're probably more likely to be the Koch brothers and think that you shouldn't pay taxes on things. I think it's just a question of where you come from.
  • [in defence of friend Ben Affleck, being criticized for agreeing to controversial casting].You know, he's not playing King Lear. It's Batman!
  • All you have in the end is to look back and like the choices you've made.
  • Does [Sarah Palin] really believe that dinosaurs were here four thousand years ago? I need to know that. Because she's going to have the nuclear codes.
  • (2012) When I turned 40 I had my whole family and some friends together. I realized I had to make a toast and hadn't thought of anything to say. I stood up, and what came to me seemed incredibly true in the moment and even more so as time has gone by. I said, "I think I might actually be the luckiest guy on earth. I really might be him." And nobody in the room reflexively said, "Bullshit," because I am so lucky to have Lucy, my kids, my friends and this job. It's been an unbelievable life. So I'm just looking for health and to stay in this groove as long as I can.
  • (2012) One of the scariest things I've ever had to do was the underwater scene in the second Bourne movie, where the car goes into the river and I've lost the love of my life. I didn't want to do that at all. So I wouldn't be constantly aware of how scared I am of drowning, I had to go to a pool with this great stunt guy and dive master a couple of times a week for a month or so to train me to relax underwater without an oxygen mask and with a blindfold and, later, to do simple tasks underwater like tying a shoe... After we shot for one day, that night I woke up probably four times gasping for breath, thinking I was drowning. It was terrible. When you make movies, you end up being trained to do really weird things you don't do anywhere else.
  • (2012, on turning down roles) Having to say no to Avatar (2009) was tough because I particularly wanted to work with James Cameron, and still do, because he's fantastic. He knew he was the star of that movie and that everyone was going to go see it anyway. When he said, "Look, I'm offering it to you, but if you say no, the movie doesn't need you," I remember thinking, Oh God, not only do I have to say no because of scheduling, but he's going to make a star out of some guy who's going to start taking jobs from me later... Milk (2008) was another hard one because I was excited it would have been for Gus Van Sant, and I would have had the chance to do scenes with Sean Penn. They pushed the schedule and it ran into the slot for Green Zone (2010). Steven Soderbergh's mantra is "The movie gets the right person; the right actor gets the part," but I was like, "Shit, no. That was my part." But when I saw Milk (2008), Josh Brolin was so fucking good that I knew Soderbergh was right. Way back, Gus and I talked about my doing Brokeback Mountain (2005) with Joaquin Phoenix, but I had just done The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999) and All the Pretty Horses (2000), so I said, "Gus, let's do it in a couple of years. I just did a gay movie and a cowboy movie. I can't do a gay cowboy movie now." The right actor got the part. Heath Ledger was magnificent.
  • (2012) I learned that I am afraid of heights. When I was doing Syriana, they arranged for my wife, Lucy, and me to go up to watch the sunset over the Arabian Peninsula from the top of that seven-star Dubai hotel that's shaped like a sail, the Burj Al Arab. So we go to the very top-60 stories or something-we're given champagne, and we go, "Oh my God, this is great." But as I started to walk toward the edge, my legs locked up. I was absolutely frozen. I completely jumped my neocortex and went straight to this primal, full lizard-brain fear state. Lucy was walking all around the edge, while I was about to collapse from fear. She thought it was hysterical.
  • [on working with Robert De Niro in The Good Shepard] I learned a lot of things I didn't know and I remembered a lot of things I'd forgotten and that "disappearing" into work for ten years and working constantly... you can get into some bad habits.
  • [How he felt after winning his first Oscar]I remember going back home and I couldn't sleep so I was just sitting there looking at the award and I remember thinking very clearly and said to myself thank God I didn't fuck anyone over for this.
  • [Describing what he did and how he felt after winning an Oscar for Best Screenplay for Good Will Hunting] I remember going back home and I couldn't sleep so I was just sitting there looking at the award and I remember thinking very clearly and said to myself thank God I didn't fuck anyone over for this. I felt so blessed because I won it at such a young age. I couldn't imagine how it would feel to chased it my entire career and not ever getting it.
  • The ingredients of my ideal taco, oh my god. Fantastic question. My ideal taco is actually the taco I'm not supposed to have which is the taco we have on taco night at my house. It's the crunchy corn shell with the good meat, just ground beef in there. It's all about the layering. The meats gotta be hot, and the cheese goes on first so that it melts. And then you're gonna get in there with a little bit of tomato and lettuce but not too much cause it's not a salad, it's a taco, and then you're gonna throw some avocado on top and some sour cream and then a bunch of cholula. I don't know if you know what cholula hot sauce is but it's the best. Throw a bunch of cholula on there, maybe squeeze some lime on top, and go to town.
  • [on the difference of getting in shape from the first Bourne movie to the most recent one] It's a lot harder. I'm 45 years old, everything is harder. I remember during the first Bourne movie I was 29 and I boxed for six months, I was lifting weights and that's just one of the hard parts. A lot of the hard parts was the diet: I love eating and going out, drinking good wine, eating good food with my wife, so that was my sacrifice but that's not a lot to sacrifice because ultimately you get to make a movie you really want to make.
  • [5 ways he is not Jason Bourne] First all the languages he speaks, they're all languages that I wish I spoke, the way he fights, I certainly can't fight like that, his a lot more tortured than I am, I've got a great wife, and he definitely doesn't have one, and I've got kids.
  • [on living with 5 women, his wife and daughters]Yeah it's a lot of estrogen, sometimes I need to talk a walk by myself.
  • [Why he came back to do another Bourne film] I said I wouldn't do it without Paul Greengrass and it was always we'd talk about, we' re always looking for projects for us to do together and after a while we felt like "we're kind of like dicks if we don't do another Bourne film. So when we knew we wanted to it became a question of what would the movie be? And what's the story?, How would the characters interact? so it took a few more years to figure it out.
  • [on the best advice, his been given] when I was younger, everybody told me not to be an actor and to this day I say that to people who come up to me and say I'm thinking about going into acting, what'd you think? I say absolutely not. It's a terrible idea don't do it, because that's what everyone said to me and I think if you're going to make it in this business that is full of rejection and hardship you need to believe in yourself despite what everybody you love and trust tells you.
  • [advice from his high school acting teacher Gerry Speca] five words: just do your work kid. And he repeated that so many times to me and that is what I can always retreat to, that's my touch stone, when in doubt, just focus on the work, if everything on the movie is going wrong, I'll just make sure my work is tight and done.
  • [Responding to question, "Have you ever met Trump?"] "No. The deal was that if you wanted to shoot in one of his buildings, you had to write him in a part. [Director] Martin Brest had to write something in Scent of a Woman - and the whole crew was in on it. You have to waste an hour of your day with a bullshit shot: Donald Trump walks in and Al Pacino's like, 'Hello, Mr. Trump!' - you had to call him by name - and then he exits. You waste a little time so that you can get the permit, and then you can cut the scene out. But I guess in Home Alone 2 they left it in." (2017)
  • [on producer Harvey Weinstein and his sexual harassment scandal] When people say 'everybody knew' - yeah, I knew he was an asshole. He was proud of that. That's how he carried himself. And I knew he was a womanizer. I wouldn't want to be married to the guy. But that's not my business. [Oct. 2017]
  • I looked at the odds like how am I even going to break in this business?As an unknown actor, to get a great role every other actor has to pass on it and then it gets opened to you and thousands of people like you and you all go
  • If people stopped going to the movies then I'm out of a job: it's really that simple