'We always work alone': Matt Damon on his career, philosophy, and the making of Oppenheimer
Matt Damon opens up about his diverse roles, his newest film "Oppenheimer," and the special bond with his longtime collaborator Ben Affleck. The interview offers a candid glimpse into the mind of one of Hollywood's most prominent actors. Damon explores the philosophical questions that arise when portraying real-life characters and reveals the secret sauce behind his successful partnerships.
"We Always Work Alone": The Evolution of Matt Damon's Storied Career
In a recent "Sunday Sitdown" with TODAY, Matt Damon opened up about his illustrious 35-year career, his latest highly-anticipated film "Oppenheimer," and his personal journey with long-time friend and collaborator Ben Affleck. As reported by TODAY in July, the interview provides a comprehensive look into Damon's evolving roles and philosophy as an actor.
From "Good Will Hunting" to "Oppenheimer"
Damon's acting prowess came into the limelight in 1997 with the critically acclaimed "Good Will Hunting," which he co-wrote with Ben Affleck. "He and Ben Affleck famously won an Oscar for that movie, and Damon has been nominated for four more since," the TODAY interview revealed.
The Complexities of "Oppenheimer"
In "Oppenheimer," Damon takes on the role of Leslie Gross Jr., a real-life general who was pivotal in the Manhattan Project. The movie delves into the moral complexities and existential questions surrounding the creation of the atomic bomb. "What are our responsibilities to each other and to humanity when you start dealing with some of these existential technologies?" Damon pondered during the interview.
The Philosophical Dilemma
Damon further elaborated on the struggle of aligning military needs with the open-source mentality of the scientific community. "It was like herding cats for him most of the time with the scientists, because they just did not align philosophically," he shared, reflecting on the nuances of his character, Leslie Gross Jr.
The Art of Collaboration
Whether it's co-writing an Oscar-winning screenplay or sharing the screen with an ensemble cast, Damon understands the value of partnership. "Great directors really give you the freedom. It's a collaboration, it's a partnership," he said, appreciating the direction of his best friend, Ben Affleck, in the hit movie "Air."
The 'Language' of Friendship with Ben Affleck
"You can waste so much time by trying to be polite," Damon remarked. "We can just say 'you suck'," he added, highlighting the shorthand language that only decades of friendship can nurture.
The Hidden Genius Behind The Scenes
In creating the stunning visual effects for "Oppenheimer," director Christopher Nolan chose practical effects over CGI. "With Chris, it's like he's going to blow [bleep] up," Damon said, attesting to the director's genius in creating an authentic experience for both actors and audiences alike.
Life Beyond the Screen
Off-screen, Damon lives a relatively quiet life with his wife Luciana and their four daughters, while also focusing on his non-profit, Water.org. "If I'm good at anything, it's, like, picking partners," he concluded, listing his wife, Ben Affleck, and Gary White, co-founder of Water.org, as the most significant partnerships in his life.
(Several parts of the text in this article, including the title, were generated with the help of an AI tool.)