Matt Damon called in to KCRW’s “The Business” yesterday. Among other things, he discussed his step behind the camera for his as-yet-untitled directorial debut, confirming that Frances McDormand is co-starring in the film, written by John Krasinski. Damon also discussed his proclaimed “heterosexual life partner” Ben Affleck’s brush with tabloid infamy, working with Cameron Crowe and Tina Fey, and those cutting comments he made in a recent GQ article about Bourne scribe Tony Gilroy, who he accused of phoning-in the script for the third film. Check out the highlights, then listen to the full 28-minute interview below.
On Gilroy: “It was idiotic of me to say anything… I don’t know, I just opened my mouth when I shouldn’t have. It doesn’t matter ultimately. … It’s actually a situation where I kind of curse myself. At the end of the day, it’s between me and Tony. [We’ll either] figure it out or we won’t.”
Is there a future for Bourne?: “I don’t think this [fourth film, with Gilroy directing Jeremy Renner] has to work for us to come back for another one. If it doesn’t work, we can just ignore it and pretend it didn’t happen, and that will be fine. I expect that it will work and only help us if we do another one. I’d really love to do another one with Paul [Greengrass].”
On becoming famous: “It was right after Good Will Hunting. I was really wrong-footed by it, and I think Ben was too. It took a long time to feel like I get my legs under me again.”
About that Bennifer: “That was horrible. During that time, talking to [Ben], he was very, kind of, sober about what it meant for his career. He knew that it meant he was going into the penalty box for an indeterminate amount of time. He was like, ‘The worst place you can be is where you’re selling magazines and not movie tickets. That’s purgatory.’ … We had to write our way into the game, and he had to do that again [after dating Jennifer Lopez].”
How he landed his 30 Rock role: “[Tina’s] just amazing. I saw her at the SAG Awards, and my wife and I love that show… it was like our one little treat. … When we saw her at this thing, we kind of got starstruck, and I just went up and said, ‘Listen, I think you’re great… if there’s ever anything, I’d love to do a walk-on or something on your show.'”
On choosing roles: “The biggest decision that you make as an actor is whether or not to say ‘yes.’ Once you’ve done that, really, you’re done. You’re kind of all in on the movie at that point.” He admitted, “I’ve been on those ones where I go ‘Oops! I’m locked into,’ and that’s a horrible feeling because you still do the work, and you never ever give up on it until it comes out.”
Praise for Crowe: “You can’t make a great movie by accident. … When somebody’s made a great movie, I would bet on that person. When someone makes more than one great movie, then they’re a great director, and they absolutely deserve your trust.”
On transitioning to directing: “I’ve been thinking about these last 12 or 13 years as a chance to apprentice myself to these incredible people [Anthony Minghella, Martin Scorsese, etc.], and I’ve learned a bunch from each of them. … I do feel like I’m ready. I’ve felt that way for a while, and I’ve been looking for something for a while. I’m really excited about it. I feel like there’s more riding on this one than there will be on the second one that I direct because you only get one chance to make a first impression.”
What do you think, PopWatchers? Are you interested in Damon the director? Did you find his insights on Affleck’s struggle with fame interesting? Do you hope another Damon-centric Bourne movie is on its way?