The Strong Violent Type

Image credit: Jasin Boland

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: One thing I noticed about the new Bourne is you don't have a lot of dialogue in it.
MATT DAMON: We've kind of found out that the character is a lot more effective when he doesn't talk. There were scenes that we shot and when we watched them we were like, ''Ugggh, he's talking way too much!'' I had scenes with lines — we just cut most of them out [laughs].

Your character also seems to be fighting in tighter and tighter spaces.
If there's another one, we'll fight in an airplane toilet.

In The 40 Year-Old Virgin, Paul Rudd says of The Bourne Identity: ''You know, I always thought that Matt Damon was, like, a Streisand, but I think that he's rockin' the s--- in this one.'' Thoughts?
Well, it's a good line [laughs]. My brother called me when he saw the movie and he was like, ''Dude! Paul Rudd called you a Streisand!'' I don't mind being the butt of those kinds of jokes. And they do say I kick ass in the movie.

Generally, I get the feeling that people think you're a good guy like Tom Hanks.
I don't know why people say that, Hanks is a f---ing d--- [laughs]. 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.

Well, I don't think they know so much. I mean you're not exactly Paris Hilton. I don't go on the Internet and see grainy images of your crotch as you're getting out of a car.
Maybe you're not looking hard enough [laughs]. Some of it's intentional and some of it's lucky. I don't live in L.A.; I live in Miami. Plus, I don't think the pictures of me are worth that much. My wife isn't a celebrity, so there's not really a story to tell.

You said there were two reasons you look so tired in the movie.
The other reason I look so exhausted is because I had a new baby. Even if I tried to have a methodical sleep-deprivation look in the film, it wouldn't be as authentic as me being up all night with a crying baby at home.

I think that a lot of people see these movies as what Bond movies should be, and that's why the most recent Bond took a darker, more realistic turn.
But the characters are so fundamentally different.

Well, they're both action movies, they have exotic, globe-trotting locales, and they're espionage movies...
Well, yeah. But I mean, James Bond is an imperialist, misogynist guy who slurps martinis and f---ing laughs and kills people and cracks jokes. Whereas Bourne is this tortured serial monogamist whose girlfriend is dead and [he] won't look at another woman and carries tremendous guilt and shame about the things he's done.

But that's exactly how they made the latest James Bond.
I didn't see it. I bumped into Pierce Brosnan and he was like, ''You can't update the character because he's a character of the '60s.'' In fact, it's so crazy to try and update him that Mike Myers made a really good franchise out of showing what happens when you try to do it.

NEXT PAGE: ''The only way to judge a movie is 10 years down the line. I think they should do the Oscars that way. I wish this year we were voting on 1997''

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