TV Article

'Project Greenlight' Analysis

Perennially peeved producer Chris Moore answers our questions about Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, and Harvey Weinstein

You can't blame Chris Moore for not always being that merry. After all, as a producer of Ben Affleck and Matt Damon's making-the-movie reality show Project Greenlight on HBO, Moore has had to deal with a novice director (Pete Jones, whose film Stolen Summer will be released next March by Miramax), incompetent support staffers, and even a missing catering crew. ''I guess sometimes I come across as a real hard case,'' says the 34-year-old coproducer of Good Will Hunting, regarding his now well-documented temper. Luckily for us, he never raised his voice when we checked in for a midseason progress report.

You did not look too happy your first day on the Stolen Summer set, during Pete's disastrous attempt to shoot the car sequence.
Yeah, I was pretty upset. Unfortunately, I deserve some of the blame, because I hired the people that were there. And it's a low-budget movie, so you can't get the most qualified people. I look on the message boards [for Project Greenlight's website], and it's weird seeing your life out there for the taking. I go on there and try to defend myself.

Any major regrets, behavior-wise?
I wish that public embarrassment wasn't a tool in my arsenal. I watch and think, ''Why wasn't I nicer to that guy? It's not accomplishing a damn thing.'' But I'm not upset about any of it.

Just how bad does it get?
A little bit later I try to fire somebody [on camera]. When you have such a limited amount of time to accomplish such a massive goal, sometimes a drastic step—which would obviously be firing—is the best move.

Will we see more Matt and Ben on the show?
Yeah. We have a screening of the movie at Ben's house. And Matt and Ben were certainly instrumental in the end.

In episode 3, Ben calls up Harvey Weinstein and calls him ''Bomber.'' Can you get away with that?
No, Ben's the only one who can do that.

Any highlights of reality-show fame?
Pete and I were having breakfast in some little place in Santa Monica, and this guy was in this car shooting pictures of us. And we went over there finally and were like, ''What are you doing, dude?'' He said, ''You guys are famous!'' I said, ''We're not famous! Tell me the truth.'' And he said he was hoping Matt or Ben would come by.

Originally posted Jan 11, 2002 Published in issue #634 Jan 11, 2002 Order article reprints