Matt Damon stopped by reddit for an AMA today. Damon is, of course, promoting his return to the Bourne franchise with the July 29th release of Jason Bourne. Damon talked about whether he and Ben Affleck will ever work together again, Water.org, and any insane query redditors could think up.
For years, whenever I hear “Jason Bourne,” I immediately envision you pimp-slapping a trained, knife-wielding assassin with a magazine. What comes into your head immediately after you hear “Jason Bourne”? - MattBaster
Definitely pimp slapping a knife wielding assassin. That’s kind of the first thing, you know—it has absolutely no relation to my actual life, but I get to do it when I play Jason Bourne. So you know I think the people who make these movies with me, and there’s you know, a couple hundred of us and we’ve worked on these movies for years. We love this franchise as much as you guys do, so I think your question was funny but those moments of originality in those fight scenes, I mean that’s kind of what we geek out on and we try to think of ways to incorporate that fun fighting style where Bourne is finding found objects and defending himself with them, and in many ways he’s the opposite of James Bond. Where James Bond always has the right gadget, Jason Bourne never does, so he’s got to just improvise.
My question: what does Julia Stiles smell like? - NDaveT
The Bourne movies are easily my favourite series of movies ever. Were you reluctant to do a fourth or was it an easy decision?
Also, you’re my favourite actor and my mom is in love with you, just so you know. - Cant-Find-Username
Thank you, and I’m glad I’m your favorite actor. You have my favorite user name of anybody I’ve ever seen. It was an easy decision. Once Paul Greengrass said he wanted to do it, I was in, but we didn’t have a story. I mean it was nine years in the making because we didn’t want to force it if it wasn’t there, and so once we realized it was there we all jumped on board, but before that it was an agonizing process as we tried to figure out if there even was a story to tell.
My question is, would you ever consider teaming up with Ben Affleck again to write an original screenplay? Good Will Hunting is one of my favorite movies of all time, and that’s due to the near-perfect writing. - AtotheJ2215
Thank you. Good Will Hunting obviously is the most influential movie in my life, and in Ben’s life, and bringing it to the screen kind of dominated our 20s. It took 5 years to get it from the time we started to the time it came out, it took 5 years. So I would love to write another script with Ben; I love Ben, I love his work, he’s been my buddy for 35 years. The big issue is time for us. We have a company together so we work on a lot of projects together, but to try to carve out the time is really tough. I mean we both have a whole mess of kids now, and these other days jobs. He’s directing all the time and I’m off working with these other directors. The thing about Good Will Hunting is that we were unemployed and we weren’t writing the script on a deadline either. Nobody was expecting it, so we were just these two idiots in our basement writing this thing, and now we have all of these pressures of the lives grownups have. So I would never say never because I would absolutely love to write with Ben again, and I’d love to collaborate with him on anything, he’s brilliant. I’d love to be in one of his movies that he directs. The problem there is that he just keeps giving himself the best roles, so until he stops doing that and maybe just directs, none of us can really work with him.
Are you looking forward to passing $1 Trillion spent on saving you in movies? http://www.eonline.com/news/726732/this-is-how-much-money-has-been-spent-saving-matt-damon - rv49er
Yeah, so that article was sent to me. I might be the first person for whom a trillion movie dollars was spent to rescue, so obviously that will be a milestone, and I am actively looking for projects that could cost people money trying to come get me. Thank you.
How would you celebrate passing it?
I think a big Reddit party would be the way to go.
How long does it take you to decide “yes” or “no” on a role when you read a script? What are the ingredients of your ideal taco? - d_abernathy89
That’s a good question and I don’t think there’s a uniform answer. Now at this point of my career it’s usually less about the script and more about who the director is, but in the case of a movie like The Martian I read the script and I thought it was incredible, but I also thought it was really risky because for my portion of the movie it was just going to be me up there, and when Drew Goddard who wrote the script backed out of directing it because he got another job there was no director attached, and so I just walked away from the script. I just said it’s too risky, I wouldn’t let just anybody did this. And then when Ridley Scott said that he liked it, the decision took me all half a second. So the script is obviously important, but it’s more so about the director.
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.
What was the process like of co-founding Water.org? - lmi6
Thank you for the question. The experience of founding water.org. What really happened was once I Identified water and sanitation as the area that I wanted to focus on, and that was a whole process that Bono’s group DATA was really helpful with. They organized a trip for me to study extreme poverty and I went to Africa for a couple of weeks and looked at all these different things. Water and sanitation was what really spoke to me, I felt like it understood everything and I really wanted to focus there. I think what a lot of people do, I just said I’ll raise money for well projects, what we would call direct impact projects. I felt like with my name I could use whatever influence I had to direct money to good places. Then as I learned more and more about it and the deeply complex nature of the issues. I felt like I could maximize my impact more if I partnered with the preeminent expert in the space, somebody who I would be lucky to partner with, quite frankly. That’s what led me to Gary White. I asked him and he said yes, the rest is history. That was in 2009. To date, actually we just got the numbers in recently, we have delivered water and sanitization solutions to 4.6 million people. That number is growing exponentially because of our system of water credit. It’s using the concepts of micro-finance that Mohamed Eunice pioneered and applying them to the water sector. What’s great about it is our loans are paying back at over 99% and that money just gets recycled. It’s this virtuous circle. Rather than spending $25 to do a well project and give someone clean water for life, in our most mature loan programs we are down to about $5 per person. That system has driven down the philanthropic cost of capital per person substantially. Thank you for your question.