• Matt Damon
Courtesy of Wire Image


    23 August 2010

    “Paul is creating this dynamic exact world!”

    By Katja Schmolka for Jewel Magazine

    It’s quiet in the conference room of the Ritz Carlton hotel on 50 Central Park South in New York City. Italian, Asian and other journalists from all over the world, including my self, are waiting excitedly, notebook and dictaphone in hand, for the hero of the „Bourne Ultimatum“ movies. Matthew Paige Damon! Famous under his stage name Matt Damon, who has been on set with his favourite director Paul Greengrass for the third time. This time for the explosive and mysterious Thriller „Green Zone“. The door opens and Academy Award Winner (Good Will Hunting – Best Screenplay) Matt Damon enters the room. He almost seems shy because he didn’t expect so many journalists. Charismatic, muscular and well-toned body! The father of four children appears in a casual outfit. He could be your next-door neighbour with his black woolen hat. But there’s a slight difference – the Hollywood background!

    As Chief Warrant Officer Roy Miller (Matt Damon) he comes into Iraq with the order to secure WMD’s, Weapons of Mass Destruction with his team. Lives are to be saved. The situation grows more acute as Miller doesn’t find anything and the research has nothing to do with the accuracy of his readings. He starts to question his mission. Chief Miller doesn’t get any answers from officials. An ex CIA agent and a journalists help him with clarifying the inconsistencies. The dangerous game for the truth begins!

    Damon becomes ecstatic when talking about working with Paul Greengrass. „We both have a similar approach when it comes to the creative process of realizing the movie. – So there’s never any conflict between us!“ It was clear for Damon and Greengrass: „Our mission was to make a movie, filled with action, tension and mysteries, in surroundings which are as close to reality as possible. Applying the same enthralling standards as in the Bourne movies. Filming took place in Morocco, but every detail was imitating Baghdad, to the point of the equipment of the soldiers, who by the way wore real US military uniforms. For his work, Greengrass was inspired by Rajiv Chadrasekaran’s bestseller „Imperial Life in the Emerald City: Inside Iraq’s Green Zone“. Chandrasekaran tells at first hand about the process of weapons inspections and got awarded with the „Overseas Press Club Book Award“., The Ron Ridenhour Prize“ and „The Birthain Samuel Johnson Prize“.

    K.S: What exactly do you appreciate at working with Paul Greengrass?

    M.D: He just knows how to bring the right people together on the set. It’s something really special! In Green Zone, he insisted on hiring real soldiers who just came back from war zones and who really have destroyed houses and fought. He wanted to bring this unique atmosphere and authenticity of the story onto the screen. Mixing actors with non-actors was a new experience for me. They talked to me as if I had really been one of them. That helped me to settle into my role quickly and most importantly I wanted to seem credible for the soldiers. I was always thinking „they have really experienced this!“.

    K.S: Green Zone stands out because of it’s many action scenes. How was the shooting with the helicopters which land on houses?

    M.D: Paul shot the flying scenes with two cameras at a time. The result was that we could shoot 90 minutes without a break because we didn’t have to reload the film. – The biggest gift for an actor! Usually a shooting sequence lasts 2 minutes and then you’re stopped. Good directors like Paul know how to get rid of all the technical things. A director lives relatively shielded, like on an island. So he needs a loot of empathy for the contact with the people on the set. The question always is, how to I get the best results? Actors turned directors always have an overview and are lucky because the can set together every piece of the puzzle from their experience with different directors.

    K.S: Do you think Green Zone will be successful?

    M.D: I can’t predict the market. After a hundred years of movie-making you still don’t know. The most important intention is „to make the best movie and give your best“!. It’s all about entertainment and about leading the audience into different worlds all around the globe and captivate them.

    K.S: Is a political thriller like this too much for us – for the audience?

    M.D: The question is, what really happens in Iraq? Everyone in the world wonders about that. It’s about all of us! – And about trust, we should really deal with it. It starts in your own country with the presidential election. The most difficult decision ever! In my opinion it’s not easy to be president and to make the best decisions for the people and the country. One of the soldiers on the set was my age. But he chose a career in the military and I chose a career as an actor. You always have to make your own decisions.

    K.S: You’re an admired Hollywood actor. How to manage to stay down to earth?

    M.D: I’m lucky to be married to a women who has nothing to do with my job. We are happy with our kids and live a pretty normal life. (While Matt Damon says this, he turns around and knocks on the wooden wall behind me „Knock on wood it will remain like this!“). Also the paparazzi are not interested in us. There’s nothing interesting about me!“.

    K.S: Do you often visit Argentina with your family?

    M.D: Yes, as often as possible. My wife is Argentinian and we want our kids to also grow up in Spanish surroundings. We always stay at her uncle’s house. I don’t want to say any more about than that about it.

    K.S: You are turning 40! How does that feel?

    M.D: I am experiencing the best stage in my life! A lot of questions you ask yourself when you’re 20 are now answered. Insecurities, like how will my career evolve and will I meet the woman of my life are now clear and consolidated. I am feeling really good!

    Thank you for the interview


     greenzone.com, image: wireimage.com

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