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Matt Damon has been honored for his work on both sides of the camera, most recently earning Academy Award, Screen Actors Guild Award, and Critics’ Choice Award nominations for his portrayal of South African rugby hero Francois Pienaar in Clint Eastwood’s true-life drama Invictus. He was also recently a double Golden Globe Award nominee, for that performance and for his starring role in Steven Soderbergh’s The Informant! Earlier in his career, Mr. Damon won an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay and received an Oscar nomination for Best Actor, for his breakthrough feature Good Will Hunting, which he wrote and starred in with his lifelong friend Ben Affleck and which was directed by Gus Van Sant. The movie also brought him a Golden Globe Award for Best Screenplay as well as Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Award nominations for Best Actor.
He has since reteamed with Mr. Van Sant, acting in Finding Forrester; starring opposite Casey Affleck in Gerry, which the trio wrote together; and now making Promised Land.
Mr. Damon has also repeatedly teamed with Mr. Soderbergh. He was part of the ensembles in the Ocean’s trilogy and in Contagion, also for Participant Media; and recently completed his starring role as Scott Thorson opposite Michael Douglas as Liberace in the telefilm Behind the Candelabra.
Paul Greengrass directed him in the role of Jason Bourne in The Bourne Supremacy and The Bourne Ultimatum, which won three Academy Awards; he first played the part in The Bourne Identity, directed by Doug Liman. Mr. Damon reunited with Mr. Greengrass for a third movie together, Green Zone.
He played the title roles in Anthony Minghella’s The Talented Mr. Ripley, for which he was a Golden Globe Award nominee, and in Saving Private Ryan, which won five Academy Awards including Best Director (Steven Spielberg); and starred in The Departed, which won four Academy Awards including Best Picture and Best Director (Martin Scorsese). With his fellow actors from the latter two movies, Mr. Damon shared Screen Actors Guild Award nominations for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture.
Among his many other features as actor are Neill Blomkamp’s upcoming Elysium, with Jodie Foster and Sharlto Copley; Cameron Crowe’s We Bought a Zoo; Joel and Ethan Coen’s True Grit; George Nolfi’s The Adjustment Bureau, opposite Emily Blunt; Clint Eastwood’s Hereafter; Robert De Niro’s The Good Shepherd; Stephen Gaghan’s Syriana; Terry Gilliam’s The Brothers Grimm, with Heath Ledger; Peter and Bobby Farrelly’s Stuck on You, alongside Greg Kinnear; Billy Bob Thornton’s All the Pretty Horses; Robert Redford’s The Legend of Bagger Vance; Kevin Smith’s Dogma Jersey Girl, and Chasing Amy; Francis Ford Coppola’s The Rainmaker and Youth Without Youth; John Dahl’s Rounders; Edward Zwick’s Courage Under Fire; Walter Hill’s Geronimo: An American Legend; John David Coles’ Rising Son; Tommy Lee Jones’ telefilm The Good Old Boys, with Frances McDormand of Promised Land; Robert Mandel’s School Ties; and Donald Petrie’s Mystic Pizza, which marked his feature debut.
Hailing from Boston, Mr. Damon attended Harvard University and gained his first acting experience with the American Repertory Theatre.
He executive-produced and appeared in the acclaimed documentary The People Speak. Broadcast domestically on the History Channel, the feature was based on Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States. Mr. Damon narrated Charles Ferguson’s Inside Job, which won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature.
With Ben Affleck, he formed the production company LivePlanet to produce film, television, and new media projects. LivePlanet produced three Emmy Award-nominated seasons of Project Greenlight, chronicling the making of independent films by first-time writers and directors: Pete Jones’ Stolen Summer, The Battle of Shaker Heights, directed by Efrem Potelle and Kyle Rankin from Erica Beeney’s original screenplay, and John Gulager’s Feast, written by Marcus Dunstan and Patrick Melton. LivePlanet also produced the documentary feature Running the Sahara, directed by James Moll. Mr. Damon is now partnered with Ben Affleck in the production company Pearl Street Films, developing projects for multiple mediums including film.
Mr. Damon is a co-founder of H20 Africa, now known as www.water.org.