Matt Damon as "Bill Baker"
Matt Damon is one of the most revered actors in Hollywood today, in terms of both talent and box office draw. His rich and varied career has seen him in front of the camera as well as behind.
Though far from an overnight success, Damon catapulted into the public eye in 1997 with his first Academy Award®-nomination and win for co-writing Good Will Hunting with his lifelong friend Ben Affleck. The script also earned the pair a Golden Globe® win as well as several critics’ group nominations, and feted Matt with Academy Award®, Golden Globe® and Screen Actors Guild® (SAG) nominations for Best Actor.
More recognition followed as Damon earned his third Golden Globe® nomination for his performance in 1999’s The Talented Mr. Ripley, under the direction of Anthony Minghella, and in 2009 was nominated for Academy Award®, Screen Actors Guild® and Critics’ Choice Award nominations for Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of South African rugby hero Francois Pienaar in Clint Eastwood’s true-life drama Invictus.
Additionally, in the same year, he garnered a Golden Globe® nomination for Best Actor for his starring role in Steven Soderbergh’s The Informant. The connection with Soderbergh proved to be a successful one as he and Damon collaborated again for seven films over his career, including the heist blockbuster films, Ocean’s Eleven, Ocean’s Twelve and Ocean’s Thirteen, and in 2013 for the HBO telefilm, Behind the Candelabra, where Damon played opposite Michael Douglas and earned Emmy Award®, Golden Globe®, Screen Actors Guild® and BAFTA Award® nominations for Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries.
Hailing from Boston, Damon attended Harvard University and gained his first acting experience with the American Repertory Theatre. He made his feature film debut in Mystic Pizza, followed by roles in School Ties, Walter Hill’s Geronimo: An American Legend, the cable project’s Rising Son and Tommy Lee Jones’ The Good Old Boys. However, it was Damon’s portrayal of a guilt-ridden Gulf War veteran tormented by memories of a battlefield incident in 1996’s Courage Under Fire that first put him on the radar of both critics and audiences alike.
The following year, Damon played the title role in Steven Spielberg’s award-winning World War II drama, Saving Private Ryan, and starred in John Dahl’s drama Rounders, with Edward Norton, and reunited with Affleck and director Kevin Smith to star in the controversial comedy Dogma.
Matt’s other film credits include Kevin Smith’s Chasing Amy; Francis Ford Coppola’s The Rainmaker, in which he played an idealistic young attorney; Robert Redford’s The Legend of Bagger Vance; Billy Bob Thornton’s All the Pretty Horses; Gerry for director Gus Van Sant; a cameo appearance in George Clooney’s Confessions of a Dangerous Mind; Terry Gilliam’s The Brothers Grimm, with Heath Ledger; the Farrelly brothers’ comedy Stuck on You, opposite Greg Kinnear; Stephen Gaghan’s geopolitical thriller Syriana, with George Clooney; Martin Scorsese’s Oscar®-winning Best Picture The Departed, with Leonardo DiCaprio, Jack Nicholson and Mark Wahlberg; Robert De Niro’s dramatic thriller The Good Shepherd, with De Niro and Angelina Jolie; the action thriller Green Zone, directed by Paul Greengrass; the drama Hereafter, which reunited him with director Clint Eastwood; the Coen brothers’ remake of the classic Western True Grit; George Nolfi’s thriller The Adjustment Bureau, opposite Emily Blunt; the thriller Contagion for director Steven Soderbergh; Kenneth Lonergan’s Margaret; Happy Feet 2, an animated feature to which he lent his voice; We Bought a Zoo, directed by Cameron Crowe; the sci-fi thriller Elysium, for director Neil Blomkamp; Monuments Men for George Clooney and Interstellar for Christopher Nolan.
In 2015, Damon starred in director Ridley Scott’s outer space actioner The Martian, in which he played Mark Watney, an astronaut stranded on Mars who struggles to survive until he can be rescued. The film, which was a box office hit, earned stellar reviews and seven Academy Award® nominations with Matt garnering a nomination for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role.
In 2016, Damon starred in Yimou Zhang’s The Great Wall; he served as a producer on the Kenneth Lonergan-directed drama Manchester by the Sea, which received three Critics’ Choice Awards®, one Golden Globe Award®, two BAFTA Awards® and two Academy Awards®. That year, he also starred as Jason Bourne in the film of the same title, reprising the character he originated in 2002 in the blockbuster action films, The Bourne Identity, The Bourne Supremacy and The Bourne Ultimatum, and reteaming with director Paul Greengrass, who also helmed the latter two titles. For his role in the film, Damon received a Critics’ Choice Award® nomination for Best Actor in an Action Movie. He also starred in Suburbicon for director George Clooney and in Downsizing for director Alexander Payne.
Most recently, Damon starred in Ford v Ferrari for director James Mangold alongside Christian Bale and will next be seen in The Last Duel with director Ridley Scott alongside Ben Affleck, Adam Driver and Jodie Comer.
In 2000, Damon teamed with Ben Affleck and Chris Moore to form the production company LivePlanet to produce film, television and new media projects. LivePlanet produced the documentary Running the Sahara, directed by Academy Award®-winner James Moll, as well as three seasons of the Emmy®-nominated series Project Greenlight, chronicling the making of independent films by first-time writers and directors, spawning three features: Stolen Summer, The Battle of Shaker Heights and Feast. The series, which first aired on HBO and later Bravo, was resurrected and the fourth season aired on HBO in September 2015 under Damon and Affleck’s banner, Pearl Street Productions.
Pearl Street Productions, which has a first look deal with Warner Bros. Pictures, co-produced Promised Land, which reunited Damon with director Gus Van Sant and was written and produced by Damon and John Krasinski; Jason Bourne, Manchester by the Sea and Live By Night for Warner Bros. which Affleck directed. The company also produced Incorporated for the Syfy Channel, which Alex and David Pastor wrote and directed. Other projects in development include RFK, which Nikolaj Arcel wrote and will direct, and The Trade, which Jay Roach is attached to direct.
On the small screen, Damon is an executive producer on the Showtime’s drama series City on a Hill, which premiered on June 16, 2019. Additionally, Damon both executive produced and appeared in the History Channel project The People Speak, based on a book co-written by historian Howard Zinn and featuring dramatic readings and performances from some of the most famous names in the entertainment industry.
In addition, Damon co-founded H20 Africa in 2006, now known as Water.org, a foundation that brings clean water and sanitation to countries around the world that suffer without that simple need.
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