“If your movies don’t perform, they stop calling you!”
Matt Damon has received a lot of backlash recently for his comments and sudden epiphany about “retiring the f-slur” after his daughter nudged him to do so. Despite the recent heat that he has been receiving for his comments, which should not come of as a surprise owing to his previous records, Damon remains one of the most impactful A-list Hollywood celebrities.
Known as a part of the iconic duo with Ben Affleck, Matt Damon was born in the Massachusetts suburbs and later became a Harvard University dropout as he continued to pursue his passion for acting in films. He scored his first pivotal role in Geronimo: An American Legend that led him to move to Los Angeles. However, it was not until a few years later that his skill as an actor was fully recognised. Together with his good friend Affleck, Damon sold a script of Good Will Hunting and was cast in the lead roles. This turned out to be his breakthrough moment as the film received a foray of Academy Award nominations and the duo walked away with Best Screenplay Oscars, thus establishing their careers.
The success helped Damon make a mark in the industry, and, soon after, he started working with directors like Robert Redford, Steven Spielberg, Anthony Minghella and more. Damon has made regular states of how he did not want to take “anything got granted” since he knew “how hard it is to get a job in the first place” which aided his development. Damon further added, “As a struggling actor, you’re not looking for parts that define you, you are just looking for work”.
About acting, Damon commented, “I love shooting when the character is interesting and the script is interesting, but the research beforehand is really fun. The whole process makes me anxious and restless, and I have trouble sleeping, just trying to figure out the character.”
With various hits to his name, fans have always been curious to know what movies have had an everlasting impact on Damon’s career and filmography. Sitting down with Rotten Tomatoes, he revealed the names of the films that have inspired him, and no surprise, it features five directors who have not only had an immense impact on Damon’s work but also in the cinematic industry in general.
First tup, he chose Francis Ford Coppola masterpiece The Godfather, Part II and called it “pretty perfect”. He gushed over the film for being “really amazing” owing to the stellar “direction, [its] writing, and [its] acting, [its production value”. Damon also revealed that Martin Scorsese had apparently chosen the second instalment of the film over the first simply because of the elaborate production and Coppola having “more money”.
Damon also revealed how Scorsese’s masterpiece and inarguably the best gangster film of the genre, Goodfellas, is his all-time favourite and “ages so perfectly”. Damon said: “It just gets better with age. Again, it’s the direction, the writing, the acting. It’s just brilliant. And I mean, it’s long, but it doesn’t feel long. It’s just relentless.”
Damon is a huge Robert De Niro fan and could not hold back the praise when talking about the 1988 comedy flick Midnight Run. He revealed that it was so popular among him and his friends that they “could quote probably every line of that movie”. He also admitted not having seen it in some time but called it a “favourite”. He revelled in the brilliance of the performances: “My friends in college, we’re now in our fifties, but we can come up with obscure lines out of that movie and instantly crack each other up through texts”.
A fan of Steven Spielberg’s incredible ability “at telling a visual story”, Damon opted to include Jaws as one of his favourites. He praised Spielberg’s intriguing decision of not showing the shark, which, according to him, “Tapped the most primal and terrifying aspects of swimming in the ocean”. Spielberg’s “unbelievable mastery” and dexterous weaving in of suspense and thrill left Damon stunned.
He also chose Kubrick’s Dr. Strangelove Or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb as one of his most favourite comedy flicks. To him, Peter Sellers and his sheer brilliance made him choose the film. The picture apparently left Damon wondering if he should watch another Sellers film given how “dynamic”, “brilliant”, and “terribly funny” he was.
Take a look at the full list of Matt Damon’s top five favourite films below.
Matt Damon’s five favourite films of all time
- The Godfather, Part II (Francis Ford Coppola, 1974)
- Goodfellas (Martin Scorsese, 1990)
- Midnight Run (Martin Brest,1988)
- Jaws (Steven Spielberg, 1975)
- Dr. Stragelove (Stanley Kubrick, 1964)