THE GREAT WALL
MATT DAMON (William Garin) is considered one of the most
revered actors in Hollywood today, in terms of talent and box-office draw, and
his varied and rich career has seen him in front of and behind the camera.
In 2015, Damon starred in 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 movie opened to stellar reviews and was a
huge success at the box office. The film received seven nominations at the
Academy Awards, with Damon receiving a nomination for Best Performance by an
Actor in a Leading Role.
Damon recently wrapped production on Alexander Payne's Downsizing alongside
Kristen Wiig, Jason Sudeikis and Christoph Waltz. Damon originated the character
of Jason Bourne in 2002 in the blockbuster action film The Bourne Identity and
reprised the role in The Bourne Supremacy and The Bourne Ultimatum, where he
reteamed with director Paul Greengrass, who helmed the latter two. He most
recently reprised the role for a fourth time in Greengrass' Jason Bourne.
Damon is a producer on the Kenneth Lonergan-directed drama Manchester by the
Sea, which stars Casey Affleck and Michelle Williams. The film premiered at
Sundance Film Festival in January 2016 and was released in November 2016.
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 Award nomination, as well as several critics' group nominations and
wins, and feted Damon with Academy Award, Golden Globe Award and Screen Actors
Guild (SAG) Award nominations in the Best Actor category.
More recognition followed as Damon earned his third Golden Globe Award
nomination for his performance in 1999's The Talented Mr. Ripley, under the
direction of Anthony Minghella; and in 2009, he was nominated for an Academy
Award, SAG Award and Critics' Choice Movie Award in the Best Supporting Actor
category, for his portrayal of South African rugby hero Francois Pienaar in
Clint Eastwood's true-life drama Invictus. That same year, he garnered a Golden
Globe Award nomination for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture -
Comedy or Musical for his starring role in Steven Soderbergh's The Informant!
The connection with Soderbergh proved to be a successful one as he and Damon
have collaborated on 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 television movie Behind the Candelabra, where Damon played
opposite Michael Douglas, which earned Primetime Emmy Award, Golden Globe Award,
SAG Award 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 Theater. 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.
In 1998, Damon played the title role in Steven Spielberg's award-winning World
War II drama Saving Private Ryan and also starred in John Dahl's drama Rounders
with Edward Norton. In 1999, he reunited with Affleck and director Kevin Smith
to star in the controversial comedy Dogma.
Damon's other film credits include 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, which also starred Heath
Ledger; the Farrelly brothers' comedy Stuck on You, which also starred Greg
Kinnear; Stephen Gaghan's geopolitical thriller Syriana, which also starred
Clooney; Martin Scorsese's Oscar-winning The Departed, which also starred
Leonardo DiCaprio, Jack Nicholson and Mark Wahlberg; Robert De Niro's dramatic
thriller The Good Shepherd, with De Niro and Angelina Jolie; Greengrass' action
thriller Green Zone; the drama Hereafter, which reunited him with director
Eastwood; the Coen brothers' remake of the classic western True Grit; George
Nolfi's thriller The Adjustment Bureau, opposite Emily Blunt; Soderbergh's
thriller Contagion, Lonergan's Margaret; Happy Feet 2; We Bought a Zoo, directed
by Cameron Crowe; Neill Blomkamp's sci-fi thriller Elysium; Clooney's The
Monuments Men; and Christopher Nolan's Interstellar.
In 2000, Damon reteamed with Affleck to form the production company LivePlanet,
to produce film, television and new media projects. LivePlanet produced the
documentary Running the Sahara, directed by Oscar winner James Moll, as well as
three seasons of the Primetime Emmy Award-nominated series Project Greenlight,
chronicling the making of independent films by first-time writers and directors,
which spawned the three features Stolen Summer, The Battle of Shaker Heights and
The series, which first aired on Bravo, has been resurrected on HBO and
premiered its fourth season in September 2015 under Damon and Affleck's banner,
Pearl Street Productions. Pearl Street recently co-produced Promised Land, which
reunited Damon with director Van Sant and was written and produced by Damon and
With Jennifer Todd, president of Pearl Street Films-which has a first-look deal
with Warner Bros. Pictures-Pearl Street is currently in post-production on
Affleck's Live by Night. The company just wrapped the pilot of Incorporated for
the Syfy Channel that Alex and David Pastor wrote and directed. Other projects
in development include Bunker Hill: A City, A Siege, A Revolution and Apostle
Paul, which Hugh Jackman is attached to star in.
For the small screen, Damon both executive produced and appeared in the History
Channel project The People Speak, based on a book co-written by famed 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 H2O 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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