In an interview promoting the downunder release of “We Bought a Zoo”, Oscar Winner and all-round Hollywood nice guy Matt Damon spoke of what’s beyond his zoological excursion. Among the projects on Damon’s plate is a film that reunites him with best bud and “Good Will Hunting” comrade Ben Affleck, as well as a movie he’s directing for John Krasinski.
Damon says the latter will be a smaller film – which suits him just fine being his directorial debut.
The actor tells The Herald-Sun :
“I’m really excited about it. I have been wanting to direct for a long time and this script has just gotten really good. It’s something I want to get right because it’s something I want to be able to do (in the future).”
Damon describes the as-yet untitled project as a “small story” about a salesman who goes to upstate New York and is changed by the experience.
Writing isn’t new to Damon, who won an Oscar with Ben Affleck in 1998 for screenwriting Good Will Hunting.
“I really loved the characters as we wrote them,” he says of his work with Krasinski. “They started taking on a voice of their own. And it’s not so ambitious a film, the scale of it isn’t that big. And that’s important the first time out.
“I remember (Steven) Spielberg saying to me years ago, ‘The first time you direct, don’t try to do too much – just see if you have a knack for telling a story this way’. And I have never forgotten that.”
The film Damon is doing with Affleck is a biopic of legendary Boston gangster Whitey Bulger. Ben’s brother Casey, who also appeared in “Good Will Hunting”, will also be in the movie.
“More than anything, I am just excited to see Ben every day,” Damon says.
“We used to be sick of each other because we were unemployed and we had nothing to do but hang out with each other.
“And life has gotten so crazy for both of us between work and having small kids that we don’t talk as much as we want to, so it will be good to have a project to work on together again.”
Will Damon have any issues with Affleck calling the shots?
“We don’t have a competitive relationship at all. The good news is having written together, all that stuff has been long since figured out.”
Adding to the familiarity is the setting – it will be shot in the pair’s home town of Boston.
“There’s so much leg work we don’t need to do – our life was preparation in a way,” Damon says. “It always made sense to me that Ben did his first two directing jobs there. Had I found a great story in Boston, I would have too.”
How do you think Damon will go as a director? Think he’s got Affleck-like chops?