About Matt Damon - Matt Damon was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the son of Kent Telfer Damon, realtor and tax preparer, and Nancy Carlsson-Paige, an early childhood education professor at Lesley University. His maternal grandfather, John Walter Paige, was of Finnish descent. Damon has a brother, Kyle, who is an accomplished sculptor and artist.
Matt Damon poses for a magazine photo shoot
Damon graduated from Cambridge Rindge and Latin School in 1988, the only public high school in Cambridge. He began Harvard University in the fall of 1988 and could have graduated with the class of 1992, but kept leaving classes to pursue acting projects, including the TNT original movie Rising Son and ensemble prep-school drama School Ties. While at Harvard, he concentrated in English and lived in Lowell House. He did not take part in student theatre generally, but did appear in A... My Name is Alice (in one of the three male roles one of which was with Jarron Wright, usually performed by women). Damon dropped out of university to pursue his acting career in Los Angeles after Geronimo: An American Legend was expected (incorrectly) to be a big success.
Damon's first film role came in 1988 with one line in the romantic comedy Mystic Pizza.
Damon appeared in small roles before landing a big part in Geronimo: An American Legend with Gene Hackman and Jason Patric. He next appeared as a heroin-addicted soldier in 1996's Courage Under Fire. The war film was an opportunity for Damon to show his dedication by undergoing an extensive weight loss to help portray his character, as he was required to lose 40 pounds (18 kg) in 100 days (for only two days of filming). After following a self-prescribed diet and fitness regimen to lose the weight, Damon was advised after the filming that he was fortunate his heart did not shrink. Damon was required to be on medication for several years to correct the stress inflicted on his adrenal gland, but maintains it was worthwhile to properly reflect his character's anguish and to show the industry how committed he was to the role.
Matt Damon at the movie premier of 'The Bourne Identity'
Damon and actor Ben Affleck, close personal friends as well as co-stars in several films, developed a thriller about a young math genius, which they pitched around Hollywood. Receiving advice from writer/director/actor Rob Reiner, screenwriter William Goldman, and their friend writer/director Kevin Smith, the two changed the script around to focus on a young math genius trying to make his way in the world. Goldman's only advice was to agree with Reiner in that the script should lose its early thriller focus. This script eventually became Good Will Hunting, which earned both Damon and Affleck Oscars for Best Original Screenplay. Damon was also nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor for the same film (which netted an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for co-star Robin Williams). Damon parodied this as a fictional version of himself in Kevin Smith's Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back.
Damon also founded Project Greenlight with Affleck and Chris Moore to find and fund worthwhile film projects from novice filmmakers. The televised documentary about the making of the film projects has been nominated for an Emmy three times.
Damon has been known to stray from the mainstream in his choice of roles, such as his portrayal of bisexual murderer Tom Ripley in The Talented Mr. Ripley, for which he received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor. He has also played a fallen angel who discusses pop culture as intellectual subject matter in Dogma, in which he co-starred with Affleck (1999), a conjoined twin in Stuck on You, and he co-wrote with friend Casey Affleck and Gus Van Sant the minimalist dialogue for the low budget and experimental film Gerry. Damon's been part of two major film franchises. He played amnesiac assassin Jason Bourne in the successful action movies The Bourne Identity and The Bourne Supremacy, with another Bourne sequel, The Bourne Ultimatum, expected on August 3, 2007. He also starred as a youthful, optimistic thief Linus Caldwell opposite, among others, George Clooney, Brad Pitt, and Julia Roberts in Steven Soderbergh's Ocean's Eleven, a frothy crime dramedy which was successful and has spawned two sequels: Ocean's Twelve and Ocean's Thirteen, released on June 8, 2007.
Matt Damon in Ocean's Twelve
Martin Scorsese and Damon on the set of The Departed.Among other high profile roles, Damon played a fictionalized version of Wilhelm Grimm in Terry Gilliam's fantasy adventure The Brothers Grimm and an energy analyst in Syriana. He was recently onscreen in Robert DeNiro's The Good Shepherd as a career CIA agent, and played an undercover mobster working for the Massachusetts State Police in Martin Scorsese's Oscar-winning The Departed, a remake of the Hong Kong police thriller Infernal Affairs. He also has a supporting role in Kenneth Lonergan's film Margaret and an uncredited cameo in Francis Ford Coppola's Youth Without Youth, both due in 2007.
A Warner Brothers film has been in development that will have Damon and Steven Soderbergh working together again. The true story, The Informant, when filmed at a future date, will have Matt Damon playing the role of Mark Whitacre, a corporate whistleblower. Whitacre wore a wire for two and a half years for the FBI as a high-level executive at a Fortune 500 company, Archer Daniels Midland (ADM), in one of the largest price-fixing cases in history. The date of filming has not yet been announced.
It has recently been rumored that producer J.J. Abrams is trying to get Damon to play James T. Kirk in the eleventh Star Trek feature film, which has been rumored to be either a prequel to, or a reboot of, the original Star Trek series. Damon told journalists at a press conference on September 16, 2006 that he has not been approached about the film. (Previously rumored for the part was Damon's long-time friend Ben Affleck.) Damon has said that he would accept the role of Kirk if he liked the script.
While filming Stuck on You in 2003, Damon met Argentine-born Luciana Bozan Barroso in Miami, where she was working as a bartender. They married in a private civil ceremony on December 9, 2005 in New York City Hall. Damon became stepfather to Bozan's young daughter, Alexia, from her previous marriage. The couple's first child together, daughter Isabella, was born on June 11, 2006, in Miami, where they live when not filming on location.
Matt Damon and his best friend Ben Affleck are die-hard Boston Red Sox fans.