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Matt Damon‘s still “desperate” to make his directorial debut, and he’s now making decisions on which movie to take on solely by who’s at the helm, the actor told The Hollywood Reporter at Tuesday’s New York screening of Elysium, sponsored by Ciroc Ultra Premium Vodka and 2(X)ist Watches.
“I used to kind of put equal value on the role and the screenplay and the director, but now I just completely go with who’s directing it, that like totally makes my decision,” he said.
In this case, Damon jumped at the chance to work with Neill Blomkamp after seeing his work on 2009’s sleeper hit District 9.
“I’ve always wanted to make a science fiction movie and … really great science fiction movies … just don’t come out very often,” he explained. “There’s a handful of people that make them really well, like James Cameron and Ridley [Scott] and those guys and Neill, when I saw District 9, immediately went on to that list. And then he suddenly had a project, and I couldn’t pass it up.”
As for when Damon will take a seat in the director’s chair, something he’s expressed a strong desire to do, he admitted there’s no update on that but said he hoped it would happen soon.
However, he confirmed that his family is moving from New York to L.A., and because of that, he’s “going to take a little time off” so that he and his wife can be at home with their kids while they’re going through that transition.
Damon also expressed his hope that Elysium would be a hit for its studio, Sony, which has had somewhat of a rough summer, with two box-office disappointments in After Earth and White House Down.
“They couldn’t have been better partners. When you get in a situation like that, you really want the movie to pay off for them and their terms because they gave us everything we needed creatively,” he said. “Not a lot people are making big original movies right now, so any time somebody does it, it’s a risk, and it’s that kind of courage, I always applaud it being rewarded on the business end because that means other people will take a chance too.”
Meanwhile, Damon’s co-star William Fichtner was delighted to work alongside Jodie Foster, whom he’d teamed with in 1997’s Contact.
Fichtner’s role in another summer movie, The Lone Ranger, has generated a bit of controversy lately with cleft-lip charities condemning his character’s appearance. But Fichtner was quick to brush off any negative opinions about that movie.
“I’m sure there’s going to be some controversy about the craft service on the film, eventually,” he said. “Not to discount any controversy about anything; everyone’s entitled to their own opinion for sure.”
He went on to say that he would forever cherish his time working on the movie, calling it the highlight of his life.
And he said he doesn’t focus on box-office grosses.
“I honestly don’t think about it at all. If my life went up and down because of that … I’ve got to get home and clean the garage out, you know. I’ve got a lot of things going on,” Fichtner added.
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