Damon's first film role came in 1988 when he was eighteen, with a single line of dialogue in the romantic comedy Mystic Pizza. As a student at Harvard University, he continued to pursue acting and performed small roles in projects such as the TNT original film Rising Son and the ensemble prep-school drama School Ties. In 1992, he landed a big part in Geronimo: An American Legend with Gene Hackman and Jason Patric. Four years later, he auditioned for a small role in Cutthroat Island, but was turned away. Damon next appeared as an opiate-addicted soldier in 1996's Courage Under Fire. 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 told after filming that he was fortunate his heart did not shrink. He took medication for several years afterwards to correct the stress inflicted on his adrenal gland. Courage Under Fire gained him some critical notice, as The Washington Post labeled his performance "impressive"; Damon has stated that it was worthwhile to risk his health in order to properly portray his character and show the industry how committed he was to his work as an actor.Damon has become known for choosing a wide variety of film roles, from his portrayal of Patricia Highsmith's anti-hero Tom Ripley in The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999) to a fallen angel who discusses pop culture as intellectual subject matter with Affleck in Dogma (1999); from a conjoined twin in Stuck on You (2003), which got a mixed critical reception, to the low budget experimental film Gerry (2002), which he co-wrote with Casey Affleck and Gus Van Sant. Damon garnered generally positive critical reaction for his Golden Globe-nominated portrayal of Ripley, with Variety stating, "Damon outstandingly conveys his character's slide from innocent enthusiasm into cold calculation."Damon had an uncredited cameo in Francis Ford Coppola's Youth Without Youth (2007) and another cameo in the 2008 Che Guevara biopic Che. He lent his voice to the English version of the animated film Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea, which was released in the United States in August 2009. He also made a guest appearance in 2009 on the sixth season finale of Entourage as himself, where he tries to pressure Vincent Chase (Adrian Grenier) into donating to his charity OneXOne—a real foundation for which Damon is an ambassador—and gets increasingly irritated when Chase does not seem to comply. Damon's 2010 projects included The Adjustment Bureau, Clint Eastwood's Hereafter, and the Coen Brothers' remake of the 1969 John Wayne-starring Western True Grit; the latter movie started filming in March 2010 and was released in December of that year.
He will next work with frequent collaborator Steven Soderbergh on two projects: as the longtime Liberace love interest, Scott Thorsen, opposite Michael Douglas in an upcoming film centered on the pianist's life and as part of an ensemble cast in Contagion. Damon has also performed a supporting role in Kenneth Lonergan's drama Margaret, which was scheduled for a theatrical debut in 2007 but is yet to be released due to production conflicts. Along with Affleck and producers Chris Moore and Sean Bailey, Damon founded the production company LivePlanet, through which the four created the documentary series Project Greenlight to find and fund worthwhile film projects from novice filmmakers. The company produced and founded the short-lived mystery-hybrid series Push, Nevada, among other projects. Project Greenlight was nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Reality Program in 2002, 2004, and 2005. In March 2010, Damon and Affleck teamed up again to sign a first-look production deal with Warner Bros. Damon has taken part in philanthropy since the age of 12, deciding what to do with his $5 allowance. Damon was the founder of H2O Africa Foundation, the charitable arm of the Running the Sahara expedition, which merged with WaterPartners to create Water.org in July 2009. He, along with George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Don Cheadle, and Jerry Weintraub, is one of the founders of Not On Our Watch, an organization that focuses global attention and resources to stop and prevent mass atrocities such as in Darfur. Damon supports the ONE Campaign, which is aimed at fighting AIDS and poverty in Third World countries. He has appeared in their print and television advertising. Damon is also an ambassador for OneXOne, a non-profit foundation committed to supporting, preserving and improving the lives of children at home in Canada, the United States, and around the world. Damon is also a spokesperson for Feeding America, the largest USA-focused hunger-relief organization, and a member of their Entertainment Council, participating in their Ad Council PSAs.
The Adjustment Bureau is a romance thriller film loosely based on the Philip K. Dick short story, "Adjustment Team". The film was written and directed by George Nolfi and stars Matt Damon and Emily Blunt. The cast also includes Anthony Mackie, Shohreh Aghdashloo, Michael Kelly, John Slattery, Terence Stamp, and Anthony Ruivivar. It contains a score by Thomas Newman with a song in the opening sequence ("Future's Bright") and the one heard on the end credits ("Are You Ready") by Richard Ashcroft. David Norris (Matt Damon) is a charismatic politician running for the United States Senate. He loses his early lead and is rehearsing a losing speech, in the hotel bathroom where he meets a mysterious woman. Having overheard his speech she encourages him to be more original and honest. Immediately attracted to each other they kiss, are interrupted and Norris must leave to make the speech, inspired by her he goes off script and makes an honest speech that is widely praised. Later, a mysterious man sits at a park bench and is instructed to make sure Norris spills his coffee. He falls asleep and fails in his task. Norris takes the bus to work and by chance again meets Elise, the woman from the bathroom, who introduces herself and gives him her phone number before she leaves. Norris is working at a venture capital firm run by his old friend and campaign manager, and arrives to work early. He is surprised to see his boss is frozen motionless and being examined by strange men in suits. They chase him, but no matter where he runs they catch up to him. Norris is taken to a warehouse, and Richardson (John Slattery) decides to tell him about the Adjustment Bureau. They have a plan for Norris and are determined to guide his life and keep him to that plan. The plan was made by someone they refer to as "the Chairman." They warn that if he tells anyone about them, even accidentally, he will be "reset", effectively lobotomised. The plan called only for him to meet Elise once and he is told to forget her and they destroy the phone number. Harry Mitchell (Anthony Mackie) feels responsible having failed to intercept Norris, and tells him more about the Adjustment Bureau. David fails to find Elise despite his attempts over the next three years. He rides the same bus every day hoping to see her again. He finally does see her one day and they are able to reconnect. The Bureau immediately tries to stop him from building his relationship with her and causes their schedules to bring them apart. David races across town fighting the Bureau's special abilities to "control his chances" to ensure he will meet Elise again. The Bureau is able to use doors to travel great lengths across New York City during this chase. Richardson does some research and discovers that David and Elise were meant to be together in an earlier version of the plan. He tells Harry that it wasn't his fault that this mess took place. Harry speculates on whether or not the plan is always correct. David and Elise spend an evening at a large party, and connect when David tells her why he decided to become a politician after the loss of his mother and brother. They make love that night. The Bureau decides to have Thompson (Terence Stamp) take authority on the adjustment of David Norris. He takes David to a warehouse and David argues that he has the right to choose his own path. Thompson lets him go and he runs to Elise's Ballet recital. Thompson follows and reveals that not only will David's future as President be ruined if he stays with Elise, but her future as a dancer will also be diminished. To make a point he uses his adjustment power to cause Elise to fall and sprain her ankle. David, faced with hurting Elise in the long run chooses to leave her at the hospital. Eleven months later David is running for election again, and sees an announcement of Elise's wedding in the newspaper. He gets in contact with Harry who agrees to teach him how to use the doors so he can stop Elise's wedding and avoid Thompson. He gives David his hat-which empowers David to use the doors and the chase is on. David finds Elise in the bathroom of the courthouse where she is to be wed and reveals the Bureau's existence to her. They are chased by the Bureau across New York using the doors as shortcuts, while the bureau uses the plan to track them. When David and Elise find themselves on The Statue of Liberty Isle, David decides to find the chairman to end the chase. He asks Elise if she will go with him, and she accepts. David turns the door handle to the left, which Harry instructed him not to do and he enters the Bureau headquarters. The couple is chased through the Bureau until they are trapped on a rooftop above New York and they embrace passionately assuming the worst is yet to come. When they release each other, the bureau members surrounding them have disappeared. Thompson appears, only to be relieved of duty by Harry who tells David and Elise that the chairman decided to change the plan, because their love proved the plan could change. The story is loosely based on the Philip K. Dick short story "Adjustment Team", and features a smooth-talking congressman whose political future is thrown in doubt by uncontrollable events and the arrival of a mysterious woman in his life. In early drafts the character Norris was changed from an insurance salesman as in the short story to an up and coming politician. Media Rights Capital funded the film and then auctioned it to distributors, with Universal Studios putting in the winning bid. Variety reported Damon's involvement on February 24, 2009, and Blunt's on July 14, 2009. It is due for release March 4, 2011. Nolfi worked with John Toll as his cinematographer. Shots were planned in advance with storyboards but often changed when shooting to fit the conditions on the day rather than worring about everything being exact. The visual plan for the film was to keep the camerawork smooth using a dolly or crane and have controlled formal shots when the Adjustment Bureau was in full control, with things becoming more loose and using hand held cameras when the story becomes less controlled. The film had its world premiere at the Ziegfeld Theatre 141 West 54th Street New York City, February 14, 2011. Writer/director/producer George Nolfi was in attendance along with the cast including Matt Damon and Emily Blunt.
The Adjustment Bureau - Official Trailer [HD]