« ID10T with Chris Hardwick

Matt Damon

2021-07-30

Matt Damon chats with Chris about his process of writing, how his life changed after they sold the script for Good Will Hunting, and Matt’s admiration for stand-up. Matt also talks about working with different directors, working with his best friend, and his new movie Stillwater, in theaters now!

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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Hey it's Chris, with a quick little request for help from you, the eighty twenty community to take a short survey, very short, want to learn a little more about the eighty twenty audience and make sure that we advertisers that are the most relevant to you in your interests, so visit pod, listen, dot com slash. Idee, ten t, that's pod listener, dotcom slush idea, one zero tee The very quick surveyed is completely anonymous and really helps to show not always that help us. You know, keep the lights on stuff over here with good advertisers, but also you may do so for goods and services that you will, like so dead, pod listener, dotcom, slash, idea, twenty and thanks again for taking the time. I really appreciate it and who request looking to the eighty twenty broadcast. Eleven, twenty nine hey if you're walking dead fan than it might be relevant or interest to know that the walking dead he's an eleven previous special will be alive August. Fifteenth will be back in our own
studio that we haven't been in in like a year and a half year, though no talking dead, said, looks like like? Oh, it's all it's my laughed apartments and but it's obviously it's a television set, but we have for the last year and a half been doing the show actually from my house and so to be really amazing to get back into the studio b, live again that's August, fifteenth and then, following week August twenty second, I will be back with the walking dead season. Eleven premier followed by alive, all new talking dead, so that is all the walking dead news for right now. Let's talk about you, the idea to anti community events at eighty twenty dot com like Reuben, who writes they began to show you the big reason I was inspired actually do this thing. I was so impacted by what's going on right now, with the near extinct veto porpoise, there are only ten or less than this in the world throughout the beginning, the pandemic till now, girlfriend Sheila an eye illustrated and wrote a children's book to help bring awareness to the situation of the veto. They are the most endangered,
a mammal in the world and are getting caught in nets in Athens at sea from illegal poaching. We started a kick started, arrays just enough to actually print our book, get it did the hands of readers and pleasures and will be donating. The remaining copies to libraries around the world it'll be a beautiful, hard bound book made with quality. Please help a spread. The word to suit to go to the kicked. If you gotta Kickstarter, you can type in Jakarta the key in the Kickstarter search BAR and you'll, find it anything, and everything is appreciated. Thank you, Reuben. Thank you. So much for sharing events at eighty twenty dot com for anyone else. Who has
a thing that they would like to share or promote. This episode is Matt Damon, whose promoting still water, which is in theatres today the release of the podcast July Thirtieth And- and this was such a wonderful conversation- I never met Matt Damon before I don't know what to expect- and I was so delighted by the conversation, it's so nice to see that you know people, especially on this level, literally like one of the highest grossing box office, performers in the world, so down to earth so funny warm, friendly and also love stand of comedy like we had a really great talk about state of comedy as well. So this was just an absolute pleasure to talk with mad and- and I really really really appreciated the hour than he took- to sit down and have a chat. So here is the eighty twenty Pike S number eleven
eighty nine with Mr Matt Damon as we are all the thing, what a nice background, what what? What is it? What are all the points in jars behind your head? I have idea, I'm at the one hotel in Brooklyn, and I think it's kind of a hipster joint answer. If you get. since there was like artisanal something in those jars and now there now there being repressed, you know for super glancing, because we,
we ve been away plants Oh honey grass, However, it is a branch of beads like any Canada. That work is good like you do it the big long press day, yeah. I mean yes, some of these longer form interviews, which I really prefer beaches they're just there just so much more. Natural. Then that the four minute one stakes you don't know what I did a day in our last week, where I had sixty or those in one day where it all to Morrow my record is ninety six for the rain yeah Danny to said it was a most need everything we didn't. I we all did they had the whole cast like with road. made it through and we didn't. Ninety six interviews- and cyber imagined by like sixty you dont know, what who you are anymore, you dont know what words mean any measure and we still have like thirty six to go. Then it gets.
so bad that you jump in the foreign, those in those blessing for a minute ones that you have the time. so basically like four things and you ve got upon a script at that point. You'd, do you know if you ve said the thing to someone you ve only been talking to for two minutes, You don't remember what you said and you only have more things to tell them, and you don't remember which ones you said to them. Yet it's very late, It's you know, and you like our man. I don't I don't. I don't know what I've set its sights of it. Then it turns out what game show lightning rounder like what movie by working on shit fuck? What oh shit, who am, I, I think I think the only thing that I have been the thing I really have to compare. That is doing stand up. Having done, third, show in a night starting a bit and sort of feeling the arrogance data, the roman and starving, going waited already. Do that
during the show in the audience, goes yes and operate like, as I really have any oh yeah. I totally cause you just you can't is like one talking for hours, your brains wit? When you start, going into an auto pilot. Sometimes now I know I'm in its energy, but yours Normally has a it's almost built out like a like a play like a theatre players, screenplay amend it. Did it normally? Has that picture right like you're, not you're, not random, like I know, I've talked to Tom Papa about it, they he'll say try new stuff he's got stuff that he knows, jails then we'll work new stuff in because banks fascinated by this exact process that you guys and when I was writing goodwill hunting at night. I didn't have anything to do and I would go to the improv I would I would there and I went- I would go every night of the weeks. I'd go Monday through
Saturday and an Monday night. Sometimes it was just me and one other person in the in the place back there. It was a year dead, quiet and sit there because it inspiring to meet a watch. You know usually people around my age. I was like twenty twenty four twenty five writing You know like I was writing all day and then made and I'd come on, watch them right at night, but it struck me as the bravest thing in the world because you're writing in front of an audience in the only way that you can write what need a right is to fail that's the only place. You know where the edges than boundaries are. Is you got a fall in your face, and I was like fascinated by that. I envy, yeah anyway, so that process I mean, I love conversation already, because I love the peering over the fence to the neighbor's house to see like how did because Your point. Yes, you are writing on stage. You do former relationship with the odd
You need the audience to sort of. Let you know if it's working or not, I dont know Stanhope is as much a break thing it is. Is it is a compulsion to you know to name the immediate attention of strangers, but I will say the thing that too he seems easier than what you do is so you're writing goodwill hunting all day. You have no idea, this film is going to turn out you have. There are so many things that have to go right. That you're, not gonna, know for probably two years. You know and then read spectable you'll be able to go, I mean, obviously, in that case it worked out brilliantly, but you have to wait to find, like what the reactions are, what the results are, so that you know new stated so that you can then apply that to the next progress. Learn this project: let's do the next time yeah yeah, but but we're not I mean you're going in knowing like I'd see, you guys are showing up in women are showing up, but there no books literally reading out of their notebooks, like an annual
knowing that there's no way. There's no way the audience isn't gonna see this for what it is, which is which is a which is a test run for an that's what it that's. What so fascinated me right was them Monday to Saturday evening, go every night and I these people lower my age build bill. five minutes leg. there ten minutes and then rush on Saturday. You know Friday and Saturday that place was heaving with people. You know that it was day everyone was their wanting to laugh wanting to be entertained and these people were sharp and they would get up and they crutch and I'd be like that is like the most Firing me to know that those Monday Tuesday and Wednesday of it that that the ungainly NASA there and they intend and knowing that you're going to fail, will put it. But that's an interesting point. You because it sorted depends on like and I think the supplies any kind of artistic endeavours,
What is failure and how do we define it? And if your goal was just to get up on stage and say it out, which is what you need to do? Sometimes, then you ve succeed it even though, like the audience reaction, see to be the main goal for sick the main barometer for success most of the time, but sometimes it is in and sometimes you just gotta say it out loud and if you say it out loud, then you kind of feel the bits of it even with two people, but I just if you're, all if you're honest with the audience, go, look I'm working on new stuff, and so do back to my earlier thing about. How do you say a bit you don't remember that you already said in a set. My set is like partially like forty percent of it, or riff with the audience and then I weaving and out a bit so that I'm not as much of a structure. So it's easy. If I'm not really paying attention, I can get lost in gaol fuck I already, but it's fine, because unless we this back into what you do because
I think those moments where those happen. Those mistakes are when two people show up are some of the best moments, because those accidents create real authentic moments. Sure that's where The community can come together, Gaza. We were all in this together as long as you ignore. I did and you're not bothered by it at least outwardly. It can work. So do you see a parallel with what you do, these kinds of happy accidents or like the avoidance of perfectionism, which I think can be the enemy of art? Yeah, absolutely I mean we look for those accidents have been because that is exactly when those real things happening No precisely at the moment that you don't expect and you haven't plan for so we are without a doubt. Where were we were doing that too I just remember I you know just to go back to that? You like like? that's a really interesting that you say why do what's your definition of success right because for so many people the active standing in front of a group of strangers and
trying to make them laugh is itself so tat vine right, but if you if you're looking at that is not. This is just Monday night, it's part of my processing and my goal is, do is to build a funny act. Then then yeah, I guess I guess it's it's over. It's a different way to approach. I just Does it as a young writer was like I just I just found it I did just struck. Me is incredibly and the other thing about it? The other thing about I was talking to you not to name drop, but I was having conversation with edged. This is years ago, and we were talking about writing in general. He was time at songwriting. I was saying that screenwriter and he's some really interesting egos, because I think stand up comedians habit. The hardest He said he said I go. Because if it is, go play somewhere. I have play where the streets have no name
I have rightly due by the way they do and they do any goes. People will be mad if we don't play streets and I'm like that's true, I would be furious. If I went to when you're gonna do to biogas, we wrote song? You know, thirty forty years ago, and he goes these comedians with with joke. They can tell it once They can never tell it again. You cannot tell a person is saved your life, it's because we're noakes or magic tricks like once you have the reveal. The surprise element is ill ain't, no one it when they want you to go out on stage and is based are plain that paper. Serbia proper and then, like you, don't go on just comedian go what's up with and here are some well over a blog- only really gonna do the ports thing all by God. I can't believe you know so with that. But that means like what do? What is the point you make? It was just the amount of material you guys have to generate yeah, yeah over your lives is insane it's insane, because
It's it's not! You know it's it's You know that was what I was having a conversation with Tom Papa about was How do you do it at your level, leg and he's, and he was talking about having stuff that he knew killed right. That here even from an audience and and working in the new stuff right. I'd like taking down get him go and get him get him happy, and then I'm going walk down this path in a minute see where I go and goes in his and if I would start to lose em like adventure back into material that I had, that was as it gets. The process was really interesting to me, because that makes total sense. I itself a buying a terrifying proposition to me, but you get you book, ended with a list stop so that you have like a safe zone. Cedar Lizzie its work but earnestly if you, if you don't sweat it too much because as you know, for all intents and purposes, the audience is looking to you, sir, We welcome the leader of the room and, if they feel
You can't handle that the male turn on your. You know it's like all right and I come out for someone who can. But if you don't say the two march, and you just kind of like then they'll, forget up like that. Can you move on quickly in its you know, then it's totally fine, but you know it's not, not that for those Monday, Tuesday, shows where there is only a couple. People in the room are you dont have a good set that you don't. I mean you feel bad about it, but it's just what you do with it, and also do you find that you can. you can do everything that you can do as long as you did what you set out to do, even if the audio, doesn't always like react with. You know thunderous applause or laugh you. feel ok about it. I feel like the times that you can We beat yourself up our when, even if you have like a good cetera, good movie or a good script or whatever is, if you feel like you didn't, do everything that you're supposed to do. If you drop the ball, even if the audio doesn't know it, you still feel weird about that too, does not make sense.
sure yeah yeah yeah, I mean especially the more experience you have. The more you know like. I feel that way about this move like I, you know There was someone who wrote a bad review of the acting in this movie in one of the british papers, and someone asked me about it. I said we disagree about what good acting, as you know, like I'm just at the level and like he's, welcomed his opinion, like I'm, not at the level where I need his validation anymore. Exactly I know a lot about this, and I put my good friends up against his group of friends you know- and you know, if you want to talk about what you know bite, but everybody is entitled to their opinion and and and I genuinely at peace with whatever anybody thinks I feel great about. Like feeling I have after this performances is like what I'm chasing for the rest of my life. My I'm fifty now I have done this firm, more of my life than I haven't and and
and I still love it. I really love it and I Jenna geek out over the process, and I love every study stage of being a production, and I just love it, and I love act. and and and its in it rate career, but both of us are in our respective cribbage. We get to get better at it ass? We get older and they are there so many careers in which you know the ear. Like athletes. I've talked to grow like thirty five years old in their done, and it's like they know so much more about the thing that their great at but their bodies won't allow them to do it anymore and we get to keep keep going this just and I feel so lucky that you know but the feeling that I'm chasing is that ceiling of just yet I it's exactly what you're saying it's like I'm completely at peace because I know what I was trying to do and I did it. We know briefly paused to think so for this absurdity, eighty twenty podcast be spoke post. Who is
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I'm sure you have friends who are also like huge box office, grossing stars in never feel complete or whole or peace. Whatever- and there is this. You know it say I think it's called the on a cancer we'll where it's like you keep setting a baseline. Oh, if I just get this, if I just get this and then you get it and it's like buck still feel you know, because you're constantly searching for this external validation and we both work and a business that is so heavily focused on external validation. And so how do we not fall prey to that and how do we know? How did you find that path where you were lives like hey. You know, people totally on top of their opinions, doesn't affect me, I'm here to do what I do. I'm happy with that in peaceful with that. Do did you We feel that way did you have to arrive at that? I think I arrived today. I think one thing that really help me really help me was was I had this moment that I've taught him before that, the night that that,
had been and I won the asker in nineteen. Ninety eight I was sitting there it at home. Like four in the morning, and I was still and a buzzing, my girlfriend at the time and gone to sleep, and I was still kind of buzzing. I couldn't you know I was just sitting there and I was alone with this thing. This Fatima award, I'm an I had this like voice command. It was like. I almost saw a parallel life. Which I lived in my aid without getting this and was chasing it? It was like this weird moment and an end like a voice in my head, said loud clear. Thank God. I didn't anybody over for this right and It was like I gotta glimpse it's like. I got this monkey off my back twenty seven years old, I don't ever you know, I mean, like I'm good, mean like I don't have to. I don't have to chase it. I don't have to worry about it.
and I didn't hurt anybody to get this, and that is. That is a really excellent point. and also you know just out of curiosity from You can remember the difference between your expectations. at that moments the reality of the moment it so easy to idealize moment set, because we just think- about them from one you know is basically like one dimension. I win this thing. We the greatest thing ever you know like I was sort of somewhat earlier today about how life is really kind of like a Super Mario game where each level you're, like I, got to this level and in unlocks a whole other series of Reno monsters and airlines and challenges, and even you completely gave them there's another Mario gave me gotta play and soon what what was the sort of the ex station of that moment. Verses like the act with human reality of the moment. You remember that you were there. The human reality was it was for.
Of also surreal, and also our lives, were changing at exactly is, and we were, we were becoming famous, in exactly this time and that's a real mind fuck, because your your world changes your subjective reality changes its like somebody rewrites your code in the matrix, an end, but only yours, so you know that in intellectual the bigger issues are still the bigger issues in our global warm whenever it is climate change like you all, that stuff is still the same, your reality will never ever be the same, That's a real! it's hard to wrap your brain around that an and so did. My recollection of that ask was Remember saying the same meant as a couple years later, when he got hit his. He said When is this going to think again, and I said about a year and a half and Iceland, couple years later- and you said you were exactly right- it was like eighteen months before I realize this happened like it. Doesn't it
and feel like it was happening it was like use. There was just it was not US this just too much to things changing to rapidly and in such a surreal way that it was, it was more than my brain could could kind of understand. Yeah, because we're about the same age, and I remember I remember meteoric I mean it may not have seen media. To you, because I know you worked for like eleven years before that you know it's like you had this career before that happened, but then, all of a sudden I have I dont, want Vivian memory of always say was like you on the cover of maybe fair, like a bathtub, whether to national, maybe kind of like who's. This young women nap or whose this I think he is that, of course, I softwares, like factors, movies, really good and in an annex you like that ushered in sort of being a net like it hasn't happened before, but it seemed to usher in it.
from our generation, this era of right or performers. You know it's like you, don't have to be just an actor. You can write you can create. can produce and also be in those things as well and so You know remembering that and sort of I was creatively inspired by actions like oh yeah, that's a thing you can do you don't just have to go to audition wait for someone to go. Ok, you! You seem cool enough get in this thing. You know like that, which is so part of what our culture is now it seems like we, for granted. Let go you are, so you should be a writer creator and a performer, but at the time did that feel like up like a departure. Did it seem like a crazy thing for to act, So I got. Can we really right this big movie like what? What was your thinking process about yeah Well! You know should be said. It would have been entirely crazy. Had it not been for first Sylvester along so that system, I've done it with West Rocky
Landon ARM and that was are without stat was. Are the two words? Will you know whenever we got up against the wall, we would say so that's just alone to one another, because because Did it in every time. The peoples, if you can't do this, we would say Sylvester alone, it's ok, so he laid the path for us, to say were attaching ourselves to this cause, that's what we want like. We were actors right. You know we wrote kind of as a way to get jobs as actors, though we wrote to our strength the rules that we thought we could do really well and and and and then attached ourselves to it in Europe, Great feat of agencies by Patrick Whites are agent. You know I've been with for almost thirty years now and end but cheap. He very much kind of made his bones on. That will be too because when the movie came out of Rome and how the hell did that happened like what agent put this together and it was our young agent patch fish. You know who is like can mirrors leg. You know
like when they are given me this deal over here. You know, I mean, like everyone realise the in you know, increase a feat of agencies that must have gone into it in that way, so we all kind of launched with with that, but it was we stubborn because we have seen an example of it, and that was the last and did you what's this When did you study at Harvard? Was it did you study, theater and Harvard was that was you know they don't really have a thing they didn't have a theatre concentration. Then I was english that that you could do a special concentration, but which is kind of design your own major, but I did registered English using the same urgent and you left it did you. You do leave school work yeah I would leave. I left my more your first semester. I left my junior year. I think first semester. I would leave it if I got a job. I was auditioning throughout college stay in college, but if I got apart I'd I'd I'd I'd go, do it I'm a minute it even sort of hearing about
how this all, how this all worked and how your agent kind of did this. This dazzling magic at its still, knowing what No business was like in the nineties, which was very before now, I think. Worse. the end in it in a niece content culture right words like you know, you don't necessarily need twenty million People to watch a thing. You just need a very passionate, concentrated audience to watch a thing, but even at that time really is. It really is unheard of a new reference to us alone, but that was twenty twenty years previous you guys right. Did this row as you were going along. As your writing and saying, like Sylvester, Sloan Sebastus alone, how many points along the process did it seem like? How does this is never going to happen? How would this happened? This is never gonna happen, I mean we did it felt like a black. Certainly like pipe dream. I mean it felt crazy, but does. But then you know
Patrick, somehow engineered this bidding war- and I remember it was between a Monday on a Thursday there we saw that script that we get out on a Monday morning, and Thursday evening we so we we wasted had this deal with us attached, I mean the ironclad like in a contract like we cannot separate. These do not go out from this script and and it was over the course of four days- and I was just amazed- was amazing. How much our lives changed in a week then was living on my couch he had literally, it was another friend of ours from high school, and I were living together and Ben hadn't come and got anomalies with us because he was gonna, marry this girl and then that flamed up within like a month. and so he showed up with all this shit in our little by little like what on curse, on street curse on and mailros and lay with the two bedroom apartment and real do we don't have Ruby? Do you said you weren't livin with us, you you know, so he was
on the couch and he's six four in, like the couch, was probably six feet, so I can go in the living room as legs be dangling off the couch, and all of this shit was all over the living room. You know cases with his stuff. You know he had nowhere to go and and literally from there we so we saw the script and and from a Monday answers, and we literally we went around, we had such kitty credit and so little money that when we went we went to move out immediately from that place is really do we gotta get a three bedroom flicking felt we will all bad we, we will have a real bed. We went around an end we had. It was on the front page of daily variety that we'd that and that we saw the screenplay and our pictures were on the front page of daily variety in November of nineteen. Ninety four- and we were and by all these copies of it and we would-
these house. It indicates people say you have no credit and you have no man and we but look and we'd hole things like this is less. This is us look, look how much we this before, and that literally was how we rent in our apartment for that next year. That is totally your story. We literally showed them daily variety as an we had sold that script? I'll, never forget. It was six hundred thousand dollars from being broken broke. And so Ben and I suddenly each had three hundred thousand dollars. Well, I mean before taxes, but rabbi, right. That's what it says on the cover of variety, and you know, and we were like we can afford, read what we We will pay up right yeah. I guess
lesson in Hollywood, an adherent business? What did your credit check that I am to be like look see? It's like a guy like eyes actual gives actual credit that I'm getting, therefore, but you, but to have that kind of success, so quickly of a lot of people might have like you said, been chasing that with each project. You know, but it seems like you were able to navigate pretty you know really well and not just have this not have this kind of like one hit wonder syndrome, you know and was that sort of your able to take them success, but then how do you smash? It out of the way to refocusing not get your head stuck in the clouds when all the sun a three thousand dollars, and you variety and you're doing this big movie, with Run Williams and near everyone's talking about you. How do you put your heads out of the clouds to just refocusing make it about the work?
Well, I mean it's a massively in secure business. Is, you know, like nobody, has job security so right, you can't know cares about the movie you made last year. You know what I mean literally, nobody cares and so, and so I think that I think just was clear to me just having been an observer of the business at that point back, it's not dead, there's no time feel good about yourself. Like your honor. Ex one, and you really gotta, keep your the ball, because if you mean enough shitty movies, you done and its end, and I don't think there's maker. I mean you know that the funds swinging for everyone- you know one time or another and sometimes for good. So So I was always is very aware of that. You know I never felt like. Oh I accomplished this. So I dont have to worry anymore. I mean it's like on the window of the first time. Met Tom cruise? I remember you know away from that conversation in saying to ban. Oh, my
I'd like heap, he doesn't have job security like the It was quite clear through the conversation just the way he was thinking he bethought something he said, but it was clear to me- and I was there- there never been a career at that point, and this is in the late nineties had only gone straight up like in the industry of movie star never been a career, had done what his dead and yeah like he wasn't it. doing anything for granted and I was like while like that's, that's it. knowing you know, like that's, really interesting yegg. This business is brutal nowadays, but I think there, if there's probably also you know, to use a NASA planetary term like a golden locks zone, where there's a the amount of fear because it keeps you motivated rather, you dont want too much because you make bad decisions. Are you make you know
we I could you get, can why you doing the worst thing, which is like protecting your beachhead right, that. You don't see that you don't make any you don't take any risks, and you don't do anything interesting because you just trying to do the thing you think people want to see and that I got a recipe for disaster. Beverly a recipe for creative disaster, the creative inhalation right, it's just like you, you just don't grow. Is it as an artist? If you do that? So what did you say that you, because I saw think, maybe it was on Fallon, where you were talking about you're talking about still water in Europe like look. This is not like a born supremacy identity, Liam Neeson type. You know this is you know this guy does not go over to France and be people up like it's. You know it's a very character, driven! drama you know and sir, because of the success of you know like the born franchise, which is fuckin awesome by the way, but did you ever during that process?
go go. I know these are cool and obviously I like doing them in their fun for me, but I dont always want to be this guide. Was that a conscious decision? no, I mean, I think those movies are their own thing and when I'm back I am that guy and that's what the audience wants to see. That's what you know. That's what that's what I would want to see going to one of those movies we're going to one of those fuckin awesomely amnesic movie. She had like You know when he's like. I have a very particular set of skills. You're like buck yeah. You do Liam Scale man, but No, I I felt like those movies, I always of a mess as Circulating me from the business side of things like having a net, knowing that I was gonna, go back into a born movie in two years meant, I can really take whatever We I wanted in the interim and
You know a small part, a big part. You know, you know push a little bit, do something more experimental like whatever it was. I could I really felt like free to kind of do what I wanted, and that was a which was a great feeling. because I wasn't I wasn't worried. I wasn't trying to make some kind of strategic kind of plan as to how how to survive and the business I was just doing doing them. For other reasons I mean just in terms of and of asking this also not only to find out how you navigator but also it is for people who are making their own creative decision. So it sort of a sort of a question and advice kind of a thing, but this What is it that you're following? Obviously you have a lot of experience. You know what you're doing, but when you look at a project, are you following creative inspiration got? Oh. This is probably a good thing, Do it like all this is a challenging thing to do. Is it
an algorithm of all of those things. What is kind of guiding you? You know, because, obviously I'm sure you have a lot of choices about what you get to do next year. But one thing I'd say: two young actors: if you can choose the projects at your end or if you ve no hurt anybody use is is taken, by director that was always really did, that the most import part of the equation. For me- in terms of reading scripts. It's interesting, you say, god I was gonna, say yeah got, but God is the product of having read written Screenplays of having read I don't know how many ten thousand green play. I don't know how many I could even guess establishment plays. I read in my life you know. So so that's what informs your got right. If I read something an intuitive, we get a good feeling. You know it's not just it's also from all the work I've done scripts in my life. So it's a really informed kind of got choice but, but generally, if I
your compelled by something like you like you know. If I moved something like this movie Stillwater. I felt just really move. I like, I really believe, the dynamics between the Father and the daughter in the amendment during and incoming character and her daughter, like I just really believe those fine makes it so you know they felt real d me, and so is it It's got on one level, but it's also you. You know I've been I've, been working hard For thirty, some years to develop that got yeah and again you know it sounds like you have a very healthy internal view of unique, is absent. What you really do have to let it go. You can't control where people are going a movie, you can't control there's a most of it. You can't control you can what you do when you show up you grant role the performance, but that's kind of about it or you pretty, it just releasing all of that into the air. Will that's the
and to try to partner with the best director you can, because they re control the most of what can be controlled, ran and your end, if your pardon with a good one, then more often than not they're gonna be making really get decision, so it gives you a better chance of being good. So yeah. That's right! You know, that's definitely why I am why I have always thought that. That's that, if you're gonna have any strategy that that should be it and you ve worked with so many filmmakers and also with project green light. When you're talking to film makers and they come to the GO but Damon Waterway. What are we doing? filmmaker. I just wanna just make a thing I don't know, how do I don't know who I am not at all my point of view is I don't know what I'm supposed to do. Having worked been so close to this process for so long and having the benefit of seeing so many filmmakers up was what is what
that you notice. That is very helpful for young filmmakers when they're starting out, like a couple of you, know right thinking along these lines to sort of circumvent alot of beauty. Mistakes that you might make when you start out well, one thing, I would say that I would tell anybody. Is that I've where, if you look at the list of directors, I've worked with its pretty insane and an end, but there is one thing that I find very interesting that they all have in common, because everybody does it differently. Haven't even gala once said to me, he said we're all on an island region. to visit each other's islands, we where would we know we did we kind of run our own island and media in any goes that's why actors tend to make really good directors because they come up they're going mile and hopping and they can be carried. Take from you know the way. The way people do things that work for an end and put it into a process of their own and button bright,
the what's real it. What I find fascinating is as different as all these: reactors are in Personalities are because your personality comes out when you direct its just your under so much pressure points and you're making so many decisions over such a long period of time. You just you can't hide from that from that processing and his differ, all these people are, the one they have in common. Is that they listen? the intently to the eye as a Steven Spielberg said, I want to throw the window open as wide as I can see that the ideas I'm bringing to him all the ideas, his production designers. It might say this, you know all of these ideas. They can come from anywhere and an idea, isn't I heard them, but about in this documentary about ten years ago was talking about songwriting with you too, and he said in our hierarchy. The musician is really low,
and the song is everything and when a song walks into the room, that's how he put it. He said when the sun was setting that room. You respect that, unlike you understand when a song walks into the room and ideas are like, creative ideas are like that when someone has one when an idea, walks into the room in your shooting. You, like, me, I know, that's like go that you know what I mean in and that can offer comes from anywhere and the enemy of good work is ego. The absolute enemy, the enemy of everything, really is but the enemy, a thousand percent, collaboration like that that the enemy is ego. It's like its get over yourself. and, as you know, better then always said to me. we started writing goodwill hunting, which is very formal thing to say for friends close as we were, but he kind of set it somewhat
really, which was he said, judge me for how good my good ideas are not for how bad my bad ideas are certainly agree with Lloyd, two great point, because you gotta get you gotta get. You know it's like winter, when you're writing jokes you're barking out all this stuff. It's like It doesn't matter that ninety percent of its not gonna, be usable and it's easy. Don't you can't be embarrassed about what you have to go through to get to the good shit, you're Amy It's a huge, but you gotta turn the fucking force it on. You know what I mean in that Imagine that can be humiliating if you'd out, if you're, writing with someone else because you're going to say some stupid, shit and you're going to end in you're going to have some bad ideas, and you can't feel bad about that. You need to get through them to cycle through them. Cuz. You never know what the other person is going to pick up with and run and and that's what riding with a partner is its back and forth. That ends like people used to ask us
hey, who really wrote what of like in the in your dialogue? I don't put condemn an impasse. Moving together like every single line, every single line we wrote together, I said something, then he said something or he said something that I said something and then and then we got in a dialogue out a bit like it's it's we, we. Neither of us could have done this alone and that's the point, if only is through the collaboration that we got here and that's what moviemaking as It's just doing that with like fifty other people yeah, but keeping ever in the same way, you know like in the same sphere so that everyone's kind of working towards the same goal, but what you'd think what you're talking about is something that I bet. I look, I'm not always grated remembering it, but it's being process Orient. As opposed to result, oriented and are like momentum going earlier, withstand up and success and failure. But knowing that, like, yes, part of the process, is that Out of these ideas won't work because you just have to use it to get the mission.
You know that you just gotta ended all working in an just recognising and that's what's so great to collaborate with you, because you have this unique chemistry, this chemical bond, that is different with each person to collaborate with the address so great to have that other person that goes. You know that you feel the safe zone of like. I trust what they're going to say and they're not gonna, be like this. Is the dumbest joke ever get the fuck out of my house, you know go well, maybe not that, but how about this and having your item? Yeah, that's another thing. I'd say too about writing with Ben. Is there We never made wasted a minute and diplomacy. We know each other so well and then, when one of us has a bad idea. The other one is not shy about just instantly shutting down and be, unlike that sucks, that's a terrible, personalizing that and you personalized it because, like the the deepen found respect that undergo.
It's our friendship is not news. Never in question right he didn't say anything to me and it really hurt my feelings, united, I also know his goal is, Inter your feelings. The goal is for both of you to write the best thing that you can write exactly exactly and to go back to what we started. I guess I think which touching on like that that ninety percent, or whatever the percentages of kind of humiliating me, bad ideas, Ben. I once wrote: we once got off on a Jaguar. Neither of us could see how bad it was and it was a dream of goodwill hunting that we wrote? we literally were so proud of it and we waited three day to read it because we really gotta get some distance man, we gotta get some distance and it was so. Can bad literally were embarrassed. I think we ve burned it. and we have raised, we were like this is the worst thing no
You can know that we wrote this. Nobody could help our families and friends had read drafts of the script. At that point, we're like this. This can't ever exist anywhere again, but like that to go back, the original point like when you have bad ideas like that, at least we had them in that apply and nobody ever saw like nobody ever saw that draft. But, like you re, gone out, and you know an odd has seen that draft of one here. What you know it's, like that's toilet, fuck em spars I'd like that? I don't know. I think I think once you gonna get past the idea that the worst thing that can happen is that people won't laugh. You know like it. I mean. Obviously, that's not the worst thing. Having someone to throw bottle at you, you know, but, but I mean like in general Tom was physically arm you because you're writing and so offensive to them. That you'd know about you. You could have a job, it so bad that someone could get up hit you in the face with a chair and stabbed with them.
her phone stand finish your set and kill. and like that would be the words not even you dying its them. It's them like just crushing killing you and then killing. It's like I'm. Not only was this guy terrible, but together Heckler was better and performed on his corpse like that all those things you know but, but once you could, I be once you're comfortable with that one but it, but it's sort of like us version therapy in a way you know, but I think you, especially with people withstand up we'll go widely. it about doing stand up. What I do we gotta get up and do it and the best advice ever it was you gotta. Do it a hundred times because you'll know after a hundred times, if your compelled to do it again, because you can have it terrible, said and hate yourself and never want to leave your apartment again, but some little thing
side. You ghost, I really want. I need to get on stage tomorrow. I just need to do it you're not compelled to do that. Then it's possible that it might not be the calling you know for you, because You know your art, you will do no matter what you'll find a way to do it, no matter. What would you say that that kind of works on the other and two? Yes, definitely definite the fact that in fact is the one thing I would say is Jai just tell people don't do it. They say what I do I say, don't do it because everyone he told me not to do it right, I didn't have in mind you I mean yeah yeah, I mean my we're happy happy, I was doing theater, but not that I was doing it professionally. Trying to training but they did. You know today that they were encouraging. There were wonderful, supportive parents, but they work me out there to do it and and everybody was like. Why are you gonna? Do that, like that? You know that business, it's terrible right, its brutal angle, yeah yeah, just here, but it was as you save the movers of compulsion
and I had to do and yet, if it it's the equivalent of meaning to get back up on state after you know, after the hundredth time. It's like. I never question This is what I wanted wanted to do and if and and if I could dissuade somebody from doing it just by saying that Then there are never gonna. Do it anyway, yeah do it. Can I ask you some pair advice, because my wife and I are in the process of trying to start a family and you ve had kids for while you're gonna, kids and the thing the reason I thought ass his cause. You just said, like all my parents, they were supportive, but then we know they were hesitant, about pursuit and its progress because they love you, they don't want you to have a bad time like no parent when actually had to go through a tough time. No one. I wanted it I wouldn't assorted interrupt, but I wouldn't please. I wouldn't want to put out and push my kids in his nobody they wanted to if they wanted to do something that you you know like eyes. I haven't think like. If
the kid whose like I want, I want to be a free climber and I'd be, like you know, like I feel I just came in, but I also know like it's not. I have to push that is to be able to know when to say like, but I got a support you because I love you, you know I want to protect you, but I got a support you at the same time. So you know as because you have a range of ages with your kids and so how how you learn to do that throughout the process of four children have, to to do dictating to to allow them. To grow in ways that might be scary because you want to protect them but knowing like, but you gotta go out and make their own mistakes you gotta. Let him go out. There are pursued the things that they want to do and not fall into that trap. Where you or maybe you shouldn't do this because it might be scary. You know yet Luckily, none of my kids are like one of them.
wings, suit flyers or anything like that. You know there there not dared they're, not they're, not risk averse pattern particularly, you know that you know, then they're not involved in anything that you know that that that that that would scared. The shit out of me remember, be impossible, jammed welcome. You know, and you know and the next and scratches and the bombs and bruises are part of life and building resilience, and I really worry about this last eighteen months. You know just because kids been separated from each other, and I know that that really, like all of their brains are developing like it's gonna have some impact impact. You know remains to be seen how much, I can't wait to get them all together and with classmates and reunited mean because because
you know they need to have those experts in their brains are individuating. It do you know it there. It I've got three adolescent work to adolescents in a teenager and then a twenty three year old and in them and was up stay out of the nest now, but I'm But if you are so much happening and you know for them that this age and you know a part of that is to say building their own lives and have their own their own. It Sciences and and a sad is that is its bits. We necessary. I loved something you said, I was on found to where you were it's like. I did not get my rules now. Nothing, my kids do think is cool. They don't think it's going on, which I think is kind of great in a way because we do work in a way. Your business and I often think about like how are we going to explain to a kid like this is weird: it's it's
yeah, but it's not real. I wouldn't take any to ever to seriously like to sort of you know like making sure that they stay grounded. You know like that always seems like a bit of a chance in this business to yeah I mean I, may I guess more than anything. I want them to see how much I love my job like. I think that was a great thing I got from my mom. She was a professor and even though she never had real money. She she wasn't working for money. She was wearing she loved her job and that that's it great thing to see as a kid You know Father by contrast, never loved his job and but made enough money, but did it to support us. And added that was the lesson we got from him, which was, if you a family, you're gonna have to do whatever you have to do to support them, and it might mean working at a job that you don't love and dumb, and so that was so, I we were kind of getting the same. My brother
one big brother and we were getting the same message from both parents, but in different ways and an you know I know I ended up, as you know, going into the fund business and he ended up as an artist and yet we both ended up doing exactly what we wanted to do in finding a way way to make a living at it, but I think it was without those were the two examples that we that we had to. I so which were great and- and I always think about that with my own kids, it in I was guph. My job can be sometime. I like that they can see how much I love it yeah, and I also, I also think one of the great things is that, because this business encourages does to focus on ourselves a lot right, I'm excited about the prospect of kids. Is you can focus on yourself? You need to put an end if you like, that's very grounding in very healthy in very good, and actually I'm I'm looking forward to yeah. I mean it. Certainly it certainly takes the lead.
And shines it away from you and in someplace else. There is some my friend my mother in college explained it as as when you you spent her whole life protecting your heart and then children, and you take your house you put it in this other little vessel and they go, into the world and an you can't and that your heart is in. You can't protect its like it to get back, but you, but you have to let them go off into the world and its It's a pretty apt description, I think. Well, I know I just got a note that you have to jump to another really quickly, but I just want to say about Stillwater that my front. I loved my wife is friends with Abbe brethren and they just they didn't get a few months ago in and the one that one hours the performances are fucking phenomena like I'm I'm from Tennessee, which is not technically,
the west, but I know that guy. I know that you are you player. You know, people are tough, is kind of funny that people like it's like you walk is different in Europe. Yeah acting it's my job, you dont, you don't show up, is Matt Damon and saved me about Damon. I'm your save my daughter from Europe, but but it is to me it was a very effortless performance and even an army was great and then the actor who played the woman, Jamaica, tanned, yet stimuli and phenomenon and the little girl place her daughter has there some of the most nuances like she's, phenomenal it's great she's, great yeah, it's like literally the first day we were shooting with her and she left, and I went up to Tom and we'd like at. We had wrapped and I sat down with them and we were like all right. So this pitching and no hitter like how do we
people in the dugout the fuck away from her like a guy, like you know, an amicus, does you don't want the? U dont want that to get corrupted like we were like? How do we keep light and find some adult leading to go. Do this. Are you should do this? Are giving line readings airplane you a letter down in these? Do as so many times it's like aunt, Becky, don't talk to her, no buccaneer Becky again. Why digest I'm helping I'm helping? put your hands on your hips. Now you're mad. You know they might go we so we we were very like analytical, like. What do we do? Ok, what's this, we know what tactics to be used to keep this as light and fun as we can for this jet lag how to keep this she's intuitively, so incredible right that we
we know all it's our job, not. The fact is that she is giving us an opening in a bottle like, let's just you know, like don't tell her. I just I have to I dont know, member. If I told the story the project for I have, but the exact thing that you're Talkin about member the older Charlie Brown cartoons. Where all the kids talked like this they all have that we'll cadenced I found out. It was because there was one producer who gave all the kids, the same line, readings threatened and, of course, we associated so closely with that cartoon. But it is that Do you like one adult, can really just with their own eye on us to legislate, we're one be you know just on everyone be that's it that's the thing keeping that that window is wide open for ideas. You don't. I only get good once right so that directly you're like the arbiter of taste right. You have made the best of the best rex, vague definition of
erecting I ever heard was Steven Spielberg said it's like it's making a mile and a half mosaic from an end a block in a half mosaic from an ancient half away. Oh wow, like a joke, and mural of like these tiny little pieces, but being right, up against it, and so the director Hasta has to keep the image of the whole thing. to know which color their pudding in, like we Reno, add at every little inch of the thing. So so, when those ideas come in, you know that the one where the kid talks like this is bad and it's like go back to the producer, stand near an energy vampire and you need to stay. five away from my actors. They keep the wind but but also keep the backdoor up, and so some of those ideas can just blow on trees right through our yeah. It's just. I will just get moving an idea. I can't thank you enough for your time, as has been said,
wonderful conversation yeah, I had a ball man. Thank you. I really appreciate it and the movie was fantastic and I hope you have a pleasant rest of your day. Honestly, I hope you're not doing ninety six of these. no, no, no, I got one more and then and then and then I'm done it's a pretty. It's like they comment thanks. So much I see you by eight Andy's, incomplete Vito.
Transcript generated on 2021-08-01.