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Matt Damon Talks Bourne, Gilroy’s Career-Ender and Hurt Feelings

Matt Damon Talks Bourne, Gilroy's Career-Ender and Hurt Feelings

GQ’s Amy Wallace went to the zoo with Matt Damon. But they don’t talk much about Cameron Crowe’s “We Bought a Zoo.”  Instead they dig into the “Bourne” franchise, as Damon explains the script play-by-play on the three installments, “The Bourne Identity,” “The Bourne Supremacy,” and “The Bourne Ultimatum.” The winner of an original screenplay Oscar (with Ben Affleck) for “Good Will Hunting” complains that Tony Gilroy, who wrote all three, took “an exorbitant amount of money” to write one draft of the third film (with no notes or rewrites). Damon’s opinion of that draft: “It’s just that it was unreadable. This is a career-ender. I mean, I could put this thing up on eBay and it would be game over for that dude. It’s terrible. It’s really embarrassing. He was having a go, basically, and he took his money and left.”

Not to worry, Damon offered this apology before GQ went to print: “My feelings were hurt. That’s all. And that’s exactly why I shouldn’t have said anything. This is between me and him. So saying anything publicly is fucking stupid and unprofessional and just kind of douchey of me.” Not that he’s that worried. Steven Soderbergh (who directed Damon in several films, including this year’s “Contagion”) tells GQ the actor is “probably the least vain person in his position out there. He has no interest in protecting any sort of idea of himself as an actor.”

The context is that Gilroy went on to write and direct the fourth “The Bourne Legacy” after Paul Greengrass left the franchise, and Damon with him. Gilroy and Jeremy Renner are forging ahead with #4, which has nothing to do with Damon, who does hope to return to the character at some point.

À la his “hetero lifemate” Affleck, Damon will soon transition into directing, with a script he wrote with John Krasinski. Here are details.

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