50 interesting facts about Matt Damon

Matt Damon is an American actor and Academy Award-winning screenwriter for his work on Good Will Hunting. He's also known for playing Jason Bourne in the hit film series of the same name.

  1. His full name is Matthew Paige Damon and he was born on October 8, 1970, in Boston, Massachusetts.

  2. He shares a birthday with Born Sigourney Weaver, Kristanna Loken and Nick Cannon.

  3. His parents divorced when he was two and he spent part of his childhood in a commune in Boston with his mother, a specialist in child education.

  4. He is of Scottish, Finnish and English descent.

  5. He first began acting began acting at the age of 10 while attending Rindge & Latin prep school alongside his neighborhood friend Ben Affleck.

  6. Matt used to play Dungeons & Dragons, video baseball, and short-stop in Little League, also watching Godzilla and Kung Fu double features on Saturdays and following the adventures of "The Super Friends" and "The X-Men" with Ben Affleck when they were kids.

  7. Damon appeared in a PBS mini-series called The Voyage of the Mimi alongside Ben Affleck. The 13-episode educational program follows the crew of the Mimi exploring the ocean.

  8. One of his first movie roles was a one-line part in Mystic Pizza (1988) starring Julia Roberts. Later, he starred with Roberts in Ocean's Eleven (2001).

  9. Damon dropped out of Harvard 12 credits short of graduating to pursue his acting career. He was studying English.

  10. He used to breakdance in the middle of Harvard Square for money as a teenager.

  11. He was an extra with friend Ben Affleck in Field of Dreams in 1989.

  12. Damon auditioned for a role in To Die For (1995), Joaquin Phoenix later got that role.

  13. While trying to find gigs in the acting world, he lived with Ben Affleck and his brother Casey. Damon and Ben decided to write their own script which one of their best decisions! They wrote Good Will Hunting and Castlerock later bought.

  14. Affleck's father was at one time a janitor at Harvard University, the inspiration for Will Hunting's job at MIT in Good Will Hunting.

  15. Unfortunately, Castlerock did not want to give them the control they wanted over the movie. Thanks to their friend, Kevin Smith, he sold the script to Miramax and gave them the control they wanted.

  16. Sold the script of "Good Will Hunting" along with Ben to Miramax for $500,000 after trying to offer it to Castle Rock for $600,000.

  17. The film was nominated for 9 Academy Awards and won two, including Best Original Screenplay for Ben and Matt.

  18. He was chosen by People Magazine as one of the 50 most beautiful people in the world in 1998.

  19. In 1998, he formed Pearl Street Productions with Ben Affleck and Chris Moore.

  20. Damon dated his "Hunting" co-star Minnie Driver for about a year. The relationship ended in a very public and cringe-worthy way when Damon denied having a girlfriend during an interview on the Oprah Winfrey Show. This was just before the Oscars and that is how she found out they had broken up. Ouch!

  21. He dated Winona Ryder from December 1997 to May 2000.

  22. Many speculated that Matt and Penelope Cruz began dating after co-starring in the western flick All the Pretty Horses, but the two neither confirmed nor denied the rumors. When questioned by Oprah Winfrey on her show, however, the rumors didn't seem so far fetch when Cruz expressed, "Matt's a very special man, he's funny and he's one of the most generous people I've met in my life. He has no defects."

  23. A few years later, Damon landed his breakout role in "Courage Under Fire," opposite Denzel Washington, in which he played a war veteran and heroin addict. He shed 40 pounds for his role.

  24. Originally, Tom Hanks didn't want Damon to play Private James Ryan in "Saving Private Ryan" because he thought he was too skinny. Obviously, Hanks changed his mind.

  25. Damon and Affleck partnered again and founded the production company LivePlanet. The duo produced the documentary series, Project Greenlight, which gave aspiring screenwriters the opportunity to produce their creative visions. The show earned three Emmy nominations for an Outstanding Reality Program.

  26. Between 2001 and 2003, he secretly dated Odessa Whitmire (personal assistant to Billy Bob Thornton and later Ben Affleck) for two years. The only time the two were seen hand-in-hand was at the international premieres for The Bourne Identity.

  27. He learned to play piano for the film "The Talented Mr. Ripley".

  28. Matt shed 30 pounds for his role in the film "The Talented Mr. Ripley".

  29. Matt met his wife, Luciana Barroso, while he was filming Stuck on You (2003) in Florida.

  30. He used to smoke but quit after undergoing hypnotherapy.

  31. To perfect a Southern accent for his role in "The Rainmaker," Damon worked as a bartender in Tennessee and even hired a customer to be his "dialect coach."

  32. He married Luciana Barroso in the New York City Hall on December 9, 2005.

  33. Helped launching H2OAfrica, a nonprofit organization dedicated to publicize the water crisis in Africa and to raise funds to develop clean, sustainable sources of water (Oct 2006).

  34. Damon actually appeared in "The Sum of All Fears" (2002) as a cameo, but his part as a waiter was later cut from the final editing.

  35. Matt started a bowling league in Berlin while making The Bourne Supremacy (2004).

  36. He is listed as one of the Top 5 of the Best Autographers in Hollywood by Autograph Collector's 14th annual survey held in May 2006.

  37. Damon turned down the part of Bobby Mercer in "Four Brothers", as he found the script to be "ultra-violent". The part eventually went to Mark Wahlberg.

  38. He received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on July 26, 2007.

  39. He starred in HBO's "Behind the Candleabra," in which he played Liberace's (Michael Douglas) lover and it was his first non-fiction role.

  40. Crowned as People's "Sexiest Man Alive" in 2007, thus making him the 22nd recipient of the magazine's sexy title.

  41. Damon is a fan of the Boston Red Sox. After the team won the 2007 World Series, he narrated the commemorative DVD release of the event.

  42. He gave Ben Affleck and his wife, Jennifer Garner, a check of an unspecified amount as the wedding gift which also turned out to be the payment for Ben of losing to the bet on who would get married first.

  43. Dropped his role in Darren Aronofsky's "The Fighter" (2009), which originally would reunite him with Mark Wahlberg.

  44. Affleck is among the artists who opposed the invasion of Iraq.

  45. Both he and best friend, Ben Affleck, spent Father's Day 2007 with their wives and children together on vacation in Hawaii.

  46. Damon and Jake Gyllenhaal were the studio's first choice for the role of Jake Sully in "Avatar", but director James Cameron chose the (back then) more unknown Sam Worthington in the lead role instead.

  47. He has three daughters with his wife Luciana Barros; Isabella, Gia and Stella.

  48. Damon signed a multi-year deal to be the voice of TD Ameritrade advertisements, replacing Sam Waterston as the discount brokerage's spokesman in 2012. Damon donates all fees from the advertisements to charity.

  49. He has a friendly on-going feud with Jimmy Kimmel. Kimmel says the joke began after a particularly awful show with awful guests, so he decided to make light of the situation and act as if Damon had been bumped for said guests, which is just hilarious. Damon got his "revenge" earlier this year when he held Kimmel hostage and took over his show for a night.

  50. He has starred in 6 movies where the title contains some part of his character's name in that movie: Good Will Hunting (1997), Saving Private Ryan (1998), The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999), Gerry (2002), Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron (2002), and The Bourne Identity (2002). Two more movies in this style - The Bourne Supremacy (2004) and The Brothers Grimm (2005).

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