Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Bourne to Be on Big Screen; Cinema

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Bourne to Be on Big Screen; Cinema

Article excerpt

MATT Damon no longer has illusions about making it in Hollywood. Critical success is all very well, but it's setting those box office tills ringing that matters.

The 37-year-old star of The Bourne Ultimatum owes his A-list inclusion to a trilogy of spy dramas about an amnesiac agent determined to find out who he really is and who made him into a killer.

It was The Bourne Identity in 2002, and follow-up The Bourne Supremacy in 2004, which hoisted the fresh-faced actor into the 20 million-a-role club. The box office success of these popcorn hits has allowed him to do more risky and intelligent projects like Syriana, The Departed and The Good Shepherd.

"The Bourne movies gave me the creative freedom to make all those other films that I'm so proud of," says Matt, who won a writing Oscar with friend Ben Affleck for their film Good Will Hunting in 1997.

"I loved all three of those movies and they were ones I desperately wanted to do," he says.

"Other than Good Will Hunting, which pulled Ben and me out of obscurity, the Jason Bourne role has had the biggest impact on my career."

His first outing as Bourne opened the doors of Hollywood.

"That was when the rose-tinted lenses came off," admits Matt.

"Okay, I get it. If you're in a hit you have a career. If you're not the studios might think you're a nice guy, but they're not going to hang a movie on you."

Hyper-efficient killing machine Jason Bourne most definitely hangs around the neck of this Massachusetts native.

In The Bourne Ultimatum he's once again on the run as the spy agency who created him try to bump him off. His mission is to get back to the beginning to find out who he was.

Directed by British documentary film-maker Paul Greengrass, this third rollercoaster may not be the last, but Matt says there would have to be a new storyline.

"The story of this guy's search for his identity is over," says Matt.

In fact, during the Cannes Film Festival and nine months into shooting the film, he declared he wouldn't do it again. "So much of what makes him interesting is that internal struggle that was happening to him. All that internal propulsion that drives the character is no longer there."

In the meantime, Matt is happy to be over the hectic pace. This last one included an elaborate sniper scene in London's Waterloo Station and a car chase on Manhattan's 7th Ave, not to mention a rooftop pursuit in Morocco. Fight scenes were often choreographed on the spot, Matt reveals.

"It's not an advisable way to make a movie, but there's something about the chaos and this alchemy. Then you bring the actors into it. All the Bourne movies have gone down to the 11th hour."

Now a devoted father, Matt says he felt his age on this last film. …

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