Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

Damon Realises Dream Alongside Clint and Morgan

Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

Damon Realises Dream Alongside Clint and Morgan

Article excerpt

MATT Damon's dream of working with director Clint Eastwood came true in his new flim Invictus, which hits the Rockhampton cinema today.

Invictus tells the inspiring true story of how Nelson Mandela (Morgan Freeman) joined forces with the captain of South Africa's rugby team (Damon) to help unite their country. Believing he can bring his people together through the universal language of sport, Mandela rallies South Africa's underdog rugby team as they make an unlikely run to the 1995 World Cup Championship match.

Damon talked to Roadshow about the film in a Q and A:

Q: What was your first conversation like with Clint Eastwood?

MD: Alan Horn, the head of Warner Bros called me and said, 'I have found something for you with Clint,' because he knew I was a big fan.

So, he sent me the script and I read it and thought it was just incredible. Q: What did you ask him?

MD: He said, "Well, this part needs to have a little more to it." We talked of how great we both thought the script was. And it's very rare to get a great script right away in Hollywood. It was a very emotional experience reading the script -wonderful story, uplifting. It really moved me.

I was just puzzled. It is just a great script and he said, "Yes, it is." We were kind of marvelling. He said, "Well, I think your part should be a little bigger." And I said, "I'd be careful with that. I wouldn't really change anything with this. I think it's pretty perfect."

Q: What was the next step in your preparation to play Francois Pienaar?

MD: I looked at him first online, and when I spoke to Clint, I said, "This guy is huge! He is a big guy. How are we going to do that? I am 5'10" and Francois is 6'3" and his position on the rugby field is determined obviously by his size. If I am going to play this position - the equivalent of an American football linebacker - we have to be very careful. And Clint said, "Don't worry about that. We can do it very easily." So I said I'd worry about everything else.

The way they talk in South Africa is very different, so I started reading books, and worked with my dialogue coach, Tim (Monik), whom I have worked with for many years. …

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