Played by Matt Damon
Matt Damon’s varied and rich career has seen him in front of the camera as well as behind.
Though far from an overnight success, Matt catapulted into the public eye in 1997 with his first Academy Award nomination and win for co-writing Good Will Hunting with his lifelong friend Ben Affleck. The script also earned the pair a Golden Globe nomination as well as several critics’ group nominations, and earned Matt Academy Award, Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild nominations for Best Actor.
More recognition followed as Damon earned his third Golden Globe nomination for his performance in 1999’s The Talented Mr. Ripley, under the direction of Anthony Minghella, and in 2009 received Academy Award, Screen Actors Guild and Critics’ Choice Award nominations for Best Supporting Actor, for his portrayal of South African rugby hero Francois Pienaar in Clint Eastwood’s true-life drama Invictus. Additionally, in the same year, he garnered a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor for his starring role in Steven Soderbergh’s The Informant. The connection with Soderbergh proved to be a successful one as he and Matt collaborated again for seven films over his career, including the heist blockbusters, Ocean’s Eleven, Ocean’s Twelve and Ocean’s Thirteen, and the 2013 HBO film, Behind the Candelabra, where Matt played opposite Michael Douglas, and earned Emmy, Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild and BAFTA nominations for Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries.
Hailing from Boston, Damon attended Harvard University and gained his first acting experience with the American Repertory Theatre. He made his feature film debut in Mystic Pizza, followed by roles in School Ties, Walter Hill’s Geronimo: An American Legend, the cable project Rising Son and Tommy Lee Jones’ The Good Old Boys. However it was Damon’s portrayal of a guilt-ridden Gulf War veteran, tormented by memories of a battlefield incident, in 1996’s Courage Under Fire, that first put him on the radar of both critics and audiences alike.
The following year, Damon played the title role in Steven Spielberg’s award-winning World War II drama, Saving Private Ryan, starred in John Dahl’s drama Rounders, with Edward Norton, and reunited with Ben Affleck and director Kevin Smith to star in the controversial comedy Dogma.
Damon reteamed with Ben Affleck again in 2000, to form the production company LivePlanet, to produce film, television and new media projects. LivePlanet produced the documentary Running the Sahara, directed by Oscar-winner James Moll, as well as three seasons of the Emmy-nominated series Project Greenlight, chronicling the making of independent films by first-time writers and directors, and spawning three features: Stolen Summer, The Battle of Shaker Heights and Feast.
Working with Jennifer Todd, President of Pearl Street Productions, the company has a first look deal with Warner Bros. For the small screen, Damon both executive produced and appeared in the History Channel project The People Speak, based on a book co-written by famed historian Howard Zinn and featuring dramatic readings and performances from some of the most famous names in the entertainment industry.
In addition, Damon co-founded H20 Africa in 2006, now known as Water.org, a foundation that brings clean water and sanitation to countries around the world that suffer without those simple needs.