Matt Damon

Pencil Portrait by Antonio Bosano.

Matt Damon Pencil Portrait
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Last update: 18/02/18

Alongside a litany of diverse screen roles, Matt Damon is perhaps best known for his starring roles as Jason Bourne in the Bourne franchise (2002–16) and as a con man in the Ocean’s Trilogy (2001–07).

The actor has a wife, Luciana, whom he met while filming in Miami in 2003 when she was working behind a bar, and the couple have four daughters ranging in age from four to 16 – Alexia, from Luciana’s previous relationship, Isabella, Gia and Stella. Damon is a self-confessed family man. He has a rule that they will never be apart for more than two weeks while he’s filming. His daily life is so average, even the paparazzi have decamped from outside his home in Los Angeles because he never does anything that merits a photograph.

Interviewed in 2008, he was moved to say: “I think you’re a better actor the less people know about you period. And sexuality is a huge part of that. Whether you’re straight or gay, people shouldn’t know anything about your sexuality because that’s one of the mysteries that you should be able to play.”

One immensely bankable, and evidently intelligent movie star.

Recommended viewing

Good Will Hunting (1998)

The Bourne Identity (2002)

The Departed (2006)

Invictus (2009)

The Martian (2015)

During a manned mission to Mars, Astronaut Mark Watney is presumed dead after a fierce storm and left behind by his crew. But Watney has survived and finds himself stranded and alone on the hostile planet. With only meagre supplies, he must draw upon his ingenuity, wit and spirit to subsist and find a way to signal to Earth that he is alive.

The early dust storm scene gets proceedings off to an invigorating start despite the implausibility of such an event – “…standing on Mars, a 100 mph wind would feel like someone was throwing a bag of feathers at you,” Jim Bell, a scientist who works with NASA’s Mars rovers, told Forbes magazine. Adding further grist to our academic mill, Jim Greene, NASA’s planetary science director, would tell The New York Times that apparently, such storms routinely sweep across the planet, and the atmospheric pressure of Mars, being only about 1% of the Earth’s, would ensure the air on Mars was simply too thin for the wind to carry much force or do any damage.

Do yourself a favour and ignore such technicalities. The Martian isn’t a visual effects thrill ride. It also isn’t a science fiction film. It’s not filled with Star Trek gooblede gooke, Interstellar homesickness, or Gravity’s existentialism. It is, however, a Cast Away style tale of survival, with Damon’s character Watney using his immense knowledge of science and sheer ingenuity to overcome obstacles to his survival and stave off the intense loneliness of life on the barren planet. One of the most entertaining films of the year thanks in no small part to word of mouth; “The Martian” would gross $630.2 million against its budget of $108 million.

You’ll come to genuinely care about Damon’s character and his fight for survival. I know I did.

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