THE BOURNE IDENTITY - Biography of Matt Damon
Matt Damon (Jason Bourne) won an Academy Award® in 1998 for Best Original Screenplay with long-time friend Ben Affleck for the critically-acclaimed drama GOOD WILL HUNTING, a coming-of-age story about a young mathematical genius from a tough background who can't live up to his potential. Damon also earned an Academy Award® nomination for Best Actor for his work in the title role. In addition, he and Affleck received a Golden Globe Award for their screenplay, and Damon earned a Golden Globe nomination for his performance.
The film, directed by Gus Van Sant, received seven additional Oscar® nominations, including Best Picture and a win for Robin Williams for Best Supporting Actor.
One of Hollywood's most sought-after talents, Damon received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor for his portrayal of an opportunistic young man hired to coax a rich young American playboy back home from Italy in Anthony Minghella's THE TALENTED MR. RIPLEY. The film also starred Gwyneth Paltrow and Jude Law.
Damon starred with Will Smith in THE LEGEND OF BAGGER VANCE, directed by Robert Redford; and in ALL THE PRETTY HORSES for producer Mike Nichols and director Billy Bob Thornton. The film, which also starred Henry Thomas and Penelope Cruz, is based on the Cormac McCarthy novel.
Damon and Affleck starred as a pair of outcast angels in director Kevin Smith's DOGMA. In 1998, Damon starred in the title role of the World War II drama SAVING PRIVATE RYAN for Academy Award®s-winning director Steven Spielberg, and in John Dahl's ROUNDERS. In 1997, Damon made a cameo appearance in Kevin Smith's CHASING AMY and also starred as an idealistic young attorney in Francis Ford Coppola's THE RAINMAKER, based on the best-selling novel by John Grisham.
Damon first gained the public's attention in 1996 with a vivid performance in Edward Zwick's COURAGE UNDER FIRE, playing a guilt-ridden Persian Gulf War soldier tormented by an incident that occurred in the heat of battle. The versatile young actor made his feature film debut in 1988 with a small role in MYSTIC PIZZA, then starred opposite Brian Dennehy in the 1990 TNT movie RISING SON, and gained further notice on the big screen in 1992 as a fascist preppy in SCHOOL TIES.
For director Walter Hill, Damon handled a sizeable supporting role as the green second lieutenant new to the West who narrates GERONIMO: AN AMERICAN LEGEND (1993). In 1995, he appeared in THE GOOD OLD BOYS, directed by Tommy Lee Jones for TNT.
In 1998, Damon and Affleck partnered with GOOD WILL HUNTING associate producer and longtime friend Chris Moore to form Pearl Street Productions.
Damon, Affleck and Moore recently executive produced STOLEN SUMMER, a feature film spawned by their effort to support new talent through the Project Greenlight competition. The first Greenlight contest began in September 2000 with American citizens 18 years or older invited to submit original screenplays electronically to www.projectgreenlight.com. The winner, former insurance salesman Pete Jones, got to direct his film, STOLEN SUMMER, and received a million dollar production budget. The 13-week Project Greenlight series on HBO documented the making of that film.
Damon attended Harvard University, and gained his earliest acting experience at the American Repertory Theatre as well as other Boston-based theatre venues. He is currently starring in the London production of Kenneth Lonergan's play, THIS IS OUR YOUTH, along with Casey Affleck, his co-star in the feature film GERRY which re-teams Damon with Gus Van Sant and will be released in the fall.