Matt Damon Skypes Harvard for Q&A On The Monuments Men

Damon sat in with ‘The Monuments Men’ author Robert M. Edsel—and gave up some scoop on director George Clooney.

Matt Damon 'Monuments Men'

Photo By Bryanna Cappadona

As if we could ever get enough of Matt Damon and his ever-changing hairstyles.

Damon called in via Skype on Monday night to a forum held at Harvard’s Institute of Politics to discuss his new movie, The Monuments Men. The film—premiering this week and starring Damon, George Clooney, Bill Murray, and John Goodman—follows a World War II squad’s task to rescue art masterpieces from Nazi thieves, and is based on the book written by Robert M. Edsel.

While Damon Skyped in from “an undisclosed location” (New York City), Edsel also partook in the Q&A at Harvard in-person with architectural historian Lucia Allais and moderator Diane McWhorter. The entire segment was live-broadcast on the Institute of Politic’s website so students watching from home could tweet questions using the hashtag #MonumentsMen.

Of course, Harvard students had heavy-hearted questions for the panel; one in particular was along the lines of: What advice do you have today for the United States and other countries in terms of places we are currently are occupying, like Afghanistan, which is having major issues with cultural preservation? Quite a lengthy and back-bending question even for architectural wartime expert Edsel—but, really, this is a Q&A with Matt Damon. He’s wicked smaht and everything, but it’s not like Mass Gen is calling up Dr. McDreamy for a statement when they have a surgical breakthrough, if you know what I mean.

But Damon did let us in on some secrets from the set. The cast was shooting on-location in Europe last year, during a time that Damon says “was one of the worst springs—and I use that term loosely—in Berlin in almost 150 years.” So George Clooney, who also directed the film, gave Damon just one small piece of direction on the coldest night of the year. Damon had this to say:

“There was one night it was so cold—I was supposed to be walking down the street with short sleeves and carrying a grocery bag. And my only direction from George was to not exhale. Because we can see your breath. So all the German extras walking behind were also told, under no circumstances are you to exhale. So we all held our breath for 30 seconds pretending it was warm out.”

Ah, the struggles of being an actor.

The Monuments Men premieres in theaters Friday February 7, 2014.

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