Matt Damon Talks Ben Affleck, Team America in Reddit AMA
Matt Damon took part in an ask me anything session with Reddit users on Tuesday night to promote the release of Jason Bourne.
The actor fielded a wide range of questions from fans, covering everything from the usual Ben Affleck inquiries to more random topics like his thoughts about whether hot dogs should be considered sandwiches. Damon also got pretty candid at times, revealing his true feelings over his portrayal in Team America: World Police as well as a few personal stories.
Here are a few highlights from last night’s Reddit AMA.
He settled the debate over whether hot dogs should be considered sandwiches.
I’ve never considered a hot dog a sandwich because a hot dog is a hot dog. I mean technically it comes between 2 pieces of bread or one fold it into two, so I guess you can classify it as a sandwich. Then what would you call it, a hot dog sandwich? That’s like a hat on a hat so let’s just keep it as a hot dog.
His favorite show growing up was Chips.
I loved Erik Estrada, Ponch and John, you know. I used to get on my bike, and my mother actually sewed blue lines down a pair of chinos that I had so that I could have the tan pants with the blue lines that the California highway patrol, and get on my Huffy and ride around the neighborhood.
Team America “bewildered” him.
I was always kind of bewildered by Team America, I think because it’s hard for us to understand what our images are in public, I think we’re not good judges of that, and when I saw myself on screen just only able to say my own name and not really that well, I kind of wondered “Wow, is that how people perceive me?” At that point I just kind of was like, I’m a screenwriter and an actor, and like really? I can barely say my own name? So I was always bewildered by that, and I never talked to Trey and Matt about that. And Incidentally, I believe those two are geniuses, and I don’t use that word lightly. I think they are absolute geniuses, and what they’ve done is awesome and I’m a big fan of theirs, but I never quite understood that one. But I will say this. Those of us who were parodied in that video were parodied because we were against the Iraq war, and we went on the record against that War, and so history is on my side not theirs.
The best advice he ever received was from his high school teacher.
My high school acting teacher Gerry Speca had a huge influence on me and Ben and Casey. Five words he said “Just do your work, kid.” and he repeated that so many times to me “Just do your work, kid.” and that is kind of what I can always retreat to. That’s my touchstone if, when in doubt, just focus on my work. If everything on the movie is going wrong, alright, I’ll make sure that my work is tight and go from there. And that’s a great place to base from, and that’s a good foundation.
This is why he was in EuroTrip.
So EuroTrip was written by three guys I went to college with, Alec Shaffer, Jeff Berg, and Dave Mandell. And the three of them are three of the best comedy writers in the world. In fact, Alec and Jeff when we moved out to L.A., we had this running joke where we had one bottle of champagne that I think they sent to us when we sold Good Will Hunting, or no, we sent it to them first because they had been hired on Seinfeld, so we would pass this bottle back and forth, we never opened it, but it was just to congratulate each other at these milestone moments in our careers. So we kind of came up together. I was in Prague shooting The Brothers Grimm, we were in rehearsals, and I had a wig in that movie, and so Alec and Dave and Jeff were making EuroTrip and they said “Will you come play this, you know, Howard Rollins kind of insane, bad version of a suburban, you know, punk band guy?” And I said “Yea, I’m in Prague”. So I showed up and I’m sitting there, and I’m like “I’m wearing a wig, just shave my head, let’s just go for it.” and we did it, and put a bunch of piercings all over. And “Scotty Doesn’t Know”, the song, was actually written by one of my college roommates brothers, and in the band, one of my college roommates is actually in that back up band, Jason, is playing guitar in that group. So it was kind of a family affair.
His ideal taco sounds delicious.
The ingredients of my ideal taco, oh my god. Fantastic question. My ideal taco is actually the taco I’m not supposed to have which is the taco we have on taco night at my house. It’s the crunchy corn shell with the good meat, just ground beef in there. It’s all about the layering. The meats gotta be hot, and the cheese goes on first so that it melts. And then you’re gonna get in there with a little bit of tomato and lettuce but not too much cause it’s not a salad, it’s a taco, and then you’re gonna throw some avocado on top and some sour cream and then a bunch of cholula. I don’t know if you know what cholula hot sauce is but it’s the best. Throw a bunch of cholula on there, maybe squeeze some lime on top, and go to town.
He answered the obligatory Good Will Hunting and Ben Affleck questions.
Good Will Hunting obviously is the most influential movie in my life, and in Ben’s life, and bringing it to the screen kind of dominated our 20s. It took 5 years to get it from the time we started to the time it came out, it took 5 years. So I would love to write another script with Ben; I love Ben, I love his work, he’s been my buddy for 35 years. The big issue is time for us. We have a company together so we work on a lot of projects together, but to try to carve out the time is really tough. I mean we both have a whole mess of kids now, and these other days jobs. He’s directing all the time and I’m off working with these other directors. The thing about Good Will Hunting is that we were unemployed and we weren’t writing the script on a deadline either. Nobody was expecting it, so we were just these two idiots in our basement writing this thing, and now we have all of these pressures of the lives grownups have.