Cambridge celebs: How that fracking Matt Damon would do porn

The best recent piece looking at Cambridge celebrities Ben Affleck and Matt Damon is the oral history of “Good Will Hunting” put together by Boston magazine’s Janelle Nanos. Aside from that and attention Damon is getting for his “Promised Land” film, there’s not much going on.

Casey Affleck: Nanos had a hard time getting the younger Affleck to contribute to her oral history of “Good Will Hunting.” But he finally came through … kind of. Check out what it’s like to interview Casey Affleck here.

Matt Damon: Rapper Lil’ Jon? Sure. Burlesque star Dita von Teese? Makes sense. But even though there’s been some explicit yet high-minded cinema lately (“Short Bus” and “9 Songs,” for instance) Damon’s probably among the last people you expect to see in a listicle at Girls Talkin Smack with the headline “5 Stars Who’ve Said They Want to Make a Porn Movie.” The way he explains it, though, it sounds like there’s virtue in Damon porn:

A porn movie has got really bad writing, really bad acting and really thinly drawn characters.They have a really shitty scene where they talk and say, “Hey, I’m the milkman” and you know what is going to happen. And then you get the action, and you don’t really feel anything for the action. And then you get another really stupid scene with, “Hey, I’m the milkman.” What I want to do is make a character-driven porn movie. It’s all going to be about the character and the porn’s going to grow out of the characters and serve as character development.

(The truth is, the context is clearly that Damon is using porn as a metaphor for action movies, since his Bourne movies are considered well-done, adult examples of an often cringeworthy genre. He even says at the start of the above quote that “My theory on action movies is that they’re like porn movies,” which really puts his comments in a different light. At least one other celebrity’s quote in the listicle seems similarly out of context.)

At least we know Damon wouldn’t do a porn film he thought was below his standards. When Damon and Ben Affleck weren’t writing scripts or going on casting calls, they were reading Marvel comics such as “Daredevil,” but when Damon was offered the chance to play that superhero, he turned it down, StarPulse says, leaving the way open for Affleck to take the role and meet future wife Jennifer Garner. “I was like, ‘Dude, why are you doing this movie?’” Damon is quoted as saying. “Ben, being the perennial optimist, explained the eight things that needed to happen to fix the script, and he was, of course, right. But he wasn’t the director.”

The media are still mining Damon’s Playboy interview for items, with the latest tidbit making a splash being the revelation that performing an underwater scene in “The Bourne Supremacy” in 2004 really bothered him. The panic in his eyes in that scene is real, he says, and it bothered him after the day of filming ended. “That night I woke up probably four times gasping for breath, thinking I was drowning. It was terrible,” he says.

Damon underlines his general cynicism about politics in an interview with USA Today and says he will never run for office. “I look at that world and I don’t think I’m cut out for it,” he says. “I don’t think I’d enjoy it.”

Remember “We Bought a Zoo,” Damon’s 2011 film inspired by the British family that bought a 30-acre zoo in Devon, England? The U.K.’s Plymouth Herald has a story catching up with how the movie helped keep the business solvent, including more than doubling attendance. While owner Ben Mee must be delighted by that, he also faces the burden of disappointing people daily. “A lot of the children clearly expect Matt Damon to be running the zoo, and their faces fall when I show up,” Mee says.

Presented without comment: A guy named Matthew E. Kahn offers an economic analysis of the anti-fracking “Promised Land” at a site called samefacts.com – after the Daniel Patrick Moynihan line that “Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts” – which he starts with the disclaimer “I admit that I haven’t seen [the movie], but that won’t slow me down … An ‘intellectual’ can write a review without having read the book or seen the movie.  While I am not an intellectual, I have read this review of Matt Damon’s ‘Promised Land’ and I have a few thoughts to share.”

Presented with a little bit of comment: Documentary filmmaker Phelim McAleer, who fell short on a previous attempt to shame Damon over “Promised Land,” shows Politico that, if nothing else, he can hold contradictory views and express them with equal passion. “I don’t want to call Matt Damon a liar, but he’s a liar, really,” McAleer says, before explaining how the movie “isn’t that bad … It’s actually witty in places, something I thought I’d never say. There’s a bit of sex, a bit of drinking, a bit of fighting” yet is also “classic propaganda. It’s political from the beginning to the very end.” Could this movie be worth seeing just to find out how a sex scene can be political?

John Malkovich: Since 2011 Malkovich has toured the world with “The Giacomo Variations,” in which he plays Giacomo Casanova reminiscing – via three opera-style flashbacks – about his life as a legendary lover. Now ScreenDaily says the “chamber opera play” by Michael Sturminger and conductor Martin Haselböck will be filmed. (Sturminger and Malkovich also teamed up for “The Infernal Comedy,” in which the actor is a singing serial killer.)

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