mattdamon_250I can barely remember most of the people I knew in elementary school, and I’m certainly not closely involved with any of them. Not true for Matt Damon however … he first met Ben Affleck as a child and they’ve continued to collaborate through the years. Matt Damon has had a busy and well-rounded career, despite not having yet reached the age of forty, so he still has many hears of movies ahead of him.

His first role onscreen was just one line (his sole line in the film being, “Mom, do you want my green stuff?” while eating lobster), but it happened to come in one of my favorite movies of all time so I mention it here. Mystic Pizza was a small film, which most notably brought Julia Roberts to the attention of moviegoers for the first time; Matt played the kid brother of her love interest.

He of course moved on to bigger and even better things, with his breakthrough role coming in Good Will Hunting, a movie that he and Ben Affleck wrote together and which won them an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay. It’s an interesting film, notable not only for Damon’s performance but for Robin Williams’ uncharacteristically restrained portrayal of a therapist who becomes close with Damon’s character.

the_informant_250Along with Ben Affleck, Matt Damon helped to create Project Greenlight, one of the earliest and most interesting reality shows to focus on the business of movie making. Although the show never spawned a really huge success it was critically well received and continued to establish both Damon and Affleck as serious Hollywood players, not simply on-camera talent.

He has been very savvy in his choice of movie roles throughout his career. By his involvement in two major movie franchises — Ocean’s 11 and its two sequels in which he co-starred with several other Hollywood heavies, and The Bourne Identity series of action movies in which he starred as CIA-connected assassin Jason Bourne — he has had the financial and artistic freedom to experiment with other roles. These have included roles in Terry Gilliam’s The Brothers Grimm; Syriana, Coppola’s Youth Without Youth, and the as yet unreleased Margaret.

Matt Damon was comparatively low-profile during 2008, but his schedule for 2009 looks ready to return him to screens all over America. Margaret is rumored to be ready for release at last, while both The Informant and Green Zone are also scheduled for release in 2009. The biggest news is that a fourth movie in the Bourne series will begin filming this summer, while the Clint Eastwood directed Nelson Mandela bio-pic The Human Factor, in which Matt plays rugby team captain Francois Pienaar, is also scheduled to shoot in 2009.