THE BOURNE IDENTITY
MATT DAMON won an Academy Award in 1998 for Best Original Screenplay
with longtime 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 this 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 sound-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-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 heart 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 associated
produced and longtime friend Chris Moore to form Pearl Street Productions.
Damon, Affleck and Moore recently executive producer 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,
Gerry, which re-teams Damon with Gus Van Sant, will be released in the
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