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Casting The Action-Thriller
Not long after they wrapped principal photography on their second collaboration, Matt Damon agreed to a third project with the man who directed him in The Bourne Supremacy and The Bourne Ultimatum. "Working with Paul is an invigorating process because he insists on capturing something real for the camera,” commends Damon. "It's no surprise when you look at his other work. Not a moment of Bloody Sunday is contrived or promotes a personal agenda. United 93 practically vibrates with tension as its characters recognize the truth of their situation. Paul wants the audience to feel that truth and tension along with the characters.”

The opportunity to partner again with his longtime friend wasn't Damon's only motivation in signing on to Green Zone. He explains: "Besides working with Paul, who I admire and whose movies I really like, the big thing for me was the chance to work with a bunch of veterans who had just come back from Iraq and Afghanistan. They were the ones who really made our cast. They helped create an environment that felt very authentic. To be around people who are alert and who have been in those situations before is invaluable as an actor.”

As Chief Warrant Officer Roy Miller, Damon portrays a career soldier who served in the 1990 Gulf War and is now doing duty in a very different Iraq. He returns to the region in 2003 to lead a gung ho team of WMD hunters known as MET D (Mobile Exploitation Team Delta). His soldiers have one objective: evacuate a long list of reputed WMD sites.

Much like Jason Bourne, Roy Miller wants only to find out the truth in his precarious situation. Damon elaborates on this character's motivations: "Miller becomes obsessed with figuring out what's going on and getting to the bottom of all this. He gets himself reassigned to work for the station chief for the CIA in Baghdad and starts working with him to try and figure out where the weapons are…if they exist at all.”

Greengrass adds: "Miller is a man of action who has had this frustration that builds and builds at not finding the weapons. Then suddenly somebody gives him the opportunity to do something. And he takes it, because he wants to get something done.”

The filmmaker was happy the actor he'd almost run down with subway cars in London's Waterloo Station and sent freewheeling through rooftop windows in the Medina area of Tangier was willing to trust him for their third time together.

"Matt drives this movie with a great performance,” notes Greengrass. "This is the kind of role people want to see him in. He's one of the world's great physical actors. If you put Matt in a big action-thriller, he commands attention because you know he's going to go to exciting places—to be absolutely determined to get to the truth and exhibit courage. He's going to be running and jumping and chasing and fighting and doing all those things that you want to see Matt Damon do. But he does them with class and integrity and also tells a great story.”

Cast as Miller's nemesis, Defense Intelligence agent Clark Poundstone, was Greg Kinnear. The actor quickly adapted to Greengrass' unique shooting style of allowing his actors situational improv, and Kinnear's co-star was a big help in achieving that skill. "Matt advised me on how all this would work,” Kinnear says. "It's a big change from most traditional movie sets. As you adjust, you start to realize that it's exhilarating and very unpredictable.”

The Defense Intelligence agent has ostensibly come to Iraq to repair the damage that's been done to it; he will achieve this goal by any means necessary. "Poundstone believes this place can be put back together very quickly, and that it's all about the end game, not the m

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