Matt Damon, known for his memorable performances in films like “Good Will Hunting” and the “Bourne” series, recently opened up about his struggle with depression while filming a movie.
Best known for hit movies like the Bourne franchise, Good Will Hunting, The Martian, and The Departed, Damon’s next project is a collaboration with filmmaker Christopher Nolan on Oppenheimer.
Matt Damon’s Brave Confession
Damon recently shared his experience on “Jake’s Takes” while promoting “Oppenheimer,” discussing a difficult period during his career. He disclosed that he unexpectedly fell into depression halfway through shooting a movie that didn’t meet his initial expectations when he accepted the role. He commented
“Without naming any particular movies…sometimes you find yourself in a movie that you know, perhaps, might not be what you had hoped it would be, and you’re still making it. And I remember halfway through production and you’ve still got months to go and you’ve taken your family somewhere, you know, and you’ve inconvenienced them, and I remember my wife pulling me up because I fell into a depression about like, ‘What have I done?’
“She just said, ‘We’re here now.’ You know, and it was like…I do pride myself, in a large part because of her, at being a professional actor and what being a professional actor means is you go and you do the 15-hour day and give it absolutely everything, even in what you know is going to be a losing effort. And if you can do that with the best possible attitude, then you’re a pro, and she really helped me with that.”
Clues: Identifying the Film
Although Matt Damon did not explicitly mention the movie that led him into a state of depression, he has previously been vocal about acting in films he believed would be unsuccessful. One example is “The Great Wall,” Zhang Yimou’s 2016 monster movie, which received poor reviews and sparked controversy due to its white saviour narrative.
In the film, Damon portrayed a European mercenary forced to collaborate with imperial Chinese forces to combat an alien threat. Despite having a production budget of $150 million, “The Great Wall” failed to surpass $50 million in the United States.
During an appearance on the “WTF” podcast in 2021, Damon shared his thoughts on filming “The Great Wall,” saying, “I was like, this is exactly how disasters happen. It doesn’t cohere. It doesn’t work as a movie.”
Reflecting on his experience, Damon also remarked, “I came to consider that the definition of a professional actor; knowing you’re in a turkey and going, ‘OK, I’ve got four more months. It’s the up-at-dawn siege on Hamburger Hill. I am going to die here, but I’m doing it.’ That’s as shitty as you can feel creatively, I think. I hope never to have that feeling again.”
In his upcoming project, Christopher Nolan’s “Oppenheimer,” Damon takes on the role of Leslie Groves, the director of the Manhattan Project. The highly anticipated atomic bomb epic is set to be released on July 21 by Universal Pictures.