On 7 October, Japan finally gets to enjoy Jason Bourne, the latest instalment in the Bourne movie series, and ahead of the movie’s release our Japanese reporters were lucky enough to enjoy some time with Matt Damon.
Nervous and excited to meet such a hot-shot celebrity, Yoshio and P.K. Sanjun got ready to meet the actor on an overcast day in August at a plush hotel as part of the actor’s promotional tour in Tokyo. Unsure of what to expect, our reporters wondered if Damon might actually be a moody artist-type in real-life, but there was no time to explore that thought any further as they were quickly ushered into the room for their time with the star.
As soon as they walked in, they were surprised to see Damon stand up to greet them, saying “hi” with a broad smile on his face, and holding his hand out for a friendly handshake. Our reporters turned into absolute fanboys, relieved to see he was every bit the great guy they thought he would be. Determined to savour every moment of their short ten minutes with the star, they sat down to begin the interview.
P.K.: We saw a preview of the new Jason Bourne movie and we were particularly blown away by the opening scene in Athens. The riots looked incredibly realistic.
Damon: Thank you. That was actually filmed in the Canary Islands. All the extras were locals who would’ve normally been speaking Spanish but they memorised some Greek especially for the scene. The night scene took days to film and the energy of the extras just never waned. It’s no exaggeration to say that the scene was a success thanks to them.
P.K.: So that scene wasn’t filmed in Athens? Wow, I wouldn’t have known that! By the way, the villain in the movie is played by the actor Tommy Lee Jones, who’s known in Japan as more of a comical type of character from his commercials for Boss coffee. He looked like a bad guy in the movie, but what’s he really like in real life?
Damon: When I was 23 years old, Tommy Lee Jones cast me in the first thing he’d ever directed, a little cable TV movie, and with the money I got paid from that, Ben Affleck and I were able to stay at home and write our film Good Will Hunting. I’ll never forget him for that. The first time I worked with him though, it was a huge experience. He’s really smart, and because he knows so much, it’s like you worry that he’ll get mad if you don’t say your lines correctly. I remember feeling like that when we first worked together.
At this point, P.K. couldn’t help but think how incredibly cool Matt Damon was. He wondered if he could ever be as effortlessly suave as the handsome actor, and then he wondered if it would be rude to ask him such a question. But then again, when would he ever be lucky enough to be sitting down with the star again?
P.K.: I think all the characters you’ve ever played have always been incredibly cool. Actually super cool. But that’s because it’s you who’s playing them. I’m just going to come out and say it…have you always been popular with the ladies?
Damon: (Laughs). It’s not like that at all. Unfortunately, I was never the type to be popular with women.
P.K.: Really? Seriously??? I’m just a man who works at a dull workplace called RocketNews24. How can I be cool and popular with the ladies like you?
Damon: Matt Damon wouldn’t know the answer to that! Perhaps we should ask Jason Bourne? (Laughs)
P.K.: So, as Jason Bourne, could you let me in on some tips for success with women?
Damon: Hmmm. Well, I’d probably say be true to yourself. I think that’s what Jason Bourne would say.
P.K.: Okay! I’ll try to be a little more true to myself then! Finally, could you share your thoughts about the new “Jason Bourne” movie with us, given that it’s been nine years since the last instalment in the Bourne movie series?
Damon: After a nine-year hiatus, to have the same group of staff and actors working together, over a span of 16 years since the first film was created, it’s a very rare thing in this industry. I’m full of gratitude. That’s all I can say. I hope everyone in Japan goes to see the film.
And then the precious ten minutes our reporters had with the movie star was up. At the end of the interview, Damon reached his hand out again for a handshake, and P.K. found himself thinking that in all of his 38 years of meeting people, he’d never met such a great, humble guy.
▼ Damon was also kind enough to give us a cool Jason Bourne-like pose in front of the Tokyo skyline.
▼ Although when P.K. tried to act cool like the actor, it just didn’t look the same!
Our reporters were thrilled to have met Matt Damon, and vowed to go forth with the same humble attitude as the Hollywood star. And they also plan to be true to themselves, as Jason Bourne would want them to, so if that means eating sweets, playing Pokémon Go to the death and ripping off their clothes in the office when they feel like it, then so be it!
The new movie Jason Bourne will be released in theatres across Japan on 7 October 2016. According to our reporters, the movie is awesome so don’t miss it!