After following a self-prescribed diet and fitness regimen to lose the weight, Damon was advised after the filming that he was fortunate his heart did not shrink. Damon was required to be on medication for several years to correct the stress inflicted on his adrenal gland, but maintains it was worthwhile to properly reflect his character's anguish and to show the industry how committed he was to the role. Damon and actor Ben Affleck, close personal friends as well as co-stars in several films, developed a thriller about a young math genius, which they pitched around Hollywood. Receiving advice from writer/director/actor Rob Reiner and screenwriter William Goldman, the two changed the script around to focus on a young math genius trying to make his way in the world. Goldman's only advice was to agree with Reiner in that the script should lose its early thriller focus.
This script eventually became Good Will Hunting, which earned both Damon and Affleck Oscars for Best Original Screenplay. Damon was also nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor for the same film (which netted an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for co-star Robin Williams). Damon parodied this as a fictional version of himself in Kevin Smith's Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back. Damon also founded Project Greenlight with Affleck and Chris Moore to find and fund worthwhile film projects from novice filmmakers. The televised documentary about the making of the film projects has been nominated for an Emmy three times. Damon has been known to stray from the mainstream in his choice of roles, such as his portrayal of bisexual murderer Tom Ripley in The Talented Mr.
Ripley, for which he received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor. He has also played a fallen angel who discusses pop culture as intellectual subject matter in Dogma, in which he costarred with Affleck (1999), a conjoined twin in Stuck on You, and he co-wrote with friend Casey Affleck and Gus Van Sant the minimalist dialogue for the low budget and experimental film Gerry. Damon's been part of two major film franchises. He played amnesiac assassin Jason Bourne in the successful action movies The Bourne Identity and The Bourne Supremacy, with another Bourne sequel, The Bourne Ultimatum, expected on August 3, 2007.
He also starred as a youthful, optimistic thief opposite, among others, George Clooney, Brad Pitt, and Julia Roberts in Steven Soderbergh's Ocean's Eleven, a frothy crime dramedy which was successful and has spawned two sequels: Ocean's Twelve and the upcoming Ocean's Thirteen. Among other high profile roles, Damon played a fictionalized version of Wilhelm Grimm in Terry Gilliam's fantasy adventure The Brothers Grimm and an energy analyst in Syriana. He is currently onscreen in Robert DeNiro's The Good Shepherd as a career CIA agent, and was recently seen as an undercover mobster working for the Massachusetts State Police in Martin Scorsese's The Departed, a remake of the Hong Kong police thriller Infernal Affairs. He also has a supporting role in Kenneth Lonergan's film Margaret and an uncredited cameo in Francis Ford Coppola's Youth Without Youth, both due in 2007. It has recently been rumored that producer J.J. Abrams is trying to get Damon to play James T.
Kirk in the eleventh Star Trek feature film, which has been rumored to be either a prequel to, or a reboot of, the original Star Trek series. Damon told journalists at a press conference on September 16, 2006 that he has not been approached about the film. Previously rumored for the part was Damon's long-time friend Ben Affleck. Read more on Last.fm.
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