Green Zone is a hell of a movie! Starring Matt Damon in his third collaboration with Director Paul Greengass (The Bourne Ultimatum and The Bourne Supremecy) it’s as potent an action thriller as you could expect. As public opinion is more and more against the invasion of Iraq and more questions are being asked around the reasons of going to war, whether we went to war under false premises and fabricated intelligence (which I personally believe) or not, it’s good to see a film so current. Check out my interview with Matt Damon below.
Green Zone is a really thrilling experience, after the two Bourne Movies we expected no less from it, what persuaded you to make this the third collaboration between you and Paul Greengrass?
Matt Damon: Once we had the Rajiv’s book ‘Imperial Life in the Emerald City’, even though we didn’t know what the movie was gonna be, there was so much there and there was so much that was interesting. Again the question was can we make a film with audience appeal and get a good chunk of the Bourne audience into a film that was about fictional character in the real world as opposed to a fictional character in a fictional world.
What was it like working with cinematographer Barry Ackroyd? His style is really in your face and documentary like.
Matt Damon: As an actor working with him it’s great because he and Paul open up an environment where you have such freedom. There was never a mark laid down or someone saying you have to stand here or to deliver your line this way, on the contrary their interest lay totally in capturing something in real time. Normally your restricted by the camera load which is an 11 minute load, what they did is that they had a backup camera so they’d shoot for 11 minutes then when that ran out they’d pick up another camera immediately and keep going, that allowed the actors and extras, which their were many whether they were soldiers or children to stay in that heightened reality and stay in that world, thing’s weren’t breaking down, going to get some tea or something like that, these exercises would carry half an hour at a time, then everybody would say ok let’s take a break. I think that helps the acting because it’s so real, it’s very real to buy into that reality when the camera is asking you technically nothing at all. To be totally liberated from the technical side of filming gives you something in your performance.
When are you gonna take a break!
Matt Damon: I just finished filming with Clint Eastwood a few days ago, that’s like taking time off, no more than 10 hours a day and it’s a very civilized schedule, much more civilized than Greengrass let me tell you (laughs). I want to direct one day so I can’t pass up the chance of working with the people I’m getting a chance to work with, Paul Greengrass three times now, Clint Eastwood twice now, I’m gonna work with the Coen Brothers next month, as long as that keeps happening I can’t see me taking time of, unless the work dried up.
Where do you see the US public’s opinion on Iraq now, as you’ve been over here you’ve probably heard we’ve got a public inquiry, is there a stomach for that in America?
Matt Damon: There’s a very different atmosphere in America right now, if you engage in a discussion with any American right now on war Afghanistan will come up first, the issues of the economy and certainly jobs are what most people are thinking of right now, Iraq isn’t on the front page right now as it is here, where you’ve got the Chilcot inquiry, I’m interested in seeing how we do there and how we do here, but whether or not it’s at the forefront of everyone’s consciousness at home right now, certainly there will be an appetite at some time, whether that’s now or later, basically we can never predict what the Zeitgeist will be two years down the road, we wanted to make the movie we wanted and we got to make that movie. Hopefully the studio will will be rewarded for their trust.