“He Is The One Who My Friends Talk About”: Matt Damon Had A Life-Changing Experience With Clint Eastwood He Believes That Made Him A Better Actor


Since actors work with different directors all the time, it is inevitable that they might end up finding the one that truly brings out the potential in them. For Matt Damon, it is Clint Eastwood. The two film industry A-listers have collaborated together on two films so far, Invictus (2009) and Hereafter (2010), both of which received nominations at the Academy Awards for something or the other.

Matt Damon commended Clint Eastwood’s ability to avoid being pigeonholed in the many years he spent in the industry. He even stated that the filmmaker is the best example of what his friends – Ben Affleck and George Clooney – want their career to look like eventually and added that the environment he creates on set helps him become a better actor.

How Clint Eastwood Helped Matt Damon Be the Best Version of Him

Back in 2010, Matt Damon joined Orange County Register to talk about his then-upcoming film Hereafter, which was directed by Clint Eastwood. During the interview, Damon was asked about what he learned from Eastwood during the time he spent on set with him.

To this, the actor replied, “Oh, man, I learned something every day from him.” Damon had previously worked with Eastwood on Invictus, a biological sports film. Clearly, the experience was good enough to make him want to reunite with the director once again. When asked what he learned from the 2009 film that made him want to collaborate with Eastwood for Hereafter, Damon said,

It’s just his philosophy on work, and how he’s managed to be different all the time. It’s the mark of true artist to defy any categorization for six decades in the movie business. To bathe in the glory of that example is a good reason to want to work with him.

He sure has a point. Throughout his extensive career, Eastwood has refused to fit in a mold, and his work never let people paint the picture of him twice. Whether it is film, television, or music, the man has done it all and how! In fact, Damon even went as far as to say that 2 of his most popular friends – Ben Affleck and George Clooney – want to be just like Eastwood. Meaning, they aspire to have a career that is somewhat synonymous with Eastwood’s.

He is the goal. He is the one who my friends talk about when they talk about where they want to be. Ben and Clooney; Clint has the career they want. We’re all going into our 40s, and we want to believe we can do this at a high level for another four decades.


Damon even stated that he believes working with Eastwood made him a much better actor than he ever was before. While he couldn’t give a definitive answer on what exactly brought out the best in him, he stated that the atmosphere Eastwood creates on his set is one reason.

Clint Eastwood and a Relaxed Professional Environment

Speaking about how the Unforgiven actor creates an atmosphere that helps actors be on their A-game, Damon stated that the filmmaker knows what he is doing and even has a crew that is experienced in their fields which leaves no room for meltdowns and outbursts on set.

It’s hard to explain how somebody makes you better. It’s just the way you feel. I suppose part of it is because Clint is so good in creating a relaxed atmosphere. And his crew is experienced. They know what they’re doing. They help to make you better, too.

He then added that learning “new technical skills” was not what made working with Eastwood stand out, as some would believe. Damon rightfully pointed out that the director has all the power on set and can make you feel like a straight-up idiot when things don’t go their way by getting inside your head. However, Eastwood is the complete opposite of this.

It’s an intangible thing. A bad director can ruin a performance by getting inside your head. And it’s easy to do that. Acting is a pretty fragile little game. It’s easy to make people nervous, and movie sets were built traditionally to be unfriendly to actors.

You’ve got people running around with walkie-talkies, and barking and screaming into bullhorns. It can absolutely cripple your concentration. And all that goes away on a Clint set because he’s an actor. There is no panic on his set. It’s a much calmer environment.

Clearly, Damon will never forget how incredible it was working with one of the most incredible personalities in Hollywood. After all, he had a huge hand in making him a better actor, didn’t he?