Matt Damon Gave ‘Stillwater’ Co-Star Abigail Breslin a Driving Lesson on Set

Matt Damon wears many hats. He’s an actor, screenwriter, producer, father, and husband. Now, thanks to his latest film Stillwater, he can add ‘driving instructor’ to the list. The Oscar winner gave his co-star, Zombieland alum Abigail Breslin, a driving lesson on set. 

Abigail Breslin plays Matt Damon’s daughter in ‘Stillwater’

Abigail Breslin speaks into a mic while Matt Damon smiles during a 'Stillwater' press conference at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival
Abigail Breslin and Matt Damon | John Macdougall /AFP via Getty Images

Damon and Breslin play two key roles in Stillwater. Damon’s character is Bill Baker, a man from Oklahoma who works on an oil rig. Suddenly he finds himself headed to France to fight for his estranged daughter’s freedom. 

Upon his arrival, Bill quickly discovers that getting Allison (Breslin) out of a Marseille prison will be incredibly difficult. She’s been charged with murdering her lover. Bill gets help navigating the language and the ways of the French legal system from his bilingual neighbor Virginie (Camille Cottin).

Damon taught Breslin ‘how to do a U-turn’ on the set of ‘Stillwater’

Damon gets a seal of approval from his Stillwater co-star. Speaking to People in July 2021, Breslin shared that the Good Will Hunting actor gave her a lesson in how to do a U-turn on set. 

“I had to drive in the movie and I had just gotten my license and was terrified that I would accidentally kill him or something,” she said. “He was teaching me how to do a U-turn on set.”

“He’s really good at teaching people how to do U-turns,” Breslin added. 

The 25-year-old who rose to fame in 2006’s Little Miss Sunshine continued, saying Damon was probably scared with her behind the wheel. 

“I think for him it was probably scarier than it was for me because we were on a cliff and he knew that I had just gotten my license, so I think he was probably teaching me to avoid death itself, which he narrowly escaped,” she joked. “I think it was less for me and more so that he has four kids and he didn’t want to die.” 

They filmed ‘Stillwater’ in the coastal city of Marseille, France


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Breslin wasn’t joking about navigating a car next to a cliff. Stillwater was filmed in the city of Marseille, which is located on the southern coast of France. Why did Damon’s character find himself in a fish-out-of-water situation going from Oklahoma to the south of France? Director Tom McCarthy felt it made for the perfect backdrop to the story.  

“I liked the idea of it being on a coast, specifically on the Mediterranean,” he told Deadline in July 2021. “I just felt like Marseille provided all the elements, all the layers that I needed to tell the story. Because the story has a lot of dimension to it, and goes to a lot of different places and worlds, it’s essential to Bill’s journey and the story’s journey.”

Now, thanks to the film and a few pointers from her co-star, Breslin can say she learned how to do a U-turn in Marseille with guidance from Damon. 

Stillwater premieres July 30, 2021.