One of the most popular actors in the world for close to two decades, Matt Damon is the epitome of a classic Hollywood star. He’s multi-talented and has worked in almost every facet of the film business, from acting to screenwriting.
In addition to his professional success, he’s got one of the longest-lasting and happiest marriages in Hollywood, to his longtime partner Luciana Barroso. From Good Will Hunting to The Martian, here’s our rundown of Matt Damon’s biggest roles, and what he’s starring in next.
Matt Damon’s early successes
Born in 1970 in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Matt Damon started acting in the late 80s, following the beginning of his student career at Harvard. He made his film debut in the cult classic Mystic Pizza. While Damon’s role was small, with only one line of dialogue, he fell in love with acting and went on to score small roles in Rising Son and Courage Under Fire.
Damon was very close with fellow actor Ben Affleck in the early 90s, even living together for a time. They even started working together, with their most famous project being the masterful screenplay Good Will Hunting. While it took years for their screenplay to make it to big screens, when it did, it launched both Damon and Affleck into superstardom. The film received a total of nine Academy Award nominations, and Damon became a household name.
The popularity of Good Will Hunting meant that Damon was able to more easily get roles in bigger movies. Over the next few years, Matt Damon appeared in such films as Saving Private Ryan, Rounders, The Talented Mr. Ripley, and Dogma. Critics and audiences loved Damon for his ability to portray a wide variety of characters in a believable, natural way.
Damon became an unlikely leading man
The 2000s was a decade of great success for Matt Damon. After bursting onto the scene with his independent drama Good Will Hunting, and making a name for himself as a talented dramatic lead, Damon started expanding his range with a new genre – the action blockbuster. When he was cast as Jason Bourne in the 2002 film The Bourne Identity, audiences were initially critical – Damon, with his genial charm and relatable good looks, wasn’t the obvious choice for the character of tormented, brawny Jason Bourne.
Damon proved the naysayers wrong, and The Bourne Identity became one of his biggest hits. He went on to reprise the role in 2004’s The Bourne Identity, The Bourne Ultimatum in 2007, The Bourne Legacy in 2012, and Jason Bourne in 2016. In addition to fleshing out the character of Jason Bourne, Damon has kept busy with a number of other high-profile projects as well. Over the past few years, he’s acted in The Good Shepherd, True Grit (the Coen brothers remake of the John Wayne classic), The Martian, and The Monuments Men.
What movie will Damon appear in next?
Although Damon is more choosy about his roles these days, he’s still a very busy Hollywood actor. In addition to screenwriting and producing projects, Damon acts in interesting films that speak to him. Fans will be able to see him next in the highly-anticipated film Ford v. Ferrari, opposite Christian Bale. The film is set to be released in November 2019 and tells the true story of the battle between Ford and Ferrari automobile manufacturers to win the Le Mans endurance auto race in 1966. With such high-powered acting talent, this movie is already getting Oscar buzz for next year’s Academy Awards.
From playing a stranded astronaut to writing Oscar-nominated films, Matt Damon has proven that he has the skills to do it all. Here’s hoping he continues to entertain audiences for years to come.