Matt Damon talks ‘Elysium,’ getting buff and immigration

"Elysium" - Los Angeles Photo Call

When Matt Damon saw himself on-screen in “Elysium” — after months of dieting and four-hour gym sessions to get him into sci-fi action hero shape — all he could do was laugh.

“It just looked ridiculous to me,” he says. “It’s so indulgent, but it’s part of the magic trick. I understood why [director Neill Blomkamp] needed me to look like that to establish the character. He didn’t want any fat on me because he said, ‘I want you to look almost Haitian, like you’re incredibly fit, but you’ve been working so hard and perhaps you’ve missed some meals.’”

While it worked for the film, Damon was happy to let the workout regimen lapse.

“It’s just not a natural way for somebody to look. These people who look that way are either genetic freaks or they’re just living in a gym,” he says.

“[My wife] was fine with me buff, but she was fine with me [40 pounds overweight] on ‘The Informant!’ I think she likes variety.”

While he might not find it easy to relate to the look of his character, Max — an ex-con factory worker taking on the rich and powerful on their satellite sanctuary, Elysium, orbiting the ravaged slum Earth has become — he can at least understand him emotionally and intellectually. “He’s doing the best he can in a world that’s getting increasingly difficult to live in,” Damon says.

“A lot of people can relate to that in this prolonged economic downturn, where it feels like the world keeps putting its boot on your neck a little more forcefully every day.”

Speaking of the current state of the world, Damon has never been one to shy away from addressing political issues, and “Elysium” offers him a great chance to talk immigration — one of the major themes in the film.

“Look, it’s a nation of immigrants and I’m from a family of immigrants, so yeah, clearly they’re going to have to figure that one out,” he says.

“But the politicians don’t talk about it at all. They just see it as an issue where with the polling on it, they’re just confused on which way to go. So the Republicans just send out Marco Rubio to speak Spanish to everybody.”

Not to suggest, though, that Damon thinks he has all the answers: “I don’t have a comprehensive immigration plan, no,” he says. “But I can work on it.”

 

How the other half lives
As for relating to the have-nots, like his character in the film? “F— them,” Damon offers, with a laugh. “No, at least in my case, I think the values that I have are consistent with the values I was raised with. I vote against my own self-interests constantly. If you’re born with a silver spoon in your mouth, you’re probably more likely to be the Koch brothers and think that you shouldn’t pay taxes on things.”

 


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
News

Easter Egg hunt horror as skydiver plummets to…

A FAMILY Easter egg hunt ended in horror when a skydiver plummeted to his death in a New York garden after his parachute failed to…

News

Boston Marathon 2014 on high alert, Red Sox…

One year on from the horrific Boston Marathon bombings a ring of steel has been thrown around today's race, and a city stands defiant against…

News

Boston Strong: One year on from Boston Marathon…

  For more than a century the Boston Marathon has been an even centred around sportsmanship, endurance and athleticism, but there's no denying the face…

Local

Hillary Clinton headed to Boston for women's leadership…

Former U.S. Senator and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is set to visit Massachusetts Wednesday amid continuing speculation about making another bid for the presidency in 2016.

Television

‘Mad Men’ recap: Season 7, Episode 2, ‘A…

Peggy and Lou are horrible, Bert's racist, Don is honest(ish) and Roger and Pete are frustrated. "A Day's Work" not quite worthy of "This Will Be Our Year."

Television

'Game of Thrones' recap: Season 4, Episode 3,…

The problem with the devil you know is that ignoring them doesn’t mean they simply lie in wait. It allows them time to do things…

Television

Discovery cancels 'Everest Jump Live' special in wake…

The Discovery Channel has indicated it will not be moving forward with "Everest Jump Live," a planned special about mountain climber Joby Ogwyn's effort to…

The Word

'X-Men' director Bryan Singer drama continues

  News broke late last week that "X-Men" and "The Usual Suspects" director Bryan Singer is being sued by a man who said Singer molested…

MLB

MLB video highlights: Red Sox walk off with…

Red Sox pick up first walk off win of 2014

MLB

Red Sox and Orioles meet Monday morning at…

Red Sox and Orioles meet Monday morning at 11 a.m.

NHL

NHL video highlights: Bruins smack down Red Wings…

NHL video highlights: Bruins smack down Red Wings in Game 2

MLB

MLB video highlights: Red Sox defeat Orioles, 4-2

Brock Holt the difference in the Red Sox' win

Travel

Packing: The one thing you need in your…

A new survey that looks at the travel habits of 50,000 people around the world has revealed that Western and Asian globetrotters have different priorities…

Home

Is your chair making it hard to talk?

Ever wished there was an office chair that could make impromptu meetings and discussions more private? The Cristiana Wing Chair is an asymmetrical armchair which…

Travel

Live large at these luxury hotels

From Thai boxing lessons and macabre Dracula tours to the Australian Outback, the Four Seasons hotel chain launched a series of new travel packages this…

Parenting

4 things that every summer camp should have

Alan Saltz, director of the 92nd street Y program lists things that every summer camp should have.