A History of Matt Damon

The Martian has just opened in theaters worldwide to rave reviews, and for something that looked like an Interstellar/Gravity knockoff turned into us pleading on our knees asking Matt Damon for forgiveness about how we ever thought he could do wrong. While we can always remember having Matt Damon in our lives, the line is sometimes blurred of when he actually appeared into our hearts and homes, and so without ado please enjoy this timeline of the boy next door turned Hollywood hero’s life. October 8, 1970 - A star is born

Matthew Paige Damon was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts to his father, Kent, a stockbroker and to his mother, Nancy, an early childhood education professor at Lesley University. Kyle Damon, Matt’s brother is three years his senior. The family lived in Newton for a few years before his parents divorce, and the Damon brothers moved back to Cambridge.

Around 1980 – A bromance begins

At around 10 years old, Matt befriended a boy his age who lived two blocks down the road. This boy in question was no other than our other favorite Boston bro, Ben Affleck. The two became inseparable and did everything together, from supporting their favorite baseball team – The Red Sox of course – to playing Dungeons and Dragons. They both attended the public high school the Cambridge Rindge & Latin School, and both took to acting, and although Ben always got biggest roles and longest speeches, our boy Matt persevered.

1988 – An Ivy League education

Matt studied English at Harvard University where he continued to act in theater and small films while writing a portions of Good Will Hunting but left Harvard in 1992, a semester shy of completing his Ivy League education, to star in Geronimo: An American Legend, which was a box office flop.

1997 – Hard work pays off

After years of writing, Matt and Ben finally finished and filmed Good Will Hunting, a movie about a math genius working as a janitor at MIT. The film received nine Academy Award nominations where Matt and Ben won for Best Screenplay and Matt was nominated for Best Actor. Steven Spielberg met with Matt on the set of Good Will Hunting and cast him as the titular character in his new film, Saving Private Ryan, which was a commercial and critical success.

2001 – Franchises

The early 2000’s mark an important turn in Matt’s career where he starred in two major film franchises. He starred in Ocean’s Eleven, which sparked three sequels, and played Jason Bourne in the hit action thriller, The Bourne Identity as well as its two sequels.

2005 - Luciana Bozán Barroso

After dating the likes of Minnie Driver and Winona Ryder, Matt began dating an Argentine bartender named Luciana Bozán Barroso in 2003. The couple became engaged in 2005 and married in a private ceremony in December of that year. The couple has three daughters, Isabella, Gia and Stella.

2006 – Kimmel gag

Comedian Jimmy Kimmel used Matt as a running joke by ending every one of his shows with “apologies to Matt Damon, we ran out of time” insinuating that there was never enough time to interview him. On September 12th 2006 Matt went on Jimmy Kimmel Live! Where the they had a planned skit that involved Matt storming off after having his interview cut short. Matt joined Robert DeNiro in The Good Shepherd and returned to his Boston roots by playing an undercover mobster in The Departed.

2007 – Brawn and brains

The Red Sox won the World Series in 2007, and as a die-hard fan, Matt narrated the commemorative DVD. After the release of his movie The Bourne Ultimatum, Entertainment Weekly called him “the decade's best mixer of brawn and brains.”

2009 – Charitable work

Matt found H20 Africa Foundation, the charitable arm of the Running the Sahara expedition. He, along with George Clooney, Brad Pitt and many other actors is one of the founders of Not On Our Watch Project, an organization which focuses on stopping mass atrocities such as in Darfur.

Meanwhile, he made a cameo appearance as himself in HBO’s Entourage, and earned an Academy Award nomination for his portrayal of South Africa’s national rugby union team captain Francois Pienaar in Invictus.

2011 – Recent work

In more recent years, Matt has starred in We Bought a Zoo, Promised Land, Behind the Candelabra, Elysium, The Monuments Men, and Interstellar. In 2013, Matt ‘kidnapped Jimmy Kimmel’ and hosted an episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live! as a continuation of their running gag.

2015 – This year

This year, Matt has now starred in The Martian, made controversial diversity comments during his show Project Greenlight (for which he apologized), and made comments suggesting that gay actors should not go public about their sexuality (for which he also apologized).

What will our boy wonder do next? No one knows.

A&EEmily Theyatz