Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 21 April 2015

Tommy inspired Matt for True Grit

Matt Damon stars in True Grit
Matt Damon stars in True Grit

Matt Damon has revealed he based his character in True Grit on Tommy Lee Jones.

The Bourne star plays Texas Ranger La Boeuf in the Coen brothers' adaptation of Charles Portis' novel, and having worked with Texas-born Tommy on TV movie The Good Old Boys, used him as inspiration.

Matt told Empire magazine: "We had all worked with Tommy Lee Jones, who is from near where my character is from in Texas. And Tommy is a really smart guy - I could just sit and listen to him talk. So I played my character like Tommy Lee Jones.

"He likes to hold court like Tommy Lee, but La Boeuf is a windbag - a total jackass..."

True Grit was previously brought to the big screen by Henry Hathaway in 1969 starring John Wayne as ageing gunman Rooster Cogburn - played by Jeff Bridges in the new movie - and with Glen Campbell as La Boeuf.

Matt said of the Coen brothers' new version: "It's just a brilliant adaptation. They change stuff to make a two-hour film out of it, but retain so much of the dialogue, and Charles Portis - who is still alive - has an ear for the way people talk. It's a really special script."

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