Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 29 January 2015

Matt Damon: Movie air was filthy

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Nancy Rivera / Rex Features (2143001q)
Matt Damon
Celebrities at Fall 2013 Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, New York, America - 12 Feb 2013
Matt Damon

Matt Damon found himself covered in dust made of "fecal matter" while shooting his new film, Elysium.

The actor transformed into a buff, shaven-headed, tattooed ex-con for sci-fi film Elysium. It sees his character try to infiltrate a man-made space station where the wealthy live in luxury, while the rest of the population resides in squalor on Earth.

Partly filmed in the world’s second-largest garbage dump in Mexico City, the film saw Matt and his co-stars Diego Luna and Sharlto Copley contend with a particularly foul biological hazard. Matt explained they had to "literally eat sh*t".

"It was explained to us that, like any dump anywhere in the world, the dust is actually comprised largely of faecal matter,” Matt told Australia's News Limited newspaper group. "So, at the end of every day, as we’d wipe this stuff off, we’d be basically throwing these sh*tty towels at each other.”

Directed by Oscar-nominated District 9 director Neill Blomkamp, the film had several unglamorous sets in the garbage dump. Matt recalls one being a waterway - of sorts.

"One of them was called Poo River," said Matt. "Literally, that was, ‘OK, can we get everybody down to Poo River for scene 36?’”

Matt said it made for the toughest two weeks of shooting he's ever had. However, the end result was worth it.

"Everybody on the crew recognised that it was a really good idea and it was going to be worth it. It’s really one of the best sequences in the movie and I’m really proud of it," he gushed.

Elysium hits cinemas from August.

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