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Matt Damon suffered for Jason Bourne role

Published 29/07/2016

Matt Damon
Matt Damon

Matt Damon is shocked by how much he's aged

Actor Matt Damon suffered to get in shape for his new movie Jason Bourne.

The star first portrayed the titular butt-kicking assassin back in 2002's The Bourne Identity, when he was just 30, and he admits the physical training he endured for the latest instalment in the series was the most brutal he's ever experienced.

He had to focus on a restrictive "no carbs" diet consisting of vegetables and protein only, and admits that and the toll work-outs took on his 45-year-old body made bulking up for the role so tough.

"I like to eat. My favourite thing is a big bowl of pasta and a glass of red wine and my friends around," he tells Entertainment Tonight. "That's a great night."

But he knew what he was in for as he considered taking on the role again, adding: "It was tough, but, at the end of the day it was worth it. (Director) Paul (Greengrass) said to me earlier, 'Look, if the movie starts and you look like you've been living well, we don't have a movie'."

In addition to watching what he ate, Damon teamed up with celebrity trainer Jason Walsh at the gym two times per day for 90-minute high-intensity exercise sessions to build up his muscles.

Although he achieved incredible physical results in his efforts to shape up for Jason Bourne, Matt can still see a distinct difference in how his fit body looks onscreen now versus how it looked in earlier franchise films.

"It's kind of arresting now," he admits. "I remember in the third movie (The Bourne Ultimatum), seeing what I looked like in the first (one) and going, 'Oh yeah, I am getting a little older.' Now I go, 'My God, who is that kid?'"

Jason Bourne hits U.S. cinemas on Friday (29Jul16).

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