Belfast Telegraph

Damon nearly directed Promised Land

Matt Damon has revealed he almost directed his recent environmental drama Promised Land himself.

The Oscar winner co-wrote the script with John Krasinski, and had planned to make it his directorial debut. But instead he turned to Gus Van Sant, who directed him in his breakthrough performance in Good Will Hunting.

Matt revealed: "I was originally going to direct this movie, and my schedule got a little beyond me, so he was the first person that I called. I have written three things and Gus Van Sant has directed all of them, so I just trust him completely. He creates the perfect work environment; he makes it seem really effortless. A great director."

Asked what it would have been like if he'd directed it, the actor joked: "It probably would not have been as good!

"No, it was really instructive, because I had prepared the entire movie as a director. Obviously I did not tell Gus Van Sant anything I was going to do. But it was great for me to watch the things that he did that I was going to do and then things that he thought of that I didn't think of, that were really great."

And Matt admitted it was great to work with him again.

He revealed: "Fifteen years after Good Will Hunting (1997), he has so much experience, he will take a five-page scene and on the first two, three pages, he will carry it in one shot. Once he gets it, he moves on. He is very confident. He does not cover a lot. Directors who do not know what they are doing sit there and do ten takes."

Matt stars as Steve Butler, a salesman for natural gas company Global Crosspower Solutions, who arrives in a small town to convince the population to lease the drilling rights to their land.

:: Promised Land is out on DVD and Blu-ray from Monday January 13.

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