Actors are strange folk and generally out of touch, but Matt Damon’s cluelessness about Donald Trump supporters might really take the Hollywood cake.
The actor — known for “Good Will Hunting,” “Saving Private Ryan” and the “Bourne” franchise, among other roles — is an outspoken leftist even by the standards of Tinseltown who had to stoop to play a Trump supporter in his latest film, “Stillwater.”
How do you play a Trump supporter? This should be a rhetorical question. And yes, you might think that’s easy for me to say as a Trump voter, but pay me enough money and I could play a Joe Biden or Hillary Clinton voter. Heck, if you really want to bankroll me, I could pretend I was an Eric Swalwell volunteer. (I’d need Chinese spy money for that, but it could be done.)
Damon, a professional actor, needed to live with Trump supporters to get the role down. In a news conference at the premiere of “Stillwater” in France at the Cannes Film Festival, Damon said he spent an “absolutely critical” amount of time with MAGA folk.
His conclusion? They “don’t apologize for who they are,” but they were still “wonderful to us.” Sure, they had goatees and sunglasses and sang strange “church songs,” but they were somehow human beings.
“Being invited into their homes, into a backyard barbecue, a guitar comes out and they start singing church songs. It’s a very specific place. And very different to where I grew up,” Damon said at a news conference after the Thursday red carpet premiere of “Stillwater,” according to Reuters.
“It was really eye-opening for me.”
‘It was really eye-opening for me,’ says Matt Damon on the research he did for his role in a film loosely inspired by the Amanda Knox case. Damon plays a disoriented American who travels to France to help his jailed daughter https://t.co/irCAxriAO6 pic.twitter.com/eNmDW2UluC
— Reuters Showbiz (@ReutersShowbiz) July 10, 2021
This, in other words, is an obscenely rich thespian who’s one of the most influential entertainers on planet Earth and he comes across as a guy who just discovered a cohort of his fellow countrymen, 74 million of whom voted for the incumbent president during the 2020 election, actually exist.
Not only that, he treats them as if neon green hominids with goatees and Oakley shades were living in his backyard for 20 years and crawled up on his porch one day to have a beer, strum a guitar and sing “How Great is Our God.”
Damon’s character is an oil-rig worker who has to travel to Marseille, France where his estranged daughter is locked up for killing her roommate.
“One of the biggest laughs at the movie’s Thursday night premiere came when Damon’s character is asked by a French woman if he voted for Donald Trump. He did not, he responds, but only because a prior felony kept him from voting at all,” Variety reported.
Variety’s description of Damon’s preparation seems to indicate the immersion was wholly unnecessary. The Hollywood trade magazine said he “came to appreciate the smallest details — from wearing a specific kind of blue jeans treated with fire retardant, which ‘changes the way these guys walk.'”
“They all have goatees, the sunglasses,” Damon said. “They’re not six-pack ab guys, but they’re strong. You go to their barbecues and a guitar comes out and they start singing church songs.”
The “church songs” really had an impression on Damon. This is a 50-year-old man — one of the most influential and respected members of our celebrity caste — standing in amazement that these guys were singing religious tunes and not Springsteen, the Strokes, Ed Sheeran or Pearl Jam. In his half-century on earth, he hasn’t encountered organized religion. Maybe he assumed the worship part of church service was done in mime.
Another thing Damon wants you to know? They’re not bending the knee to Hollywood.
“These guys don’t apologize for who they are,” Damon said
— The Hollywood Reporter (@THR) July 9, 2021
Why would they have to?
Furthermore, Damon said he and “Stillwater” director Tom McCarthy “were invited into the break rooms and backyard barbecues of the real men who inspired the character” Damon played.
“They’re in the oil business. Of course he voted for Trump,” Damon said of his goateed character. “These people were wonderful to us, they really helped us. It was eye-opening for me.”
And how does this film treat said Trump supporters? Consider the fact it got a five-minute standing ovation at Cannes, according to The Hollywood Reporter. That’s not exactly MAGA territory.
Hollywood is so beyond out of touch that Matt Damon spends time assuring reporters at a news conference that oil-industry Trump supporters aren’t that bad.
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Sure, they might have goatees and the church songs are a little grating, but they’re not terrible or anything. And they’re not apologizing — although it’s bizarre that the topic of an apology would even come up.
If there’s anyone who needs to apologize here, it’s Matt Damon. Don’t expect it to be coming any time soon, though.
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