As his new movie, The Bourne Identity hits theaters, Matt Damon talked about how he got started in the business and why he feels compelled to make a difference outside of the entertainment world.
Below is an uncorrected, unedited transcript from the interview as it aired on ABCNEWS' Good Morning America.
DIANE SAWYER:: It's nice to remember that even the big stars had to get started some place. Matt Damon now and in his first movie back then. (Clip from Damon's first film Mystic Pizza)
MATT DAMON: That was my first line ever in a movie, and it was--I remember it vividly because everything seemed brighter, every you know, the colors seemed I definitely had the rose-colored lenses on, you know, firmly affixed. And I remember just being in, literally in love with it and absolutely head-over-heels in love with the all the people, you know, everybody doing these different jobs. It just was like fascinating to me, and I couldn't believe that you could make a living doing that.
SAWYER: (Voice Over Tape) More than a living, if you consider $10 million a movie a living. In his new movie, a thriller, The Bourne Identity, he plays a secret agent with amnesia. Back in Good Will Hunting, (Clip from Good Will Hunting) he played a math genius. He was a con man, a killer, in The Talented Mr. Ripley. The Harvard-educated actor is known for his range and his daring. For instance, in Ripley, he proved he can sing. (Clip from The Talented Mr. Ripley)
SAWYER: (VO) And he's funny. This was the highest rated Will and Grace ever on TV. (Clip from Will and Grace)
SAWYER: (VO) What are the TV shows you never miss? DAMON: Well, yours. SAWYER: Well, you know, I assumed that. DAMON: Present company not included, let's see, I like to watch Saturday Night Live. I like that show a lot, I'm a big fan of that show. And The Simpsons. SAWYER: Do you know what you just are? A classic male. No kidding. DAMON: Oh, really? Is that … SAWYER: I know this will reassure you in many ways. DAMON: OK, great. SAWYER: If you separate men and women out, those are the most popular shows with men. DAMON: Oh, is that right? SAWYER: Yeah. DAMON: I had no idea. SAWYER: So far you have just hit the gong on all the guy things. DAMON: OK. OK. Well, and then The View, of course. SAWYER: Yes, particularly when they talk about menopause, right? DAMON: Yeah, right. Exactly. Just think that, you know, it's a show for me about me.
SAWYER: You threw out the first ball at Fenway Park?
Yeah. Yeah, and my knees were knocking. And I've done nothing in my life, if not throw a baseball, so I've done that a lot and I'm used to being in front of people and yet I went out there and my knees were literally knocking.
SAWYER: (Voice Over Tape:) His roots are in Boston, he's still best friends with hometown pals Ben and Casey Affleck. And after a couple of high-profile romances, Minnie Driver, Winona Ryder, this 31-year-old has learned what few in Hollywood ever do, to keep what matters private. Like his new relationship, Odessa Whitmire. (To Damon, On Camera: Finish this sentence, `What I've learned about love this year …')
DAMON: That it doesn't have to be hard work.
SAWYER: What I wish I knew about women.
DAMON: Where do I begin?
SAWYER: What's the right age to get married?
That is a tough question. I mean, because it's different for everybody. My parents got married too young for them, but then again, if they hadn't, they wouldn't have gotten married 10 years later, so my brother and I are happy that they did. But they always told us to just take it easy and be patient and make sure, and there's no rush.
SAWYER: (Voice Over Tape) And there's something else a parent taught him about those to whom much is given and the need to give back.
DAMON: My dad said to me, 'You know, if you don't do things with this name that you've made for yourself, it'll be, you know, you'd be a tremendously irresponsible human being.' So I think they both expect, and rightly so, that I always can use whatever it is I have to be a good human being and make a difference where I can.
SAWYER: Good parents. DAMON: Yeah, really good parents.