Matt Damon and Cameron Crowe on 'We Bought a Zoo'

Why a movie filled with four-legged co-stars appealed to them.
8:17 | 12/23/11

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Transcript for Matt Damon and Cameron Crowe on 'We Bought a Zoo'
It's Benjamin. This is -- into my daughter. In the big boy Dylan and -- -- And this is our -- now I guess. So I would like to declare us all modern day adventures. And sponsors of animal greatness. OK terrific but. You have just seen a scene from we bought a zoo. And you see that there's a lot of animals in it I tried desperately. To get the grizzly bear -- And two gets -- the tiger failed completely. But I -- get the star Matt Damon and director and co writer Cameron -- I mean it's a little disappointment. Initially but those animals -- they can -- thirty Graham today. Really afford -- approach in monkeys a bigger -- anybody really. There I don't think I know they don't really work with animals and children it's wrong. We talked about -- yeah. It's not good WC fields thing is known was well -- -- and and and it's usually it's the cardinal cardinal rule you know break it -- We figures. If you're gonna do it. -- if they would with every animal. Declaring the cutest kids ever and -- -- man and yet you know I'm looking at you and you have worked with directors. Steve Spielberg Martins says he can't -- the Coen Brothers now -- -- -- Terrified. Why not excited I know what the -- Cameron -- who left handed it to you can't -- So I want the truth I'm gonna -- -- you know I it was it was I've been. Wanting to work with Cameron for a long time. I would say about -- you can't make. You don't you can't make a great movie by accident there are just too many decisions that you have to make over two long a period of time. To accidentally making great movie and you certainly don't make more than one -- By accidents or anybody who's. Who's -- made multiple films that I consider great and that whole list of directors you just mentioned about have all made multiple. Great movies. I you know I I just kind of bad those guys from anonymous the list and just hope to someday have a chance. You know the work and so Cameron was on on that list then so when he came calling it that that makes my decision really -- but -- -- when out when I started out my -- I gave equal weight to three things to the screenplay to the role -- to the director and the more I've worked. Over the last fifteen years. It's just all kind of move now to to the director. For me if one of these directors that I worked with calls up until I don't. Really have an idea of who you play. And I'm not really sure where I'm going with this thing but I think I have an idea chances -- Well. This director also. -- writer of this script so when I see this movie which I like enormously I hear his. I hear it coming out of a lot of people but it still -- think that people. -- -- -- -- -- have been remiss. We should -- who is this guy and to me your plan. We should know that people are out there think -- I -- we have him back. What's about a guy who is -- he's lost his wife recently and he's got two children fourteen and seven year old and he's basically just trying to keep it together and the beginning of -- -- on an -- -- he's trying and and and and feeling like a failure content -- Trying to. Helpless kids through this transition and himself through this transition. China put on a brave face for the world and that's not work and so in this. Kind of act of desperation he encounters this broken down zoo and and kind of impulsively. Buys it and and that's that that's what he uses to try to put the pieces of his life back again -- Cameron what was it the. You -- investment here. I thought it was a chance to make one of those movies that cast a spell and takes you into another world like local hero was a movie we talked about -- But I love a movie that lingers. And that that's a result of like music and the humanity of the characters and also the magic of the place you're -- go to. So weigh in mass character goes to this piece of land he falls in love with the promise -- -- even before he knows that it's going to be -- zoo. And the humanity of following your instincts and just kind of arriving at a place in your life for you you you need to make a wild choice with the hope of turning to see you then everybody. That kind of story really effects me. This place is perfect by any mention that earned him as a bit complicated. Complicated OK with -- complicated. It's. -- -- Why do you see when you are first meeting Cameron and you're talking about working together when you closure. Which of his movies or -- moment in decency -- that a motion and just just the kind of put yourself out there kind of -- motion that when -- hit it right. It goes directly to your heart. And and math correctly it was it was like if we're gonna do this we're going to that place I want immediately give myself totally to and that's what we talked about and one day. He says okay I'm with you give -- everything and he did it. But you we did talk about pieces of movies that I've done behind him wouldn't you I -- you know what -- war. With a combined you know -- I know that a candidate running I don't doing that's -- -- the moment that's a moment. Live well and also there when I was talk about is is. As you complete me in Jerry Maguire. That because it's potentially as is the way about the moment it's potentially -- -- it's. You know you're working with highly enriched uranium you know and I mean it is true -- very badly for here. If you don't hit that perfect greens are very very small -- and and they're very few people who -- it but when -- experienced some experiencing -- movie where the one of those moments is struck perfectly it's just. You know it's that's where it's why it's why -- love movies there because we don't feed off right now I want to know you usually think you. Journalists at a very very hard thing -- very you know which is why I think being a writer director helps you know. Cameron because it's because as you say it's the voice and you can hear that voice and -- coherent and all the characters. Of all the movies. When. Both of those actors when they chose to play. Pure love. Like no middle man. I'm just gonna put -- right out there that's what worked and I actually was really nervous about you complete and and told Tom Cruise. This is this could be too cheesy I'm thinking of cutting it now. -- -- -- I wanna say I love you like this. Commission and and we got to that -- -- like 3 in the morning. And he was prepared hadn't done -- -- -- us walked into this room did the scene. And it was pure love and he was like an athlete that took a shot. Knew he'd sunk it did it with -- full heart looked around and said. Excellent Garcia and we're going to. And it was here's that really it took him awhile to circle doing that -- But when he did he locked in and did it and that's what you feel in the movie and and that is that this -- couple.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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