While Matt Damon‘s longtime friend Ben Affleck has moved into directing, Damon has remained focused on acting aside from a few screenplays he has co-written. Recently Damon co-wrote the screenplay for The Promised Land, which opened to lukewarm reviews and did not make much money at the U.S. box office. While promoting the film at the Berlin International Film Festival, Damon reflected about the difficulty of making movies that aren’t tailor-made to be blockbusters.
Damon admits he does not understand the film’s negative feedback. He says, “I’ve had a lot of movies that haven’t been received well critically or financially and I’m realistic about that. But with this one I just really love it and a big part of my heart is it. I don’t understand what I’m hearing back. Maybe in time I will.”
On getting financing for films like The Promised Land, Damon explains, “It’s getting harder and harder to get money to make movies about things. We were really lucky to have Focus and get the amount we got. We made this for under $18 million, which was plenty of money for us. Everybody did fine. But that’s dissappearing. It’s much harder to make movies now that it was a few years ago. The whole business is contracting. And it’s only going to get harder. Meanwhile, a lot of the interesting stuff is migrating to television… So maybe that’s the answer?”
Not surprisingly, Damon’s next film, Behind the Candleabra, which was directed by frequent collaborator Steven Soderbergh, will debut on HBO. Perhaps Damon is on to something…