Interview: Matt Damon, First Farmer on Mars

The actor discusses his role as an astronaut in the upcoming film “The Martian.”

"Ares" program helmets and suits worn by Matt Damon and Jessica Chastain in 2015's The Martian are among the movie items that will be auctioned tomorrow in London. (Aidan Monaghan / 20th Century Fox)

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It’s worse that I don’t know than that you don’t.

I talked to Scott Kelly aboard the International Space Station. He’s about halfway through his time there. Talking to these guys, studying the effects of all of this stuff on their bodies—it’s awesome what these guys are doing. And they do it with such humility, and such a sense of these ideas being more important than their own lives. Hopefully, the movie will be a love letter to those guys.

Oh, it was Drew Feustel!

Since we have a minute left, Ill ask you this: You and Paul Greengrass have a fourth Jason Bourne movie in the works. That’s scheduled to come out next summer, by which point nine years will have gone by since you last played that character. Why did you decide to do another one after such a long break?

Well, we talked about it periodically over the years. We both wanted to do it someday, maybe, but we were kind of done with the character. We didn’t know if he had anything left to say. We needed to wait for the world to change a little bit. And that happened. All the issues of national security that are alive now are interesting, and different from the ones during the Bush Administration. We got to a point where we felt the character would have something to say about this, so let’s bring him back.

For me the clinching thing was that Paul was going to direct it. I always said I’d do it if Paul came back. Obviously there was interest, over the years, on the studio side.

They even made one with Jeremy Renner.

Yeah, they did! And that franchise is still alive. Ours won’t do anything to impede that one. If they want to make more of those, they can do that.


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