6 Iconic Matt Damon Roles

Matt Damon is now a well-established actor with credentials to floor anyone that might be interested in hiring him. Not to mention that he is a favorite of the fans due to his unique “attitude” and how he seems to fit in roles that require a sufficiently high degree of cool.

But, as is always the case with actors, there were times when he was what the other more experienced ones would call an up-start. Sure, some people might have seen potential in him early on, maybe way before everybody else caught on, but as a natural course in any actor’s career, there was a period when he was trying to make a name for himself.

And boy, did he manage to. Let’s take a look at 6 iconic Matt Damon roles.

1. Will Hunting

Will Hunting, one of the 6 iconic Matt Damon roles, and Sean Maguire on a bench.

It’s only fair to mention this one right off the bat, as it is possibly his most well-known performance, in the 1997 Good Will Hunting movie. And for good reason.

Because he did a masterful job of playing the socially reclusive, eccentric genius that was disinterested in what most people would call worthy challenges (because he was smart enough to solve anything he applied himself to) and mocked and lashed out at everybody, until he met a man who could earn his respect and guide him towards finding what was important to him, not others (love).

Of course, it mattered that man, professor Sean Maguire, was played by Robin Williams, who received an Oscar for the performance. But it was Matt Damon who took center piece and really shined, surprising many in the audience with the strength of the performance from a young actor.

2. Tom Ripley

The list of 6 iconic Matt Damon roles includes Tom Ripley who is in this photo.

The main character from The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999), this role shows Matt Damon performing just as well in a non-glamorous context. Because there’s not much to like about Ripley. On the contrary, Matt Damon’s job was to portray as well as he could a character that is clearly deranged, and has no qualms about breaking any form of moral boundary as long as it suits his purpose, which includes murdering and taking advantage of others.

Couple that with the fact that the character is charismatic, which aids him in his endeavors, and you get a pretty demanding performance. That Matt Damon dealt with admirably, being praised for his great and before then unknown range of emotions that he could express (yes, even taking into account Good Will Hunting).

3. Linus Caldwell

A freeze screen from Ocean's Eleven picturing Danny Ocean and Linus Caldwell, the latter being one of the 6 iconic Matt Damon roles.

If by the time Ocean’s Eleven rolled out in 2001 there weren’t any more doubts about Matt Damon’s skill as an actor, it was still a challenge for him to star in this movie because he shared the screen with more experienced actors who are big big names at a time when Matt Damon wasn’t yet confirmed as one of the “greats” himself.

The movie featured George Clooney, Elliott Gould, Brad Pitt, Andy Garcia and Julia Roberts, to name a few. Yet Matt Damon managed to act all his scenes flawlessly, without breaking a sweat. As if he belonged among such names. Which, in retrospect, everyone agreed he did.

But you can imagine the pressure of performing in such a context.

4. Jason Bourne

6 iconic Matt Damon roles - Jason Bourne, portrayed here holding a gun.

Though there was enough action in Ocean’s Eleven, it was not really an all out action movie, due to its fundamentally cerebral nature. In other words, the focus was on the schemes that Ocean and company put together and the challenges they would present, so a pretty intellectual perspective on crime.

Plus, it surely can’t be said that Matt Damon’s role in the movie can be characterized as an action role because, just like the movie in its entirety, it’s more of a hybrid between thriller, comedy and drama.

The Bourne Identity (2002) however is an action movie by definition. And Matt Damon stars as the protagonist, Jason Bourne. It’s the role that “certified” him as an action hero as well, apart from the range of acting skill he had displayed until then.

As Jason Bourne, Matt Damon portrays a man who has no memory at all when he wakes up after being literally plucked to safety from the sea where he was floating with several bullet wounds. The movie than follows his quest to find out who he is, why he seems to just be very good at fighting and other skills (which hint at intense training as an agent, assassin or soldier) and more importantly, why there are people out to kill him, including some secret services.

5. Colin Sullivan

One of the 6 iconic Matt Damon roles is that of Collin Sullivan, pictured here talking on the phone.

The Departed (2006) takes Matt Damon’s talents and makes good use of them by allowing him, through the role of corrupt cop Colin Sullivan, to show a powerful yet subtle portrait of human desperation stemming from bad decisions taken in the past.

As Colin was helped by the Mafia as a child and adolescent, even facilitating his entrance to the Police academy, when he graduates he is indebted to them. In the form of being their inside man in the police.

Though he is not fundamentally evil, the movie does show all the ugly manifestations of such a person who will do anything to avoid danger and harm to himself. Even if it means betraying a colleague, the honest cop Billy Costigan (played by Leonardo Di Caprio), tasked with infiltrating the Mafia.

6. Mark Watney

The list of 6 iconic Matt Damon roles includes that of Mark Watney, pictured in the habitat in this photo.

As you probably know, with all the hype it gathered around it, The Martian was released this year, at the beginning of October.

And the whole movie revolves around Mark Watney, an astronaut from a mission to Mars who due to an accident caused by a powerful storm gets left behind on Mars and presumed dead, while his colleagues are forced to take of and return to Earth.

Matt Damon plays Mark Watney who is forced to use every ounce of intelligence, scientific knowledge and physical energy to survive on the barren planet long enough to signal NASA that he is still alive and then long enough to be rescued by them.

The character of Mark Watney is a complex one, with normal strong human emotions flowing underneath the mask of cool calm, efficiency and relaxed humor that he displays as he keeps these emotions in rigorous control so that they don’t get in the way of his survival.

But throughout the movie, Matt Damon succeeds in letting the audience have just the right amount of a sneak view at the man dealing with huge levels of fatigue, constant anxiety and outright fear in his total isolation and struggle to survive.

As for the cool, cocky, humorous part, needless to say he carries it very well, as he carries the whole movie.

Image source: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.

4 Costly TV Series HBO Produced

Many an aspiring screenwriter or producer has had his hopes dashed when the TV series he/she proposed was not deemed worth the money required to be invested in it.

And many a TV series have withered and died after their plug was pulled by executives who didn’t see the return on investments being on par with the costs. In spite of some such series being amazing according to the considerable numbers of fans that swear by it (looking at you “Firefly” and wiping away a tear).

But making a TV series, especially an ambitious one is indeed a costly process. So, it’s natural and common sense that the ones that cough out the money have the last word and influence the evolution of such a project.

And, to be fair, there have been many instances as well in which investors agreed to pour a ton of money into series that turned out to be spectacular.

As well as some cases in which the result was… not so great. But at least, the effort was made.

So take a look below at 4 costly TV series HBO produced, despite the humongous sums involved which would make you think any investor would have ran in panic and chosen some other project. They didn’t and the results are these series.

1. Rome

4 costly TV series HBO produced - Rome

Let’s start with one of the sob stories similar to “Firefly”. Not because of the subject matter, although the intense, brutal and sometimes gory life of ancient Rome as depicted in the series might be too much for some.

But because this masterpiece in the true sense of the word was cancelled after only two seasons. Yeah, that’s one more than “Firefly” but who’s counting?! (Sob).

Point is that “Rome” was so well made and paid such an attention to detail that it was and still is the most immersive and entrancing portrayal of that period of history ever made. There’s nothing that comes to mind that could be considered poorly done with this series: from the character development and dialogue, to the creative and smart mingling of historical characters with fictional ones, costumes, set, pacing, you name it.

And it’s not just my opinion because, wanna know the real kicker? The show was nominated for 2 Golden Globes, won 7 Emmys and was a critical success for the ages. All of this happening after its cancellation. Along with its massive sales on DVD.

So why, oh, why did HBO cancel it? Because it such dedication as described above and the results that come with it are only possibly with a hefty price. 10 million $ per episode, to be exact.

I mean, let’s put it this way, when the set you painstakingly built to be historically accurate develops its own ecosystem complete with rats and bugs (as the producers confirmed happened with “Rome”), you can safely say you’re invested in the project and costs tend to go up.

2. Deadwood

One of the 4 costly TV series HBO produced is Deadwood

Another huge success after its cancellation, “Deadwood”‘s story is tied to that of “Rome”, because they overlapped for a while (“Deadwood” 2004-2006; “Rome” 2005-2007). Which serves to explain why HBO was pretty panicky at the time of its decision to cancel “Deadwood” after its third season: they were already stressed about the “Rome”‘s costs and Deadwood’s 4.5 million $/episode were adding to their concerns.

Because at the time, they had two ongoing series that HBO didn’t really know would be successful or not.

Guess what? Just like in Rome’s case, “Deadwood” really DID turn into a success (albeit, granted, not at the same astronomic level as Rome), with many fans disappointed that the plot was left hanging and begging for a final season to wrap things up.

Because unlike Rome, in which the writers admirably managed to increase the pace without breaking the story and still manage to tie things up in a satisfactory manner (hey, history really did go on after Caesar, so they just had to step back and say “That’s all, folks!”), “Deadwood” ends in blatant breaking manner. You know, akin to hanging on the proverbial cliff.

It’s due to this undeserving ending that fans are still hoping that someone will decide to pick up this Western period drama and produce the final season. With the same great actors, of course!

3. Boardwalk Empire

The list of 4 costly TV series HBO produced includes Boardwalk Empire

Luckily, HBO learns from its (marketing/financial) mistakes. As exemplified by the fact that another expensive show produced by the network, “Boardwalk Empire”, was allowed to continue to its final 5th seasons, without the writers having to make any major cuts or changes to their plans, allowing them to conclude the show as they wanted.

“Boardwalk Empire” is a drama centered on Atlantic City in the 1920s, from the beginning of the Prohibition Era, which is even depicted in the pilot episode from the viewpoint of both politicians and common people.

And speaking of the pilot episode, it cost 18 million $ to make, because they reconstructed the entire Atlantic City Boardwalk as it was back then.

After the pilot, the cost per episode dropped to a more “modest” 5 million $ per episode.

But without sacrificing anything with regard to historical accuracy, including epoch cars, clothes etc. All the glamour of the Roaring Twenties on screen.

4. Game of Thrones

4 costly TV series HBO produced - Game Of Thrones

The popular series (ha! huge understatement) surely needs no description.

So I’ll just mention that, on average, a “Game of Thrones” episode costs around 6 million $, with costs projected to increase in future seasons.

And I say on average, because “special” episodes, like “Blackwater” and “The Dance with Dragons”, featuring battle scenes cost way more.

The pilot itself cost 10 million $, but for the same reasons as that of “Boardwalk Empire” did: the sets. Building each of the impressive locations where the parts of the story take place cost a lot.

Apart from the sets, the usual costs per each episode revolve around the actors’ salaries, costumes (of which everyone has to have one, including extras), unique locations and some special effects now and then.

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5 Stars With A Younger New Flame

Every relationship has its ups and downs. There’s even the theory of the 3 year mark, based on some studies, but not decided beyond doubt yet, that at this point in a relationship couples are under most stress and likely to break up. And the corollary that if they make it past this point their chances of staying together improve.

And this whole up/down emotional roller coaster holds true for marriages as well. But, as love and keeping a long-term partner are such complicated subjects with many many factors involved, it’s difficult to predict exactly what will happen, let alone be prescient enough to counteract whatever things might lead to a break up.

So, in essence, it remains a hit and miss endeavor over which we have little control, apart from making the best effort we can and taking all the choices we consider to be right for us.

Which is probably what some stars believed they were doing when they left their partners for a younger one. At least rationalizing it after the fact if not considering this in advance. If they did the right thing or not is entirely up to debate, but surely theirs alone to decide.

In the lines below, 5 stars with a younger new flame will be presented.

1. Mel Gibson

5 stars with a younger new flame - Mel Gibson

Mel Gibson probably had one of the longest marriages attributed to a Hollywood actor. 30 years with his now ex-wife Robyn, to be exact. It ended abruptly when Mel got a 14 year younger woman named Oksana Grigorieva pregnant in 2009.

What was more abrupt than that? His relationship with Oksana. Which ended, with custody battles over the child, before Mel’s divorce to Robyn was legally finalized.

2. Marilyn Manson

One of the 5 stars with a younger new flame is Marilyn Manson

Notorious for many things, this controversial music icon somehow managed to get married to Dita von Teese, herself a controversial artist, for a year. She was 33 and he was 37 when they tied the knot. But apparently a then 19 year old Rachel Wood was soon to come along like Alexander’s blade against the Gordian knot and sever Manson’s and Teese’s marriage just as easily.

3. Rowan Atkinson

The list of 5 stars with a younger new flame includes Rowan Atkinson.

Another long run ended unexpectedly, the British actor’s and comedian’s 23 year old marriage which produced 2 children is now a thing of the past as Atkinson announced that he had filed for divorce from his wife Sunetra Sastry in 2014.

He is currently with Louise Ford, who is 25 years younger than his ex-wife.

4. Ronnie Wood

5 stars with a younger new flame - Ronnie Wood

The guitar player for legendary rock band The Rolling Stones, Ronnie Wood seemed to be a master of relationship-building as well, considering that he an his wife Jo were married for 24 years, until 2009. Even more impressive, they got married pretty late, too. Because they’d been together for 8 years before that, since they met in 1977, to their marriage in 1985.

So you can imagine everyone’s surprise, and especially Jo’s, when he started very publicly going out with an at the time 18-year old cocktail waitress, to the point of bringing her home one late night in 2009 after they’d both been drinking.

Ekaterina Ivanova, the girl in question, being more drunk than Ronnie, managed to light her hair on fire from the stove, as she tried to lit a cigarette. As a merciful Jo put out the flames, Ronnie had a line for the hall of fame of inappropriate, risky lines to say to you’re life partner, especially in that context. He said:”She reminds me of you when you were young”.

5. Johnny Depp

Johnny Depp is one of the 5 stars with a younger new flame.

He and Vanessa Paradis were one of the couples that, although unmarried, people in general, along with every tabloid, took for granted. Judging by the 2 children they had together and the 14 years they’d shared with each other in what appeared to be a perfect match of tastes and pursuits.

Which only made it a field day for said tabloids when this partnership ended in 2012.

But Depp was quick to bounce back, soon showing up with his new partner Amber Heard, 14 years younger than Vanessa. He married Amber in 2015.

Image source: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.

Hollywood Unsolved Death Mysteries

Crime story movies are very apt at portraying mysteries and intrigues on film if the right combination of director, cast, funds and a whole lot of other factors align.

But at times, a combination of different factors make the real-life Hollywood where many of these movies come from just as ripe for a crime story. Unfortunately. Because in these instances, the events are real and the people whose life is forfeit are as well.

Here’s a few Hollywood unsolved death mysteries that to this day make many lower quality crime stories look like a joke compared to the real deal.

1. Natalie Wood

Hollywood unsolved death mysteries - Natalie Wood

You know Christopher Walken, right? Well he knew Natalie Wood, the actress most popular for “West Side Story” as well. Quite well, since their close-friendship is what caused Walken to be on the same yacht with Wood and her husband (Robert Wagner) the night she died in 1981.

Now if the fact that husband and wife + close friend alone on yacht can be explained easily, why she was found floating in the water, drowned, with (possible, hard to determine) bruises despite her husband’s police statement that she simply went to bed and left him and Walken to finish the argument that they were having, gets a bit trickier.

Especially if you take into account that the argument in question was, according to a later declaration by the ship’s captain, about Wood’s closeness to Walken.

2. George Reeves

One of the Hollywood unsolved death mysteries is that of George Reeves

The famous “Adventures of Superman” (1952 – 1958) actor is one of the most known Hollywood mysteries because he was found dead from being shot in the head. Notice the “being shot in the head” expression I chose, because despite the official police report that he had committed suicide from depression, his mother and a private detective she hired are sure that he would never have done such a thing and that he was in fact murdered.

By none other than his mistress Toni Mannix, wife of Eddie Mannix of MGM or by Eddie himself. Corroborating their claim is the fact that at the time of his death, his fiance Leonore Lemmon and three guests were downstairs. Yet they took long to call the police and were not immediately alarmed by the shot. As well as a supposed confession by Toni in 1999 to a publicist.

3. The Notorious B.I.G.

The list of Hollywood unsolved death mysteries includes Notorious BIG

By his real birth name Christopher George Wallace, Biggie smalls a.k.a. Notorious B.I.G. was one of the two major poles of the rap industry in the 90s alongside Tupac Shakur who was the other one. Biggie represented the East coast, while Tupac was the iconic leader of the West coast.

Their enmity is complex and not fully understood to this day, so it would take too long to present here. What is clear is that their story is entwined, in a twisted way, until the end. Because Biggie’s death took place in 1997, via drive-by, just six months after Tupac’s own death by drive-by.

To this day, it’s not known whether both rappers ordered and carried out each others’ death, or if they were actually eliminated for political and cultural reasons (because they were gaining too much power), or even if at least Biggie was the victim of an excessive police force (LAPD) that wanted to eliminate his influence on the town.

4. Elizabeth Short

Elizabeth Short is one of the Hollywood unsolved death mysteries

If instead of Elizabeth Short you would have read The Black Dahlia, it’s almost certain that something would have clicked in your memory. And there’s a high chance that the oft-repeated refrain: “The Black Dahlia Murder” would have come entirely (hey, there’s even a band with this name, among many other references of it in other domains).

What people know as The Black Dahlia Murder (due to the press giving it this bombastic name at the time, as it did for all particularly shocking murders) refers to the death of the actress Elizabeth Short in 1947.

This might just be the most gruesome murder that took place at Hollywood, because she was found cut in half, with signs of having had her arms tied and suffered torture, a nasty cut over her face from one side to the other and … drained of blood.

What’s even more galling and shocking is that the murderer was never even identified, let alone caught. Despite the fact that he anonymously toyed with policemen later, including mailing things from her purse!

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6 Celebrities That Suffered From Depression

Depression is a seriously crippling condition, because it warps every aspect of your life. When you are constantly psychologically tired and unhappy, it also translates into physical tiredness which stops in their tracks all the efforts you might have otherwise made on a daily basis.

And the biggest problem is that it is a self-feeding problem. Because you are depressed, you get all the negative consequences, which in turn make you even more depressed and so forth. Which is why getting out of depression can be very difficult, requiring at least the support of family and friends, if not professional help.

Still, it is possible to get out of it and back to a happy, productive life. As the following 6 celebrities that suffered from depression demonstrate. And consider that in their case, they didn’t even have the privacy and peace the rest of us do, as the eyes of the world are constantly upon them.

1. Angelina Jolie

6 celebrities that suffered from depression - Angelina Jolie

Angelina got severely depressed in 2007 when her mother died. And she later shared that in that period she couldn’t focus on anything else except negative thoughts. Fortunately (and as a positive personal example to others) she found the solution herself, by deciding to accept the role in “Wanted”, which included a lot of stunts and ergo, lots of physical activity, which is one sure way to battle depression.

2. Gwyneth Paltrow

Gwyneth Paltrow is one of the 6 celebrities that suffered from depression

An example of how depression can sometimes manifest itself unexpectedly, Gwyneth Paltrow’s episode came after the birth of her son, Moses, in 2006. And the way this post-partum form of depression affected her was that she couldn’t access her emotions at all, being practically numb like “a zombie”, in her own words.

3. Kylie Minogue

The list of 6 celebrities that suffered from depression includes Kylie Minogue

Other times, depression can be a personally traumatic experience, as was Kylie’s case when she succumbed to it after being diagnosed with breast cancer in 2005. Taking time-off from work because of the needed surgery and chemotherapy only made things worse as it kept her mind free to obsess on the false perception that she will not be “normal” after her surgery anymore. Of course, she finally realized this was not so and got herself back together by creating a “new normal”, emerging stronger.

4. Catherine Zeta Jones

6 celebrities that suffered from depression - Catherine Zeta Jones

An image of class, strength and stability (including her long-term relationship with Michael Douglas), Catherine Zeta Jones placed herself in hospital care in 2011 for bipolar disorder (a mental affliction in which one oscillates between two states one being depression and the other mania). Key words being placed herself in the care of professionals. It appears stress was the cause as is also confirmed by some scientific opinions.

5. Russell Brand

Russell Brand is one of the 6 celebrities that suffered from depression.

Despite being a successful “funny man” (read stand-up comedian), actor and activist now, Brand’s early years were marked by over-eating, abusing alcohol, taking drugs and even cutting himself, as he tried to cope with an absent father figure and his own sense of inadequacy and isolation. He was diagnosed with manic depression. But he managed to turn his thoughts to humor, focus on that, ignore those who tried to bring him down and succeeded in turning his life completely around.

6. Jim Carrey

The list of 6 celebrities that suffered from depression includes Jim Carrey

Another successful comedian and a legend of the genre, no one would expect Jim Carrey to be anything else but the raw energy recipient we see him as in most of his movies. But he was severely depressed after his second divorce (which emphasized the first as well), because depression can also be a need for someone else, not necessarily some internal lack or the death of a loved one.

As a consequence, he was put on Prozac (powerful psychiatric drug), which he took for “a long time”, as he says. But he realized that that is a crutch and he can’t keep relying on it forever, so he found the courage to part ways with it. Jim describes a healthy diet, supplements and being active as the key helpers he’s had to get back to a fulfilling existence when he stopped relying on Prozac.

Image source: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.