CATEGORIES Features, Movies

BEVERLY HILLS, CA - AUGUST 02:  Actor Matt Damon attends the 'Elysium' photo call at Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills on August 2, 2013 in Beverly Hills, California.  (Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)Getty


Matt Damon is probably one of the most normal people in Hollywood. There are never any salacious tabloid stories about him, he married a former bartender, and he walks his daughters to school just like other, non-famous dads.

But, just because his life isn't scandalous, doesn't mean the 42-year-old is boring. To prove it to you, here are 15 things you probably didn't know about the "Elysium" star.

1. We all know that Damon and Ben Affleck are best friends. But, did you know that the Bostonians are also distant cousins? Tenth cousins, once removed, to be exact.

2. Before Damon and his bestie/cousin hit it big with their screenplay "Good Will Hunting," the pair were so broke that they shared a joint bank account.

3. At 16 years old, Damon decided he was going to leave Boston for New York City to chase his dream of becoming an actor. His well-educated parents did not approve and refused to finance his trip...

4... which might be the reason why he used to break dance in the middle of Harvard Square for money as a teenager.

5. Eventually, Damon decided to put his acting dreams on the back burner, and he attended Harvard. He studied English, but never actually graduated. Damon left school with 12 credits to go for a role in "Geronimo: An American Legend."

6. A few years later, Damon landed his breakout role in "Courage Under Fire," opposite Denzel Washington, in which he played a war veteran and heroin addict. Damon lost 40 pounds for the role and almost died because of it. The weight loss also messed up his metabolism for years to come.

7. Originally, Tom Hanks didn't want Damon to play Private James Ryan in "Saving Private Ryan" because he thought he was too skinny. Obviously, Hanks changed his mind.

8. Damon dated his "Hunting" co-star Minnie Driver for about a year. The relationship ended in a very public and cringe-worthy way when Damon denied having a girlfriend during an interview on the Oprah Winfrey Show. Well, that's one way to break-up with someone.

9. The actor was also romantically linked to Winona Ryder. The pair began dating shortly after his awkward break-up with Driver, and were even engaged for a while. But, legend has it that Ryder broke-up with damon for Mark Wahlberg. Talk about karma.

10. He once was quoted as saying, "What I want to do is a character-driven porn movie. It's all going to be about characters, and the porn's gonna grow all out of the characters and it's going to serve as character development."

11. Damon used to be a smoker, but quit with the help of a hypnotist.

12. To perfect a Southern accent for his role in "The Rainmaker," Damon worked as a bartender in Tennessee and even hired a customer to be his "dialect coach."

13. He is in an on-going feud with Jimmy Kimmel -- kind of. Anyone who watches "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" knows that his "I want to apologize to Matt Damon, we ran out of time" joke has been a nightly tradition for a while. Kimmel says the joke began after a particularly awful show with awful guests, so he decided to make light of the situation and act as if Damon had been bumped for said guests, which is just hilarious. Damon got his "revenge" earlier this year when he held Kimmel hostage and took over his show for a night.

14. Aside from being funny and talented, Damon is also a humanitarian. He co-founded the organization H20 Africa, which supplies drinkable water to impoverished countries on the continent, as well as Not On Our Watch, which fights to bring attention to human rights violations around the world.

15. His recent role in HBO's "Behind the Candleabra," in which he played Liberace's (Michael Douglas) lover, was his first non-fiction role.


Elysium - Extended Trailer