Why Matt Damon Said It Was ‘A Little Terryifying’ Working On the Set of Clint Eastwood’s ‘Invictus’
11th August 2021

Matt Damon has worked with some of the best film directors to ever do it. With a career spanning more than 20 years, Damon’s been directed by Oscar-winners such as Martin Scorsese, Steven Soderbergh, Francis Ford Coppola, and Clint Eastwood. 

Collectively, movies that Damon has starred in have grossed nearly $4 billion, making him one of the most bankable actors in the world. The impressive resume of A-list directors that Damon has worked with had undoubtedly had a huge impact on the success of his films. 

All of Damon’s previous directors have their own unique styles and each one of them approaches their craft differently. Out of all of the directors Damon has worked with, Eastwood is arguably the most challenging. In fact, Damon admitted that he was “a little terrified” while working on Eastwood’s 2009 film Invictus.

Matt Damon said working on Clint Eastwood’s ‘Invictus’ was a terrifying

Damon explained why he was so scared during a recent interview with Hot Ones.

“Well it was a little terrifying because I was playing a South African, and that’s a really hard accent to do,” he said. “If you think about what our tongue does in an American accent, it’s like the polar opposite in a South African accent. So it’s like, if you say, ‘I’ll be right back,’ and think about what your tongue does, they say, ‘I’ll be right back’ [imitates South African accent]. And it’s like, ‘What the f*** just happened, right? [Laughs]. 

He had to practice a South African accent for months to prepare

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The South African accent alone wasn’t what scared Damon, though. Eastwood is notorious for only doing one take for every shot in his films, which means Damon only had one chance to deliver his lines with an authentic accent. 

To better prepare himself for Eastwood’s directing style, Damon practiced the South African accent tirelessly. 

“It was something that just required a lot of practice, and I treated it like a job,” Damon added. 

Matt Damon unsuccessfully asked Clint Eastwood for another take while filming

When the time came to shoot Invictus, everything seemed to be going well. However, Damon wanted to see if the rumors about Eastwood were true. Unfortunately, he found out the hard way. 

“I tested that theory on day one of shooting. We did the first take, it went pretty well, but Clint says, ‘Cut. Print. Check the gate. Which means we’re gonna move on,” Damon recalled. “And I said, ‘Hey, boss, maybe you think we can get one more?’ And he just turned and he goes, ‘Why? You wanna waste everybody’s time?’ I was like, ‘Ok, we’re done. Alright good, let’s move on.’” 

Looking back on the experience, Damon admitted that Eastwood truly did live up to the legend of his working style. 

“I’m glad I put all that work in, because I really don’t think I got more than one take ever,” he said. 

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