Matt Damon: Right! So he came to meet me and you know he’s one of my favorite directors and I’d been hoping that he’d give me a job offer and so he said I have something for you and so I was really excited. And he came and we sat down and he told me the concept and it was one of those things where he said it and I was like, “Is he joking?”. Like I really didn’t know, I thought maybe this is like part of a thing that he does —
OJ Williams: Like maybe it’s a test?
Matt Damon: Yeah, and I mean I would’ve failed it anyway cause, if he said we’re gonna do the phone book, I would’ve said I can’t wait, I’ve always wanted to do that. But he told me the concept and then he gave me the script. And so I read it and I just thought it was the most ambitious kind of smart, funny, moving thing and I got really excited about it. And it took a while, you know we lost a whole year because it was hard to get funding. You know, it’s hard to make a movie like this nowadays, that’s really about something and that’s got all of these special effects but it’s ultimately about human beings and there’s no superheroes, there’s no dragons, you know what I mean? There’s no sequel. So it was challenging to just get it made.
OJ Williams: Your character Paul Safranek is an interesting man. How would you describe him? And what did you admire most about him?
Matt Damon: I think he’s kind of a naive, but fundamentally decent person and a really good person, with a good heart and doesn’t know what he doesn’t know but is very kind of ultimately open to the world. And he goes on this kind of incredible journey of self discovery really through the course of this movie and ends up in this really kind of remarkable place.
OJ Williams: Between Downsizing and Suburbicon, you’ve had a great year. Both films had really strong messages and meaning and different stories and conceptually very different from what’s out on the market. Was that intentionally on your behalf?
Matt Damon: I think I just got lucky that those two movies were, they came out back to back. But um, they are, I love Suburbicon too. And it, unfortunately, got slaughtered by the critics and didn’t, you know, didn’t do anything at the box office. But I’m really proud of that movie and as you say, it’s really different from anything else that’s out there and as is this. This is an even probably more ambitious movie because it’s on a bigger scale. There’s all these special effects and so there’s more at stake financially for the studio. But I just love it. I love that we got to make em. I hope this one does reasonably well so movies like this can keep getting made. It’s becoming harder and harder cause the margins are so small now that it’s that people are pretty risk averse nowadays in Hollywood.
OJ Williams: And lastly, what do you want people to take away from watching Downsizing?
Matt Damon: Well I think there are a lot of really great themes in this movie and a lot to talk about. And you know, Alexander tends to play his cards pretty close to the vest when he talks about this movie kind of thematically because he doesn’t wanna, you know, it’s like you don’t want to lead the horse to water. It’s like, you know, an audience gets—can bring, brings it’s own stuff to something like this and will have so many of its own ideas and so you don’t wanna limit what is possible in the viewing experience.
The film hits theaters on December 22.