TODAY

TODAY   |  July 30, 2013

Matt Damon: I’m always trying to be like Brad Pitt

The Academy Award-winning actor talks about his new movie, “Elysium,” a sci-fi thriller, and his admiration for the film’s director, Neill Blomkamp, who also directed “District 9.”

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> damon's new movie is being called one of the summer's most provocative films. he plays one of the have notes on a futuristic version of earth that gets called in by police when he refuses to cooperate.

>> violation of code 2219, today, bus stop 34 b.

>> that's what i want to talk to you about.

>> extension of parole by 8 months.

>> i can explain what happened. i made a joke.

>> stop talking. personality matrix suggests to alter your patterns.

>> would you like to talk?

>> no i'm okay.

>> are you being sarcastic?

>> negative.

>>> matt damon , welcome back. you joke in the past and you've said it on a number of occasions that when you get to see a script it usually has brad pitt 's fingertips on it. others have gotten to read it first. the reality is the director had other people in mind before you got the project.

>> that is normally the case. it's rare that you get something directly from somebody. you just tend not to -- you know somebody else has seen it but you tend not to ask.

>> i read he was thinking about eminem for this role.

>> i read it too. it's the kind of thing, it's like asking your girlfriend about her ex-boyfriends.

>> you don't want to know.

>> it doesn't have any baring on your relationship. so it doesn't matter.

>> it's a very gritty movie. you want to take a nice hot shower after watching parts of this. it's a little bit of a different role for you. i sat there watching it yesterday and i found myself saying outloud this is great sci-fi and yet i know the director doesn't want it to be viewed as typical sci-fi.

>> yeah. the reason i did the movie was really because of the director, he has done district 9 which is one of my favorite movies in recent years and i think his take on science fiction is kind of the coolest thing out there right now.

>> let's set it upright now. it's what and when does this take place.

>> 150 years in the future and earth has basically become a third world planet and all of the haves moved off on to this space station that they have built and it sits above the earth and orbits the earth.

>> which is stunning by the way. it's a really cool concept and all of us on earth are looking up at it trying to get there. meanwhile, we just kind of get whatever meager existence we can.

>> your character is max. he undergoes a transformation in this figuratively and literally and i bought it completely, matt. i really did. talk about it.

>> i think that's the key. neil can sell these concepts. he did this also in district 9 but a lot of research and work went into creating this look that i have on. the idea is that i have an accident at work and i have five days to make it --

>> where anything can be cured.

>> so i start to take these incredible chances and risks and commit hijacking citizens to try to get up there somehow.

>> you want people to sit in the theater or i sat and watched it alone, completely entertained as s sci-fi but also a call to action . somebody said this is not that far in the future. this could be now.

>> any science fiction , what's great is it's talking about today. it's not really talking about the future but i think neil, the director, would two crazy if he thought anybody was saying it's a call to action . all he wants to do is make the most entertaining, just kind of kick you know what sci-fi movie that he can and that's really -- he wants to entertain more than anything. but there are these really kind of cool themes, you know, like there were in district 9 . it's a really interesting movie on a lot of levels but it was incredibly entertaining.

>> i was watching you in this yesterday and i'm thinking about the role i saw you in last which is behind the candleabra which occurs to me that you're making unique choices right now.

>> those are my choices, it's always about the director. the material is important but i've come to realize and really feel that you just place a big bet on a director and then you go all the way with that director from project to project and things tend to workout.

>> and we were kidding you before about moving out of new york but one of the major reasons is you'll be concentrating on this production company that you and ben afleck have.

>> right.

>> is that the best ways to get the best projects in the future? develop your own?

>> yeah. particularly because we both write. together we can get a lot of good stuff and get books before they have come out and try to develop some really good projects together and really the best way to do it is to hang out our shingle in a more official way.

>> another good friend of yours is brad pitt and you spoke out recently and you said that you think brad pitt is jealous of you. by the way, you do a good brad pitt so in your brad pitt accent tell me why you're jealous of matt damon .

>> all i said was --

>> no, you said he was jealous of you, come on.

>> the fact that here in new york i could walk my kids to school and not by hounded by photographers.

>> that's all?

>> that's it. what else is he going to be jealous of, you know? yeah, he's jealous of me.

>> but you do a good brad pitt .

>> i don't -- brad sounds a lot like me.

>> oh, so it's just you doing yourself and it sounds like brad.

>> people go that's a good brad pitt . i spend my life trying to be like brad pitt .

>> do you really? a lot of us do actually. so you're moving this weekend. are you done? no way to talk you out of this.

>> not in the short-term. talk to me in a couple of months.

>> come back and visit us.

>> nice to see you.

>> we'll be back with robin thicke performing blurred lines on the plaza after your local news.