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‘Sexiest’ title eludes Damon, but he takes it in stride

Oscar-winning actor discusses role in “Bourne Ultimatum,” likelihood of fourth Bourne movie and his friends’ quest to have him grace People magazine’s list of sexiest people.
/ Source: TODAY contributor

Matt Damon has an Academy Award for best original screenplay, was nominated for another Oscar as best actor, is the wildly successful star of the “Bourne” movies, recently got a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and is happily married with two beautiful daughters.

But there’s one hole in Damon’s resume that he’s determined to fill. He’s never been named People magazine’s Sexiest Man Alive.

“I’ve got to hire a campaign manager,” Damon told TODAY co-host Meredith Vieira on Thursday. “[George] Clooney’s been trying to campaign for me the last few years. It’s a whisper campaign.”

Damon’s “campaign” for the coveted title has become a running joke among him, Clooney, and their mutual friend, Brad Pitt, who lands high on the magazine’s list year after year. The handsome and affable Damon, who dropped out of Harvard to pursue his acting career, has been in the Top Ten once, but last year he didn’t even make the top 15 list, which Clooney headed and Pitt also graced.

Another Bourne ‘unlikely’
Damon may not be the sexiest, in one magazine’s opinion, but his movies remain a hit with theater-goers.Damon was a little groggy for the early-morning interview, having been up most of the night with his 13-month-old daughter, Isabella. He, his wife of two and a half years, Luciana, stepdaughter Alexia and Isabella have been working their way across the country for the third installment of the Bourne series, “The Bourne Ultimatum,” and, he said, Isabella has yet to adjust to jet lag, so she’s up at night and asleep during the day.

The first two movies in the trilogy based on Robert Ludlum’s best-selling novels, “The Bourne Identity” and “The Bourne Supremacy,” have grossed more than $500 million and sold more than 20 million copies on DVD. In “The Bourne Ultimatum,” Damon, as programmed CIA assassin Jason Bourne, finally discovers everything about who he is and finally settles all his bloody accounts.

A fourth Bourne movie based on the book “The Bourne Legacy” is possible, he said, if everything were to line up perfectly in terms of timing, talent and direction. “It’s unlikely,” Damon concluded finally.

Damon was 29 years old when the first of the trilogy was made. He’s 36 now and, he said, filming all the chase scenes and fights is taking a toll that it never did before.

“I was exhausted, stiff in the morning,” he said.

He has one fight scene with a character played by 23-year-old Joey Ansah that had Damon begging Ansah to slow down. “‘Please stop. I was in high school when you were born.’” Damon said he told Ansah.More great chase scenes
The action thriller takes viewers around the world, and includes a high-energy chase across the rooftops of Tangiers in Morocco that took weeks to film, as well as an epic car chase on Seventh Avenue in New York City. Noting that all great chase scenes are “stepchildren of ‘The French Connection,’” Damon said it had to be shot in New York.

There is no green-screen trickery or computer animation in the Bourne series, he told Vieira: “The great thing about these movies is we do everything in camera — the real way to do it. It lends it some authenticity.”