BOURNE TO PLAY JASON
Fourteen years after his super-spy incarnation got his first outing, Matt Damon returns to his most iconic role in new flick Jason Bourne
Matt Damon found it hard to get in shape at the age of 45 for his fourth outing as rogue CIA agent Jason Bourne. It’s understandable considering he was just 31 when he first played the character in 2002’s The Bourne Identity, and nine years have passed since his last outing in The Bourne Ultimatum.
“It was different coming back at 45 years old. You might not have felt the nine years but I definitely did getting ready for it,” Damon says. “I was young when I started these things and I’m a lot older now.”
Despite his advancing years, Damon still engaged in highoctane action scenes in the film, including several bareknuckled fights, which were carefully choreographed.
“It was a lot of work to get in shape for it but I really liked all the choreography,” he says.
“It’s a lot more like a dance when you’re doing fight choreography because you both have to be in exactly the right place or it doesn’t look right for the camera.” With almost a decade between Jason Bourne and The Bourne Ultimatum, director Paul Greengrass has brought the story up-to-date with a plot line around the modern issue of cyber security, influenced by the real-life case of US whistleblower Edward Snowden.
“We try to make them feel like they’re in the world that we’re all living in, and the issue of privacy versus security is the massive issue of our time right now,” Damon says.
“That was really not the case 10 years ago and that’s really at the heart of this movie.”
The film’s denouement takes place during a tech conference in Las Vegas featuring a tech wunderkind (think Mark Zuckerberg) who has struck a secret deal with the CIA to share private information.
“The movie doesn’t try to answer any of those questions but it does ask the questions and that’s kind of what the whole third act is,” he says.
“At that conference they’re asking essentially that question: ‘what are we willing to trade for our own security’?”
Damon’s fondness for the character, along with his admiration of the film’s returning director Greengrass, could bring him back to Bourne again ... but after a break.
“I could definitely see coming back with Paul (Greengrass) if Paul wants to do it but he literally just delivered this movie and he’s rightly on vacation with his wife and kids right now, so we’ll give him a couple of years to breathe,” he says.
“But either way (Bourne) will never leave me. Even if they rebooted it with a young actor and just did a whole new take on it, it still represents a huge kind of wonderful part of my life.”
Damon’s co-star, Swedish actress Alicia Vikander, plays CIA agent Heather Lee with expertise in computer hacking.
She doesn’t get involved in Damon’s bare-knuckled fight scenes, but it brings her one step closer to action hero status.
“She was a huge new element for us because she represented this whole new arena of warfare and cyber warfare, and she’s also this incredible young actress and a whole fresh face for the franchise,” Damon says.
Even Vikander was surprised to be involved in the gritty movie franchise although the evolution of the movies left space for a modern character like Vikander’s.
“I was a big fan of the Jason Bourne movies so I was thrilled when I just heard they were going to make a new one and that was before I even knew that there would be a part available for me,” she says.
“When I had a call from Paul Greengrass I was thrilled. I met him for lunch and he told me about this idea and how the world has now changed so much since the last Bourne movie, and how that kind of brings up new issues and aspects for a world where Bourne could be in.” Jason Bourne opens today
Matt Damon as Bourne and Julia Stiles as Nicky Parsons in Jason Bourne.