Matt Damon Says He ‘Fell into a Depression’ while Filming a Movie

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Matt Damon has revealed that he experienced a period of depression while filming a movie.

The actor, who recently attended the premiere of his new film Oppenheimer in Paris alongside Cillian Murphy and Emily Blunt, reflected on one of the lowest points in his life during production.

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In an interview with Jakes Takes, the 52-year-old opened up about the moment he realized something was seriously amiss on set.

Though he did not mention the specific movie, Damon acknowledged that there are times when you find yourself working on a project that may not live up to your expectations. “Sometimes you find yourself in a movie that you know, perhaps, might not be what you had hoped it would be, and you’re still making it,” he explained.

Damon continued, sharing his personal experience: “And I remember halfway through production, when you still have months to go and you’ve brought your family along, inconveniencing them, I remember my wife pulling me aside because I had fallen into a depression, questioning what I had done.”

He went on to discuss how his wife helped him navigate through the challenging situation. “She simply said, ‘We’re here now,'” revealed the Good Will Hunting star. “You know, and it was like… I do take pride, largely because of her, in being a professional actor. Being a professional actor means giving your all during the 15-hour workdays, even when you know it might not yield the desired outcome.”

“If you can approach it with the best possible attitude, then you’re a pro,” he added, crediting his wife for her support.

Although Damon did not disclose the specific movie that led to his depression, various sources, including Variety and Men’s Journal, speculated that it could be The Great Wall, released in 2016.

Directed by Chinese filmmaker Zhang Yimou, the film followed the story of a mercenary warrior portrayed by Damon, who becomes imprisoned within the Great Wall and uncovers the mysteries surrounding it. Men’s Journal criticized the visual effects as “embarrassingly shoddy” and described the overall storyline as “limp.” The publication also highlighted the film’s reliance on the “white savior” trope, a narrative device that has been widely criticized.

Damon previously discussed his dissatisfaction with The Great Wall during a 2021 interview on Marc Maron’s ‘WTF’ podcast. He described the experience as a trainwreck, stating, “I thought, this is exactly how disasters happen. It doesn’t come together. It doesn’t work as a movie.” Interestingly, even Damon’s daughter shared a similar sentiment. “My daughter knows it,” he shared. “Whenever she talks about the movie, she calls it ‘The Wall.’ And I’m like, come on, it’s called The Great Wall. And she’s like, ‘Dad, there’s nothing great about that movie.’ She’s one of the funniest people I know.”

Reflecting on the production, Damon admitted that he didn’t have a positive feeling about it from the start. “I eventually came to view it as the definition of a professional actor: knowing you’re in a flop but persevering and saying, ‘Okay, I have four more months. It’s the up at dawn siege on Hamburger Hill. I’m definitely going to die here, but I’m doing it,'” he confessed. “That’s as terrible as you can feel creatively, I think. I hope to never experience that feeling again.”

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