In 1998 the war film was released Saving Private Ryan, directed by Steven Spielberg, a drama set in the invasion of Normandy during World War II. The hyper realistic recreation of the war, earned him numerous awards, including five Oscars. The film featured an impressive cast, including Matt Damon as Private Ryan from the title.
In an interview with the magazine GQ analyzing your career, Damon revealed that it was the late Robin Williams who helped him land that role. so important in his filmography. And remember that the actor arranged an interview for him and his friend Ben Affleck to meet Steven Spielberg.
Williams had previously worked with Spielberg on Hook, in 1991 and had a very good relationship with the director. As Damon said, “Robin knew that it would never be a bad thing to meet the greatest filmmaker of all time and how much we would appreciate him.”
Matt Damon in “Saving Private Ryan”,
The antecedent that marked the future
Damon and Affleck have known each other since their days as college students. and they came to do, not only as actors but also as writers Good will hunting. In that film they had shared a cast with Robin Williams, who played a tormented therapist who made the academic prodigy, also tormented, Will Hunting (Damon) open up emotionally.
The film, directed by Gus Van Sant, garnered nine Oscar nominations, and won two of the awards: one for best original screenplay for Damon and Affleck and the other for best supporting actor for Williams. There, a close bond was generated between the established actor and the young people who were already starting to stomp in Hollywood.
Robin Williams. The late actor was remembered for his generosity by his colleague Matt Damon.
On Saving Private Ryan, Damon shared a cast with Tom Hanks, in the role of the captain of the United States Army, John Miller, who along with seven men is looking for a paratrooper, the soldier James Francis Ryan who has lost his three brothers in combat. Vin Diesel, Ted Danson, Tom Sizemore, Edward Burns, Paul Giamatti and Bryan Cranston, among others, also participated in the film.
The best business card
“I had recorded myself reading for part of the script for the film but I had not been chosen,” remembers Damon. “When Spielberg met me in person and said ‘I think I know you from somewhere ‘, and I said ‘Well I made a movie called Courage Under Fire‘. Answered me; ‘That’s it, I told my wife, that’s the exact type of person I want to play Private Ryan, but he’s too skinny.’“.
And he adds: “I had lost almost 20 kilos, to play a heroin addict in Courage Under Fire “. And it was only because Robin introduced it to me that he said, ‘Oh okay, you are not the type of person that I am looking for for that job but hey‘”.
The story behind Damon’s casting in Saving Private Ryan it’s a good reminder of how much you can impact someone professionally be in the right place at the right time and meet the right people.
And while the character was small, he was so central to the story that it enabled Damon, like James Francis Ryan, to reap the benefits of appearing in one of the most revered war movies of all time, thanks to the generosity of the late Williams.
Reference from clarin