Matt Damon and Matthew McConaughey are old pals, at least according to Damon they are, which may explain why the best buddy of Ben Affleck is in Interstellar playing against type. The Elysium star has almost always been synonymous with the Argo star and director as the two grew up as best friends in Cambridge, Massachusetts. In his most recent film role, the “closely guarded secret” that Christopher Nolan kept under wraps for as long as possible, Damon plays Dr. Mann the second explorer on the other side of the wormhole that Cooper and co visit in Interstellar.
The actor’s presence in the film, playing a different sort of character, adds to the actor’s ever increasing resume of diverse roles. What is interesting, however, about Damon’s part in this epic space film is not his character. Although he is quite interesting (and that is as far as this writer will discuss the part of Dr. Mann, to get a real treat go see Matt in the role) it is the connection between McConaughey and Damon that is more interesting.
Even though the True Grit star does a great “Matthew McConaughey” as evidenced on several different YouTube videos – the best of which is the first one where Matt talks about going shirtless on David Letterman – and the Bourne star mentions that he and the Texan are old pals who roomed together when they were young underemployed actors. It is this news that makes the casting of Damon in Interstellar sort of serendipitous.
Although the information that the two men know one another may not be too pertinent in relation to them working together in the Christopher Nolan masterpiece. What could be more interesting is the fact that the last and only time they worked together was in a 1995 comedy film titled Glory Daze. The only film to be written and directed by Richie Wilkes who only sat in the director’s chair once, but has written a number of filmed screenplays not least of which is the Vin Diesel vehicle XXX. The movie, actually starred Damon’s childhood friend Affleck and Sam Rockwell.
The film has been described as a version of National Lampoon’s Animal House and looking at the cast list, where one can discover Damon’s name way down toward the bottom, Matt’s character is listed as Edgar Pudwhacker so perhaps there is a little resemblance to the former film. Rather interestingly, Matthew McConaughey’s name is higher up on the cast list than Damon’s. There appears to be no real rationale for this. At that point in their careers the best friend of Ben Affleck had more credits under his acting belt than Matthew.
So the two men who once roomed together when they were younger and had a lot less money have not worked on the same feature film since 1995. So can the fact that Matt Damon and Matthew McConaughey are in Interstellar have anything to do with being old pals? There is one possibility open that may explain why Damon was chosen. The actor did his first impression of the star in the Chris Nolan film back 2012 on the Letterman show a long time after 1995. This was such a hit with the audience and with McConaughey that he did it several more times. Could it be that Matthew enjoyed Damon’s little party trick so much that he suggested his old roommate for the role of Dr. Mann? Just a thought. To see the impression and the reaction to it just watch the videos below.
By Michael Smith