Damon finds inspiration in Tommy Lee Jones for ‘True Grit’

Posted by · 9:14 am · November 3rd, 2010

It seems like I’m desperate for any morsel on the Coen brothers’ upcoming “True Grit.” If you haven’t guessed by now, it’s the film I’m most looking forward to this season, and every time that trailer drops before a film, I perk up immediately.  I’m in the tank and I haven’t even seen it.

I guess everyone involved is getting their patter down, because after a quick EW video interview with child star Hailee Steinfeld yesterday, I stumbled across this interview with Matt Damon from Empire.  It’s actually just a snippet of the exchange.  There’s more in the full issue, which hits stands tomorrow (the cover featuring that first glimpse of Steve Spielberg and Peter Jackson’s “The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn” that has so many all worked up).

Damon was asked about the role of Texas Ranger LaBeouf, who looks to offer some comedic balance to the dark retribution and vengeance-seeking air of the film.  And the actor says he looked to a fellow actor for inspiration.

Says Damon:

We had all worked with Tommy Lee Jones, who is from near where my character is from, in Texas. And Tommy is a really smart guy – I could just sit and listen to him talk. So I played my character like Tommy Lee Jones. He likes to hold court like Tommy Lee, but La Beouf is a windbag – a total jackass…

Meanwhile, the film has been jerked up a few days.  It will now open wide on December 22 rather than Christmas Day.

[Photo: Paramount Pictures]

→ 13 Comments Tags: , , , , | Filed in: Daily

13 responses so far

  • 1 11-03-2010 at 10:02 am

    Matthew Starr said...

    I think we’re all in the tank for this one.

  • 2 11-03-2010 at 10:04 am

    James C said...

    Very exciting. I think some overlook Damon, because he gives strong, but understated performances and some look at it as he is far too under the radar or doesn’t really generate a strong performance.

    Glad to hear Jones was inspiration, because while Jones is certainly a strong dramatic and subtle actor, he has a taste for comedy and so does Damon.

  • 3 11-03-2010 at 11:44 am

    Hunter Tremayne said...

    I’m so in the tank for this one I’d ride one to El Alamein.

  • 4 11-03-2010 at 11:47 am

    Everett said...

    Uncommon for an actor to insult his character so flippantly in an interview – much more customary for them to pretend they’ve gotten deep into someone else’s skin and can understand and justify even the most questionable actions. I dig the frankness here. It makes performing more fun.

  • 5 11-03-2010 at 12:39 pm

    John H. Foote said...

    I am so pumped for this movie — interesting about Tommy Lee Jones because I thought he would have been a fine choice for the role of Rooster Cogburn being played by the great Jeff Bridges — though I know Kris dislikes the original film, I love it, but have a feeling I am going to love this one a great deal more — the casting looks terrific and it has the feel of an ensemble piece rather than a showcase for John Wayne, which like it or not was what the first one was meant to be.

  • 6 11-03-2010 at 12:51 pm

    Gustavo said...

    What’s your problem with those TINTIN images?

  • 7 11-03-2010 at 1:09 pm

    Maxim said...

    Man, that Empire Issue sounds like a must read. For all my complaints about british press, this is my favorite movie publication.

    “What’s your problem with those TINTIN images?”

    He is a film geek who inasmuch as he anticipates certain films is intelorable of the taste of others, I guess. There is this need to do you know what in the bowl. This bypasses the taste even. There really is no other explanation I can think of for dropping that kind of sentence for a paragraph this giddy about a movie with that much fan appeal. But hey, at least it’s not as bad as the previous comment.

    I guess he’ll try to ban me again. And I don’t even have that much against the guy, honestly. I can be a friendly reader, as long as I don’t get personalized insults (wettest blanket) just because I have a different opinion.

    Plus, I’m as much in the tank for “True Grit” as anyone. I get that.

  • 8 11-03-2010 at 1:18 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Gustavo: I have no problem with the images. I simply noted that they have a number of people giddy. Which is fine. I just don’t really see WHY.

    And Maxim’s typically immature reasoning is off-base, by the way — naturally. Also, I’ve never once tried to ban Maxim, so no idea what he’s talking about. Offensiveness is one thing. Gnat-like irritation, I can take.

  • 9 11-03-2010 at 1:18 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    (And if a harmless phrase like “wettest blanket” is really such an insult, well…gee whiz. It’s rather benign by anyone’s measure, I’d imagine.)

  • 10 11-03-2010 at 1:24 pm

    Chad Hartigan said...

    I have a problem with the Tintin images. And that problem is they look stupid.

  • 11 11-03-2010 at 1:47 pm

    Hunter Tremayne said...

    Well, I don’t think they look stupid at all. They look perfect. I started reading them at the age of three and this is exactly how I imagined they would look when the project was announced.

  • 12 11-03-2010 at 3:06 pm

    BrianA said...

    Having never seen the original ‘True Grit,’ I’m wondering if I should make it a priority to see it before the Coen version. Since it is such an iconic film, I wonder if the original will seem less fresh if I see the remake/reimagining first.

    Any thoughts?

  • 13 11-03-2010 at 10:13 pm

    Angry Shark said...

    Matt Damon is unbelievably underrated. He was incredible last year in The Informant!.