Damon was born and raised in Massachusetts, and at the age of 10, made a new friend that would change the course of his life: Ben Affleck.
The two boys were inseparable from the moment they met, and did absolutely everything together. They attended the same schools, were on the same baseball team, and even played Dungeons and Dragons together – although that’s a side to their youth they’d probably rather we forget.
Affleck and Damon even have the same film to thank for kick-starting their careers: Good Will Hunting. The attention this Oscar-winning movie brought Matt led to his casting in films like Saving Private Ryan, The Talented Mr Ripley, and The Bourne Trilogy.
The final film in that trilogy – The Bourne Ultimatum – also made Damon a record breaker, when it had the most successful August opening weekend on record.
These day’s Damon gets to take his pick of the Hollywood roles – whether it’s dramas like The Monuments Men, Science Fiction films like Elysium and Zero Theorem, or heart-warming family films like 2011’s We Bought A Zoo. He even played Scott Thurson – Liberace’s boyfriend – in 2013’s critically acclaimed Behind the Candelabra.
Damon’s also tried his hand at TV comedy, with a recurring guest role in smash-hit sitcom 30-rock. He played Carol – Liz Lemon’s airline pilot boyfriend – and received rave reviews from the critics.
Back in 2008 Matt Damon appeared in a comedy music video for a song written by Sarah Silverman called ‘F*@#ing Matt Damon’. Silverman’s boyfriend Jimmy Kimmell played the video on his own show, and the clip went viral – with all three getting an incredible amount of media attention in the process.
Success hasn’t changed Damon and Affleck – they still do everything together – and that includes playing poker.
Unlike Affleck, Damon doesn’t take part in nearly as many televised tournaments, but they are both regularly pictured in various Vegas casinos, and have also both been associated with a number of illegal high-stakes poker games in the past.
It may well be his appearance in John Dahl’s 1998 film Rounders that got Matt Damon hooked. In that film, he plays a gifted poker player who loses $30,000 in an illegal underground game. He vows never to play again – until he gets sucked back in while trying to help out an old friend.
Damon took up poker as research for the role – and lost a reported $25,000 of his own money in the process. Hopefully his gains in the movie business have since made up for it.