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Matt Damon Just Might Be the Nicest, Most Normal Guy in Hollywood

Matt Damon
Theo Wargo, Getty Images

Here’s what a good guy Matt Damon is: In his upcoming role as the lover of eccentric pianist Liberace, he was more concerned about creating a believable relationship that presents homosexuality in a positive light than he was about having to swap spit with co-star Michael Douglas.

Damon recently sat down with Playboy for an in-depth interview that touched on everything from having to strip down for the part to his feelings about his family and even Clint Eastwood.

In the HBO movie ‘Behind the Candelabra,’ due next year, Damon plays Liberace’s much-younger lover Scott Thorson, and it was a role that required him to step more than a little outside his comfort zone.

“Normally I’d say no to nudity, but I just did a lot of it [for this]. I mean, it’s tastefully done,” he said. “But this movie’s not going to be for everyone.”

“These two men were deeply in love and in a real relationship — a marriage long before there was gay marriage,” Damon continued. “That’s not an insignificant thing. The script is beautiful and relatable.”

He had to smooch Douglas (who plays Liberace) a lot, but he joked that Douglas is “a wonderful kisser” and said they handled their racy on-screen interludes pretty strategically: “For one scene, I had to come out of the pool, go over to [him], straddle him on a chaise lounge and start kissing him … We drew it up like a football plan.”

Here’s more random goodness from the interview:

On his image: “The narrative about me kind of goes, ‘He’s a boring married guy’ … That’s been great for me because people think I’m kind of vanilla and they leave me alone to work, have an actual private life and be a husband and dad … The perception seems to be that I’m boring enough not to pay attention to but not so boring that I stop working.”

On aging: “I remember having dinner with Tommy Lee Jones 20 years ago. I was looking at his face and thinking, s—, I can’t wait to have lines like that. A guy like that can just sit there and be so expressive. I mean he’s also one of the best actors ever, but I remember being in a hurry to get some of those lines.”

On his family: “[My wife and daughters] can definitely bring me to my knees … My wife gives me s— because it’s harder for me to discipline my girls, probably because they’re girls. With boys, I could relate more and it would probably be easier. Growing up, girls are so mysterious to us. Even as a grown man, they remain mysterious.”

On Tom Cruise: “Seeing Tom Cruise running down the side of that building was the most incredible thing. I went, ‘Okay, you win. You are the greatest of all time.’ He didn’t just appear to do it for the movie; he actually did that. I, literally, could never do that.”

On what he autographs most: “Pictures of the puppet of me from ‘Team America: World Police.’ I always write ‘Maaaat Damon,’ like they say it in the movie.”

On Clint Eastwood talking to an empty chair at the RNC: “I heard the backlash, but I never saw the whole thing because I just didn’t want to see my friend … you know… [it] was an unrehearsed bit he decided to do at the last minute. You can’t go onstage and do 12 minutes of stand-up completely unrehearsed. But I agree with what Bill Maher said — Clint killed at the convention for 12 minutes, and the audience loved him.”

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