Matt Damon: Blond Again

Just saw this on boston.com (my source for hometown hero news) this morning:

Damon

Blond Matt Damon is back! Hooray!

To readers of this blog, a towheaded Matt Damon has many nostalgic associations. But when was the last time we saw Matt Damon with goldilocks? A quick browse through his filmography leads me to believe that it was probably 2000’s The Legend of Bagger Vance, not one of Damon’s more memorable roles.

Which leads me to a second thought: while Damon hasn’t had the identity problems of his friend Ben Affleck and has managed to maintain a degree of both professional respect and profitability, I think we can all agree that there has been a second act to his career. And you can track it through his follicles.

Matt Damon burst onto the national scene as a fresh-faced young man ready to make good on all his potential, and it was a character we grew to love, from Good Will Hunting, through Rounders, to Titan A.E. As his darker roots grew out, though, he began to take on more serious roles (his turn as sociopath Tom Ripley being an obvious exception). The real shift came with 2003’s The Bourne Identity. Matt Damon reinvented his career. I think Paul Rudd’s character in The 40 Year Old Virgin best summed up the feelings of many pleasantly surprised viewers, who previously had ignored Damon’s talents: “I always thought Matt Damon was kind of a Streisand, but he is rockin’ the shit in this one.”

Yes, he was.

It was this Matt Damon we watched in the Bourne sequels, in Martin Scorsese’s The Departed, in The Good Shepherd, in Syriana: a Matt Damon with a past he wasn’t ready to deal with; a Matt Damon with secrets he would hide from everyone, including himself; a Matt Damon driven by something he couldn’t understand or even name.

What will Matt Damon’s return to his blond roots bring for his career? We’ll have to wait and see. I will say this, though: It’s good to have you back, Blond Matt Damon. We missed you.

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Mike

Mike never saw GWH in theaters. He has been atoning for this transgression ever since by cultivating a deep and loving appreciation for the film. Mike once met Gordon Wood; they discussed the pre-Revolutionary utopia and the capital-forming effects of military mobilization.

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