Matt Damon praised for ‘Good Will Hunting mode’ defence of teachers’ salaries in resurfaced video

Boston actor was raised by an educator

Tom Murray
Monday 21 August 2023 19:10 BST
Emily Blunt reveals she 'adores' having Matt Damon as a neighbour

A video of Matt Damon schooling a reporter on the topic of education reform has resurfaced on Twitter/X, drawing widespread praise for the actor.

Damon, who most recently starred in Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer as the Manhattan Project director General Leslie Groves, attended the Save Our Schools march in Washington DC in August 2011.

While there, the actor was interviewed by a reporter from Reason.TV who suggested that teachers did not have a reason to work hard due to their contracts, whereas actors were driven to improve due to the temporary nature of their employment.

“You think job insecurity is what makes me work hard?” Damon, who had a shaved head for Neill Blomkamp’s 2013 sci-fi thriller Elysium at the time, hit back.

“I want to be an actor, it’s not an incentive, that’s the thing,” he continued. “This is the problem with ed[ucation] policy right now, this intrinsically paternalistic view of problems that are much more complex than that. It’s like saying a teacher is going to get lazy when they have tenure.

“A teacher wants to teach. I mean, why else would you take a s***ty salary and really long hours and do that job unless you really love to do it?”

The reporter’s cameraman then asked: “Aren’t 10 per cent of teachers bad, though?”

Damon’s mother, who is a teacher, was standing alongside her son and asked: “Where did you get that number from?”

“Well, ok then, maybe you’re a s***ty cameraman, I don’t know,” Damon followed up.

The video was recently shared on X by user @docnoir_ who captioned it: “Matt Damon actually f***ing rules.”

The tweet has garnered nearly 150,000 likes with people expressing their love for the actor in the replies.

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“The way Matt Damon murdered the cameraman,” one person said.

“I knew it was over when I heard intrinsically paternalistic,” wrote another.

“Bro went Will Hunting mode,” wrote a third, referencing his genius character in the 1997 drama, which Damon co-wrote with Ben Affleck.

Damon recently revealed in an interview that he had promised his wife he would take a career break unless “Chris Nolan called”.

“I had – not to get too personal – negotiated extensively with my wife that I was taking time off. I had been in Interstellar, and then Chris put me on ice for a couple of movies, so I wasn’t in the rotation,” Damon joked of the director who famously enjoys working with actors on a recurring basis.

“But I actually negotiated in couples therapy ­– this is a true story – the one caveat to my taking time off was if Chris Nolan called,” he said.

“This is without knowing whether or not he was working on anything, because he never tells you. He just calls you out of the blue. And so, it was a moment in my household.”

Oppenheimer is out now in cinemas.

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