Matt Damon is one of the most iconic Hollywood A-listers currently working in the movie industry. He has some outstanding films to his name as an actor, producer, and writer and remains one of the most sought-after movie stars in the world. Here is a look at some of the greatest moments in his glittering career so far:

Movie Debut in Mystic Pizza (1988)

Mystic Pizza is still considered a coming-of-age cult classic with film goers. The movie focused on three teenage girls growing up in the small town of Mystic in Connecticut, USA as they worked at the local pizza store. It starred a number of actors that have since gone on to great things such as Julia Roberts, Lili Taylor, and Vincent D’Onofrio. However, a little-known fact is that a certain Damon made his movie debut in a minor role playing the character Steamer.

Winning an Oscar for Good Will Hunting (1997)

It is largely deemed to be Damon’s breakthrough role as an actor but it was also the moment he became recognised for his writing skills as well as his acting skills. Damon not only starred in a lead role in the Gus Van Sant-directed Good Will Hunting. He also co-wrote the movie with fellow actor and friend Ben Affleck. The movie told the story of a troubled 20-year-old from Boston called Will Hunting who is mentored by Sean Maguire, played by the late and great Robin Williams, when it is discovered he has a genius level of intelligence. Damon and Affleck would win the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay.

Emulating the Rat Pack with Ocean’s Eleven (2001)

The original Ocean’s Eleven movie that was released back in 1960 starred Rat Pack members Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Sammy Davis Jr. This updated version of the classic looked to recreate the smoothness of the original. Damon starred alongside an A-list ensemble including George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Don Cheadle, Julia Roberts, and Andy Garcia. The movie follows Clooney’s Danny Ocean and his plot to rob The Bellagio, MGM Grand, and Mirage casinos simultaneously in Las Vegas. The movie was a commercial hit generating over $450 million worldwide. This success no doubt helped the growing number of online casinos and gambling at the time of release.

Taking on Bond in The Bourne Identity (2002)

James Bond has long held the torch for generation after generation of spy movie buffs. However, Damon changed all that when he took on the role of Jason Bourne in The Bourne Identity. Based on Robert Ludlum’s critically-acclaimed series of novels, the movie was a smash hit generating $214 million across the world. It also spawned four sequels and became a firm rival for Bond in the action spy movie genre.

Creating Water.org (2009)

Interestingly, Damon has developed a fine reputation for his humanitarian work. In 2009, Damon, as the founder of H2O Africa Foundation, merged the charity with WaterPartners to create Water.org. Ever since its inception, the charity has worked tirelessly to increase access to clean drinking water in areas of the world that need it the most. It is just the tip of the iceberg for Damon’s work that benefits good causes but it is almost certainly the most influential one.

Winning a Golden Globe for The Martian (2016)

Damon’s career had long been simmering in the years prior to his awe-inspiring performance in The Martian. The movie saw Damon’s character, astronaut Mark Watney, stranded on Mars when a space research mission goes horribly wrong. Ridley Scott directs Damon in one of his most powerful outings that has been compared to that of Tom Hanks in Castaway. The movie follows Watney’s survival efforts as he attempts to defy the odds and live long enough to be rescued. The performance saw Damon win a Golden Globe for the Best Actor in a Motion Picture, Musical, or Comedy.

Collaborating with the Coen Brothers in Suburbicon (2017)

If you are talking about outstanding directors in the movie industry, then you don’t need to look much further than the Coen Brothers. Joel and Ethan Coen have been behind a number of classic movies such as Miller’s Crossing, Fargo, The Big Lebowski, No Country for Old Men, and True Grit. Now Damon has added their talents to his CV by starring in their latest written project in the form of Suburbicon. The movie is also set to star Julianne Moore and Oscar Isaac. The plot revolves around an apparent peaceful community hiding a dark secret. It has all the key ingredients to be a dark horse for awards season.

About The Author

Simon Fitzjohn

Simon is a journalism tutor in London, who also just happens to be a movie fanatic, with a craving for the darker side of cinema. He has written two books, one on the horror films of director Bob Clark (2014) and the other on the history of the character Norman Bates (2015). His third book, on the work of British exploitation director Pete Walker, is due in 2017.