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Matt Damon Defends Sean Penn’s El Chapo Interview Backstage at Golden Globes

Matt Damon was named best actor in a motion picture musical or comedy for “The Martian,” and when asked backstage on whether he felt the film was a comedy, he quipped, “No, it’s a musical.”

Damon, who flies out to Las Vegas in the morning to continue working on the new Jason Bourne movie, was also asked about Sean Penn’s interview with Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman in Rolling Stone.

“I haven’t read it yet; I definitely plan to. I subscribe to Rolling Stone so it’s already been sent to me,” he said. “But look, it’s nothing new, actors going and seeking out meetings like this. It’s part of what we do in our job really well and Sean somehow figured out that he had an audience with this person and I’m sure was pursuing something creatively and thought a meeting with him would be valuable, so he did it.”

In his acceptance speech, Damon spoke about how he had been at the Golden Globes before, noting, “It has literally been 18 years since I have been here, doing this, and with a little more context, I know how lucky I am and how lucky I am to do this for a living.”

Asked to elaborate on his comments backstage, he spoke about how rare a film “The Martian” is, in that it connected with both critics and audiences. “You work equally hard on so many movies. You can’t do it unless you absolutely love it. The result is the result and you don’t know what the audience is going to do. Most of the time, they don’t show up,” he admitted. “When something like this happens and people really respond to the movie and critics really respond to the movie and there’s that kind of perfect storm reaction, it’s great.”

Asked what advice he would give his younger self, Damon noted that he was actually given very good advice when he was starting out. “I was lucky for having great grown-ups in my life, people who were very wise and encouraged me to just focus on work and not any of this superfluous stuff,” he said. “And I think I’d just reinforce the kind of things I was told at 20.”

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