Matt Damon is an unlikely body role model. Which is to say, he’s as well known for fuzzy, family-friendly fare as he is for action-heavy adventures. For every Jason Bourne there’s a We Bought a Zoo. For every The Great Wall there’s a The Martian.
It’s a quality that has allowed Damon, 50, to carve out a career as an American everyman. The nice guy with a sassy how-do-you-like-them-apples streak. Thank god Tom Hanks got through Covid last year, but at least had a Matt Damon waiting in the wings.
Which doesn’t mean Damon is afraid to put the work in when a mean transformation is required. After all, this is the guy that helped popularise brutal hand-to-hand combat in the Bourne films, essentially teaching everyone from James Bond to John Wick how to fight. Not to mention his role as hulking South African rugby captain Francois Pienaar in 2009’s Invictus.
While not necessarily Damon’s most physical role, starring in Neil Blomkamp’s 2013 sci-fi dystopia, Elysium, entailed his most physically impressive transformation. To play labourer-turned-hero Max da Costa, who fights his way out of the slums after a radiation-based accident, Damon bulked up and dropped body fat until he looked like he could walk through walls. Even without the robot exoskeleton.