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star struck

Bourne again
Matt Damon is going through his golden period right now, but he knows it won’t last
By Chris Betros
Chris Betros

Matt Damon never forgets how lucky he is to be at the top of his game right now. “Acting is nearly an impossible career to maintain throughout one’s life,” said the star, who can currently be seen in The Bourne Supremacy and Ocean’s Twelve. “There is a lot of ebb and flow in this business and I know that one day it will be over, so part of me never wants to stop. I love my job. It actually doesn’t feel like work. Whenever I have free time, I just want to make another movie.”

Damon, 34, speaks slowly, sometimes inaudibly, but always politely. He looks in terrific shape, the legacy of The Bourne Supremacy, the sequel to the hit 2002 film The Bourne Identity. “The reason I did the sequel was that it dealt with the theme of redemption over revenge, which you don’t see in many Hollywood action movies these days,” he said.

Filming was done on location in Berlin, Moscow and Goa, India—all of which Damon calls an “incredible fringe benefit of making movies.” To get into shape, he trained for six months to become proficient at boxing and continues with the sport whenever he is in L.A. He jogs regularly with his older brother who is a marathon runner. For hand-to-hand combat, Damon learned kali, a form of martial arts unique to the Philippines, and some weapons training. How much of his lethal skills does he retain? “I know enough just to get beat up,” he joked.

Damon went straight from The Bourne Supremacy to Ocean’s Twelve without even looking at the script. “Hanging out with those guys was a lot of fun,” he said of his Ocean’s co-stars Brad Pitt and George Clooney.
Born in Cambridge, Mass., Damon made his debut in Mystic Pizza in 1988. He has been a consistent hit in Hollywood with films such as Courage Under Fire, The Rainmaker, Good Will Hunting, Saving Private Ryan, The Talented Mr. Ripley, The Legend of Bagger Vance and Ocean’s Eleven.

Damon has been kept so busy in film after film that he hasn’t had the chance yet to do what he really wants to do—write another movie with best friend Ben Affleck. It was their collaboration in 1997 that led to Good Will Hunting, which not only won them an Academy Award, but gave both of their careers a boost. “We wrote that just to get work because nobody would hire us as actors,” Damon said. “We want to collaborate again, but it is difficult logistically because we are never in the same place for very long.”


 

 

the scene
Sweet Daruma Book Launch
Fujimama’s hosts a party for Janice Young’s satirical novel

Clockwise from top left: a sleepy Simon LeBon gets out of bed in London to make a live appearance by webcam with Nick Wood, co-founder of Syn Entertainment; partygoers give the Duran Duran front man a warm welcome; Brazilian singer Silvio, who covered Duran Duran’s “Save a Prayer”; New pop combo Oui Oui, featuring ex-Pizzicato 5 singers Maki and Reiko; Oui Oui’s DJ mixmasters; Hilton Tokyo Bay Director Simon Hasdell; DJ Captain Funk keeps the party going late into the evening

 

 

q&a
Kazumasa Terada
Bagging some famous friends

Kazumasa Terada seems to be constantly surrounded
by women—whether it’s his staff at luxury bag maker Samantha Thavasa Japan, or hanging out with the likes of the Hilton sisters, Beyonce Knowles and Victoria Beckham, who endorse Samantha Thavasa brands. The 38-year-old Terada, who lives in a hotel, is an energetic character who is having a ball with his life and business. If you ever drop by Terada’s company in Aoyama, don’t forget to check out the pinball machine in his spacious office.

How did you get involved in this business?
I was in Hamilton, Canada, in the early 1990s. I was an agent for some fashion brands, exporting leather jackets to Japan. One time I brought my mother back a handbag as a souvenir and she loved it. That gave me the idea to come out with a new line of handbags in different colors.

How many stores do you have now?
We have 75 and we’re aiming to open another 25 this year.

What about overseas?
We have a showroom in New York and will open a store there this year. Asia has potential, but I want to build up the business in the US and Europe first.

How did you get those celebrities to endorse your products?

I approached them directly. First, we sent the product and they liked it, so we made a deal. It’s not just a financial thing. The most important thing is that they like our product. It’s a good investment because it heightens our image.

What’s a typical day for you?
I show up after 9am. I am a late night person, so sometimes I’ll come back to the office after a business dinner and stay here until 2 or 3 in the morning.

How’s your English?
I don’t use it much anymore. Ten years ago, I could watch a movie without looking at the subtitles, but not now.

What about when you are with the Hilton sisters, Beyonce and Victoria Beckham?

Well, that’s different. CB

Would you like to comment on this article? Send a letter to the editor at letters@metropolis.co.jp.

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