In "Promised Land" Matt Damon plays a sales executive trying to sell a depressed rural town on accepting his company's offer to drill for natural gas on their properties. John Krasinski plays a mystery man who throws a wrench into that plan.
"And shooting out in Pennsylvania, where they were doing a lot of natural gas drilling, you realize that these people are living through a very real situation," said Krasinski. "We had people come up to us and tell us that they were against it. But we also had a lot of people come up to us and say, 'Listen, I've had a farm in my family for 150 years. I can't pay the payments. If it wasn't for natural gas drilling, we'd lose the farm.'"
"And we worked really hard to get -- to make sure that, you know, it wasn't the guy wearing the white hat and the guy wearing the black hat," said Damon. "It was everybody's different shades of gray. And it's complicated because life is complicated, and the choices people have to make are tough."
Damon not only teamed up with his "Good Will Hunting" director, Gus Van Sant, to make the movie, he and Krasinski wrote the screenplay together without taking a stance on the natural gas issue.
"I was driving out to see him because he wins by default, having these kids," said Krasinski. "We basically started at breakfast and ended at dinner and just wrote all day through. But we still did put on 'The Little Mermaid' 17 times and he made lunches and bathed the kids. I don't know how we got any work done, but it was a really amazing energy."
"The writing of the script was far more hectic than the making of the movie just because we were doing it at my house where, you know, my four kids running all over the place," said Damon. "I knew I was a fan of John's and he was a good writing partner when he was throwing lines of dialogue at me while he was giving one of my daughters a horsey ride. I figure, well, that's a good writing partner right there."
"Promised Land" is rated R. It opens Friday.