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Matt Damon: 'Promised Land' was fun, quick to film

December 28, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
In "Promised Land," Matt Damon arrives in an economically depressed rural farming town, trying to sell the idea of paying the townspeople to let his company drill for natural gas on their properties. John Krasinski plays a mystery man who stirs the pot.

The film's director is Gus Van Sant, the same guy who directed Damon 15 years ago in "Good Will Hunting." Damon says Van Sant creates a relaxed atmosphere and he works fast.

"The second day, we had a five-page scene to shoot which, normally, you only do like a two-page scene. And we were doing a five-page scene but we were done with it by lunch. And so we started going, 'Well, let's pull something else up in the schedule.' So we really were efficient making the movie," he said.

Damon and Krasinski wrote the screenplay together at Damon's house, with Damon's four young daughters there to...help?

"I had a blast writing with John," Damon said. "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 here."

Damon was also happy to work with Hal Holbrook, who plays one of the townspeople who's not buying his natural gas pitch.

"Hal is one of those actors who you believe every single thing that's coming out of his mouth," Damon said. "He's just a master, you know? He's 88 years old. He's been doing this for so long. He's that kind of grand master level that few people attain and he's just -- he's one of them, and it was just thrilling to work with him."