Matt Damon is a big fan of hugs, I discover, when he enjoys a night out at Avenue located inside the Four Seasons Hotel during the Toronto International Film Festival. It’s his signature greeting and goodbye.
The married father of two is having a blast with familiar faces including Informant! costar Scott Bakula. The Oscar winner, 38, is shoveling popcorn into his mouth at the lounge in the wee hours of the morning.
He seems like a nice guy; I like him.
A few hours later, I catch up with him at Sutton Place Hotel where he is hyping comedy crime drama The Informant!, which is in theaters now. He’s wearing a dark sweater, and his wedding band glistens — showing off his commitment to wife Luciana and family including stepdaughter Alexia, 11, and their daughters Isabella, 3, and Gia, 1.
He gained 30 lbs. for the role, which went over well. Not only did he tell me his wife thought there was “more of me to love,” but he says he “felt more secure than ever” with the extra poundage.
“I really did love it,” Matt says. “If I had to stay there, I’d be happy. I had to stop exercising two months before I started to put it on, and did the movie a couple months later. I loved it. I really enjoyed it.”
He continues, “In Decatur, [Illinois] – I don’t know what this says about the Midwest – I think people are extraordinarily polite – but every day, people would come down and watch us shoot, and we’d go out at the end of the day and say ‘hi’ to everybody. Invariably, somebody would say ‘wow – you are so much better looking in person.’ I said ‘thank you.’ I really would wonder if it was the weight, the mustache, the 30 lbs., the fake nose, or maybe the wardrobe, but people were really polite – or lying.”
How did he gain the weight and drop it so quickly?
“I think people have a natural range of weight that they’re in, and I probably went outside mine so it was probably easier to lose the weight,” Matt says. “The gaining weight was alarmingly easy – that was just drinking beer and eating pizza.”
Uh-oh … watch out for that beer and pizza, guys!
Catch Matt in The Informant!, in theaters now, and pick up the OK! on newsstands now for more coverage of the Toronto International Film Festival. Twilight/“Wedding of the Year” is the cover line.