Matt Damon has been in the limelight ever since his debut role in Mystic Pizza and rose to prominence after the success of Good Will Hunting, which also saw him bag an Academy Award in the Best Writing category for the movie’s screenplay which he wrote alongside Ben Affleck. Accordingly, he has been used to being asked to hand autographs to fans since his late teens.
At the same time, the multi-talented star has over the years shown he’s also keen on the business side of things. He even partnered with his long-time friend Affleck to start a new production company, named Artists Equity in 2022.
It’s best to reserve judgment about Artists Equity since its early days, but Damon’s history with formulating business plans is far from good.
Why Matt Damon Planned to Crash the Autograph Market
Matt Damon comes across as a very nice individual, and even his Oppenheimer co-star Cillian Murphy recently praised his values as a human being [via the Happy Sad Confused podcast]. And the Irish actor is seemingly not the only big name in the industry who shares this opinion.
During an interview in 2020 for his show Conan, comedian and talk show host Conan O’Brien talked about a report that considered Damon among the most generous celebrities in Hollywood when it comes to being kind to their fans. However, there’s always a side effect in such cases.
The Jason Bourne star’s tendency to easily sign autographs makes plenty of fans happy, but it also becomes an easy source of money for individuals who have made a thriving business out of this star-fan relationship. Accordingly, the 52-year-old, alongside Ben Affleck, came up with an interesting idea to separate professional autograph hunters from actual true fans.
“Ben Affleck I and talked about this, cause it all started for us at the same time,” Damon said [via Conan]. “We were like what if we could saturate the market place? What if we could drive the price down to 80 bucks [for 10 autographs] and then we wouldn’t be worth it.”
The Martian actor then disappointingly (and hilariously) revealed his master plan to drive away business guys and just be left with his fans never really worked and he ended up signing 1000s and 1000s of pictures.
Matt Damon Learned He’s Not That Famous the Hard Way
Damon’s plan to crash the autograph marketplace backfired when it came to dealing with professional autograph hunters, as the talented star underrated his fame. Despite signing 1000s of pictures, the value of his autograph didn’t go down. Interestingly, there was a time when he ended up overrating his popularity.
In a separate interview with Graham Norton in The Graham Norton Show, Damon recalled how once he mistook a Spanish couple for his fans and ended up taking a picture with the Spaniard’s wife when he requested a photograph. He recalled:
“They kind of looked over and saw me and had an exchange and then pulled out a camera and came over. I said to my wife, ‘Here we go.’ The guy says to me, ‘Please [take] a picture?’ and I said ‘no problem’ and I went over to his wife and I put my arm around her.”
The stranger didn’t know who the Academy Award winner was, leading to a very awkward situation for everyone involved. Damon seemingly can’t catch a break when it comes to correctly judging his image in public.