Matt Damon has had a remarkable career in Hollywood. Known for his exceptional performances and ability to immerse himself in diverse roles, Damon has starred in acclaimed films like Good Will Hunting, the Bourne series, The Martian, and The Departed, solidifying his status as a respected and accomplished actor.
In his pursuit of excellence, Matt Damon underwent extraordinary measures for his leading role in the 1996 film Courage Under Fire. However, his transformation into the character took a toll on him, both physically and mentally, highlighting his sacrifices to deliver an unforgettable performance.
The Film Gave Matt Damon PTSD
Courage Under Fire held immense significance for Matt Damon during that period, as he portrayed a deeply troubled character—a former soldier and medic haunted by the horrors of war. To authentically convey his character’s anguish, Damon immersed himself in the role, resorting to drugs to capture the devastating effects of addiction. Displaying his unwavering commitment, the actor shed 40 pounds, embodying his character’s emaciated appearance with unwavering dedication.
However, the rapid weight loss took a toll on Damon’s long-term physical well-being, resulting in lingering complications. In a recently unearthed interview with Film Scout, Damon candidly shared that he resorted to excessive eating once the movie’s filming concluded, indicating the toll his extreme transformation had on his body and subsequent efforts to restore his health.
“Literally, the day after I shot the scene with Denzel Washington walking on the lake, I started eating four or five chocolate cakes, twelve beers, four steaks, tons of pasta. And my stomach expanded,” Damon said.
The Film Took A Toll On Matt Damon’s Health
Consequently, the renowned star of The Bourne Identity experienced a period of illness, necessitating ongoing medical care to address several physical and mental conditions that arose from the toll his body endured. The rigorous transformation took its toll on Damon’s overall well-being, highlighting the challenges he faced while striving for artistic authenticity.
Despite following a restricted diet plan to shed pounds, even Damon’s own dietitian harbored doubts about his ability to sustain the demanding training regimen. However, the determined actor, known for his breakout role in School Ties, defied expectations and committed himself wholeheartedly to his goals. While others expressed concern for his well-being, Damon remained unwavering in his determination, refusing to compromise his aspirations for the sake of their worries.
“It evolved essentially because there was a light at the end of the tunnel,” Damon recalled. “There was a time limit. Given that, the person that outlined the diet for me didn’t think I was going to be able to stick to it: it was too difficult. When I stuck to it, people got worried. ‘You have to eat, you have to be fit, you really have to be prepared.’ And I refused to do so. ‘Why eat? I’ve come this far, I’m not going to stop now.'”
Courage Under Fire is available for streaming on Hulu.