Matt Damon knew The Great Wall was "a turkey" during filming.
The 50-year-old actor admitted he felt "as s***** as you can feel creatively" when making the 2016 China-Hollywood co-production, in which he starred as a mercenary warrior imprisoned within the Great Wall of China before joining forces with his captors to combat an alien invasion.
Speaking to Marc Marcon on his WTF podcast, Damon said he knew the monster picture was doomed after he saw how the movie's Hollywood backers were pressuring director Zhang Yimou to change his vision.
“I was like, this is exactly how disasters happen," Damon said. “It doesn’t cohere. It doesn’t work as a movie. I came to consider that the definition of a professional actor; knowing you’re in a turkey and going, ‘Okay, I’ve got four more months. It’s the up at dawn siege on Hamburger Hill. I am definitely going to die here, but I’m doing it.’”
He added, “That’s as s***** as you can feel creatively, I think. I hope to never have that feeling again.”
In the podcast, Damon also addressed the whitewashing allegations against the movie and whether the story perpetuated the white savior stereotype.
He said: “I saw the movie as the exact same plot as Lawrence of Arabia, Dances with Wolves, [and] Avatar. It’s an outsider comes into a new culture, finds value in the culture, brings some skill from the outside that aids them in their fight against whatever and they’re all changed forever.”
A flop in the US, The Great Wall — which also starred Andy Lau, Pedro Pascal and Willem Dafoe — grossed US$45.5 million (S$61.83 mil) against a reported US$150 million budget. It, however, did better abroad with US$289.3 million. The movie was a critical dud as well; it earned 35 per cent on Rotten Tomatoes. Even the Chinese thought it was crap too.
Wang Haige, chairman and founder of the Huading Awards, China's version of the People's Choice Awards, told TheWrap in 2016, "That movie became one of the worst movies in China."
Wang also slammed Damon. "He joined the movie because of the high pay," he said. "I'm against those stars who attempt to get more money to act in the more low-quality movie." — BANG SHOWBIZ
Photo: TPG News/Click Photos