Matt Damon famously ripped President Barack Obama last year, saying he’d prefer “a one-term president with some balls who actually got stuff done,” but he admits that he still voted for the guy in 2012.
“I assume there will be some Supreme Court appointments in this next term; that alone was reason to vote for him,” he says in an interview with Playboy for its January 2013 issue. “I don’t think I said anything a lot of people weren’t thinking. It’s easier now more than ever in my life to feel the fix is in, the game is rigged and no matter how hard you work to change things, it just doesn’t matter.”
Sounds pretty jaded for someone who wrote and stars in the new film, “Promised Land,” in which corporate salespeople attempt to persuade homeowners to sell their natural gas drilling rights — meaning their land will be “fracked” (a process that releases gas through drilling and injecting water, sand and chemicals).
“We went to the studio saying, ‘Who f—ing wants to go see an anti-fracking movie?’ and were all in agreement,” he says of the film. “When we were working on the script, it was about wind farms, but we changed it to fracking — a good issue because the stakes are so high. That s— is real. They’re debating about letting it happen in New York now. To us, the movie was really about American identity.”
But just because he’s made a movie about such a politically charged issue doesn’t mean he thinks any elected officials are going to step up to tackle it.
“We’re at a point where politicians don’t really get any benefit from engaging with long-term issues. Instead, it’s all about the next election cycle. Those guys in the House don’t do anything now but run for office. So unless they can find some little thing that zips them up a couple of points in the polls, they’re not interested,” he says. “There’s a consensus among scientists, though, that we face serious long-term issues. They’re saying that unless we engage with those issues, we’re genuinely f—ed.”
So does that mean we can expect Damon himself to step up and run for office?
“No, no, no,” he says.