“Excuse me, Matt,” I said. “Do you see the guy over in that corner?” I pointed out St. John clear across the room, because he wanted nothing to do with his tactless wife pitching her book/movie to Matt Damon at his step-brother’s funeral. I wasn’t exactly pitching. I just happened to be getting a cup of coffee right when and where Matt Damon was getting a cup of coffee. Actually, Matt was getting three cups of coffee: one for him and one for his lovely wife who was nursing their infant and one for my crazy friend, Cindy – who in addition to being wacky enough to pen “Lesbians for Eve” on the back of my protest sign (now you remember her!) is ballsy enough to tell Matt Damon to go get her a cup of coffee! Sheesh, the nerve of some people. But that’s how nice Matt Damon is. He got her coffee, no problem. And wouldn’t even let me help carry it. “I used to be a waiter,” he told me.
Okay, before you label me totally crass, let me just say, this was a good several hours into the funeral reception. I’d already done the NOT gushing over Matt Damon thing, given my condolences and shared stories of my friend/Matt Damon’s step-brother, Gideon (who was a wonderful and very beautiful man). St. John had made me promise that I would NOT talk to Matt Damon about my possibly-to-be-made-into-a-movie book and whether or not he could play St. John and could my agent send him a copy. And I didn’t. But then I noticed a whole gaggle of people surrounding him and talking movie talk to him AND NOT ONE OF THEM EVEN HAD A BOOK THAT MIGHT BE MADE INTO A MOVIE, so really, I had no choice but to pounce on him at the coffee bar, even though I don’t drink coffee.
“Do you think you could play him in a movie?” I asked. I tried to look cool, like talking to a huge movie star about playing my husband in a movie and pouring myself coffee was something I did every day. And Matt Damon tried to look at me like I was not crazy (cause he is a really nice guy). “The film rights to my memoir are being represented by The Endeavor Talent Agency,” I added (which is code for See, I’m really not crazy OR Well, I might be crazy, but at least I wrote a book that someone thinks would make a great movie). And Matt’s face lit up (I might be editorializing here, I am a memoir writer, after all) and he said the sweetest words I’ve ever heard: “Endeavor! That’s my talent agency!” And then it was like we were best buddies, me and Matt – talking about agents, movies, and Africa . . . and swigging coffee.
When I got home and told my 14-year-old daughter, she actually smiled! “Did he touch you? she asked, all excited (something almost never seen in this household). Touch me? Hell yeah. He was the one who broke the news that Paul Newman had died that day. Matt honey, I think I said, it sure looks like you could use a hug!
And yes, he’s just as handsome in real life as he is on the screen – his wife and children are beautiful too! And he’s very, very nice. But of course he is. After all, he was related to my sweet friend, Gideon. And they don’t come much nicer than that.