CBS's Smith Touts Anti-War Film 'Green Zone' As 'Bourne Meets Hurt Locker'

Harry Smith and Matt Damon, CBS In an interview with Matt Damon near the end of Thursday's CBS Early Show, co-host Harry Smith helped promote the actor's latest film, 'Green Zone,' which attacks the Bush administration over the Iraq war: "What was it like to make a movie like this? Because it's a little – it's – I'm not sure if this is an apt analogy, but it's a little 'Bourne' meets 'Hurt Locker.'"

Smith alluded to Damon's role as Jason Bourne in the action movie series and the Oscar-winning film 'Hurt Locker,' which chronicles bomb defusing teams in Iraq. Smith introduced the pre-recorded interview by touting Damon's latest film as a "new Iraq war thriller."

Lending credibility to the 'Green Zone' screenplay, Smith noted the movie was: "loosely based on a book that was written by a correspondent for the Washington Post, but the characters in it are fictional." Damon explained the premise of the film: "The guy I play is based on a real guy, he's leading a mobile exploitation team. We had these teams follow the Army....exploiting these sites where we thought the WMD were....they start realizing that there aren't any weapons there." Smith added: "Yeah, and he's a true believer." Damon replied: "Oh, absolutely."

While Smith and Damon worked to promote the "based on a true story" line, a trailer for the film shows Damon's character, Chief Warrant Officer Roy Miller, being targeted for assassination by his U.S. military colleagues and corrupt government officials after not finding weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. In the interview, Damon explained: "what we're trying to do is make a big action thriller like the 'Bourne' movies but set it in the real world."

Smith was impressed with Damon being part of a movie with a message: "Some of your last several movies, it seems like the movies have to make a point....are you at a point where 'well, if I'm going to do x or y or z, then a, b and c have got to be movies that make a point? Is there part of that in the decision making process?" The last time Smith talked to Damon was to promote the actor's involvement in a left-wing revisionist documentary on American history based on the late Howard Zinn's liberal tome 'A People's History of the United States.'

Here is a portion of Smith's interview with Damon:

SMITH: Let's talk about 'Green Zone' because it's based – loosely based on a book that was written by a correspondent for the Washington Post, but the characters in it are fictional.

DAMON: Yes. Yeah.

[CLIP FROM 'GREEN ZONE']

DAMON: Jerry, why the f**k do we keep coming up empty on all these sites? There has got to be a reason.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Chief, we're here to do a job and get home safe, that's all. The reasons don't matter.

DAMON: They matter to me.

[END OF CLIP]

DAMON: The guy I play is based on a real guy, he's leading a mobile exploitation team. We had these teams follow the Army and right – you know, right on their heels and – and start exploiting these sites where we thought the WMD were. And so – so I play a guy who, you know, is hitting these sites, you know, as fast as he can and they start realizing that there aren't any weapons there.

SMITH: Yeah, and he's a true believer.

DAMON: Oh, absolutely.

SMITH: What was it like to make a movie like this? Because it's a little – it's – I'm not sure if this is an apt analogy, but it's a little 'Bourne' meets 'Hurt Locker.'

DAMON: Okay. I like those movies.

[LAUGHTER]

SMITH: Okay.

DAMON: Great. Yeah, because what we're trying to do is make a big action thriller like the 'Bourne' movies but set it in the real world.

SMITH: Some of your last several movies, it seems like the movies have to make a point. Is – do you – is there – are you at a point where 'well, if I'm going to do x or y or z, then a, b and c have got to be movies that make a point? Is there part of that in the decision making process?

DAMON: No. I really go kind of movie to movie. There's not a big strategy. I think that's what's helped me the most. I think if I planned it out, it wouldn't work very well.
Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen is a News Analyst for MRC