Matt Damon's Best Blue Collar Movie Characters, Ranked – MovieWeb

The Oscar-winner has played a plethora of “everyman” roles over the years. Here’s a closer look at Damon’s filmography.
Some actors just have that all-American look. For Matt Damon, his Hollywood edge fortunately extends far beyond that. He's played roles as diverse as a serial killer hunting the rich and famous, a lethal spy unable to recall his identity, and a lone astronaut on Mars. Damon has built a strong and respected career tackling characters against type. His A-lister career really took off with Ocean's 11 and the Bourne movies, and he continues to sink his teeth into juicy roles we might not expect from the Oscar-winner, who's been described as the go-to guy for playing the "everyman" role.
Speaking of, we took a closer look at those specific roles he plays, as we await the release of the highly anticipated film Air that's being produced by Damon and Ben Affleck's company. The list below contains a narrowed-down list of "blue collar"-type characters — middle class, manual labor-type work, etc. Take a look!
In 2006, journalist Benjamin Mee, who was best known for his do-it-yourself columns in U.K.'s The Guardian, purchased the Dartmoor Zoological Park in Dartmoor, England. He eventually turned his tale into the non-fiction book We Bought a Zoo: The Amazing True Story of a Young Family, a Broken Down Zoo, and the 200 Wild Animals That Change Their Lives, adapted for the silver screen as We Bought a Zoo. Cameron Crowe's film was a family hit, and Damon effectively utilizes his all-American look here to command the screen in the most likable of ways.
Related: Best Matt Damon Movies, Ranked
Contagion resurfaced and skyrocketed in popularity once the COVID-19 pandemic broke out, though the film is a bit hard to watch. Steven Soderbergh's hit film tells the story of a deadly virus that begins to spread around the globe. We follow along with the scientists and doctors who work endlessly to stop it. The film is a realistic look at how society would crumble if such a virus was to spread. The A-list cast includes Gwyneth Paltrow, Laurence Fishbourne, Kate Winslet, Jude Law, and more. Damon's "everyman" turn as the film's true protagonist, an average Joe who happens to be immune to the virus, is a thrill to watch as he leads his daughter to safety along the way.
It's safe to say we can't wait for the highly anticipated Deadpool 3. Until then, the second installment is probably worth rewatching, especially for those killer cameos. That includes Damon (briefly) as a redneck, mind you. And while Deadpool 2 may not have driven the same ingenuity as the original oracle, Reynold's return as this fourth wall-breaking superhero was equally entertaining to watch. Picking up right where the last one left off, the saga revolves around Deadpool in his endeavors to fight evil. Along with a brand new villain to focus on (played to perfection by Josh Brolin), he also forms a fresh "A-team" of X-Force mutant warriors.
Alexander Payne's mixed-reviewed satirical story centers on Damon's character, an ordinary man from Omaha, who joins a growing group of people undergoing a process to get shrunk to a fraction of their own size. He then moves to one of the several communities for "small people" that are beginning to sprout up all over the world. The stellar supporting cast includes Christoph Waltz and Hong Chau, but Damon steals the show on the comedic front — especially after his wife (Kristin Wiig) ditches him midway through the shrinking process. That scene is reason enough to see Downsizing.
Related: Matt Damon's Best Action Movies, Ranked
Ford v Ferrari is not only one of Damon's more recent films, but one of his most critically acclaimed. This entertaining sports drama reached great success at the Academy Awards in 2020, receiving four nominations, including one for Best Picture. The plot follows a determined team of American and British engineers and designers, led by automotive designer Carroll Shelby (Damon) and British driver Ken Miles (Christian Bale), who are hired to build a race car to defeat the perennially dominant Italian racing team Scuderia Ferrari at the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans race in France. Between his all-American look and that accent of his, Shelby is a perfect starring role for Damon.
Spoiler alert: He's wearing a toupee! The Informant! tells the story of Mark Whitacre (Damon), a seemingly well-intentioned working man employed at a giant lysine developing company. Then, Mark becomes an FBI informant to bring them down. The critically and commercially successful film (again from Soderbergh) is suspenseful and is filled with laughs as we watch Whitacre dig himself into a deep hole from telling lie after lie. Damon, who also put on weight for the role, is a hoot to watch.
Although Amanda Knox slammed Stillwater for the obvious parallels to her real-life scandal, per Vox, there's no denying Damon's performance as an American oil-rig roughneck from Oklahoma is magnetic. In the thriller, Bill Baker travels to Marseille to visit his estranged daughter (Abigail Breslin), who's in prison for a murder she claims she didn't commit. Confronted with language barriers, cultural differences, and a complicated legal system, Bill builds a new life for himself in France as he makes it his personal mission to exonerate his daughter.
Remember Damon and Affleck's legendary Oscar acceptance speech? They got the trophy for writing Good Will Hunting, but Damon also carries the drama as the fan-favorite titular character. Good Will Hunting was nominated for eight Academy Awards, winning two, including Best Supporting Actor for Robin Williams. His scenes with Damon, whose secretly genius character previously spent his days plumbing and working in manual labor, will make you weep and laugh all at once.
"We really understood the characters, and so we would take them and we would put them in these different scenarios," Damon once told GQ about the Good Will Hunting writing process. "And then at the end, we kind of mashed these disjointed parts together into what could cohere as some kind of narrative. And that’s a really inefficient way to write. And I think both of us just intuitively felt like: Well, we’re never going to have enough time to do that again."
Will Sayre is an evergreen and republish writer at He has also written and produced entertainment stories at Spectrum News and Warner Bros. Television. Sayre graduated with honors from Boston University’s College of Communication. He also served as film critic at The Taft School in Connecticut.


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