How did you become involved in Contagion?
Matt Damon: Actually, Steven called me. We had another project that we were getting ready to go do. And Steven called me to tell me that it was on hold. He was like, kind of a stop the presses phone call. And he said: I just read Scott's new script. He said: I think it's the best thing Scott's ever written. Which is saying a lot. I did the informant and Scott Z. Burns also was one of the writers on the Bourne Ultimatum. Like, I've worked with Scott a lot. And I really think very highly of him. And to get this call from Steven saying: I think this is the best thing Scott's done, I was like: hell man, send it over! So he sent it over with a note that said: read this, then wash your hands. And I read it and I just loved it. I thought it was terrific, really exciting, really believable pandemic thriller. I thought it was just great. But with this kind of emotional heart to it. So it was a pretty easy kind of 'yes' for me.
How do you relate to your character, Mitch Emhoff?
Matt Damon: My whole story line is: my wife dies and my stepson dies. And so my daughter is the only surviving family member. And as a dad I could really relate to this guy. And I think audiences will be able to relate to him. Because it's, what do you do in that situation? And his agenda is very simple. He's just trying to survive this thing. And keep his daughter safe and alive as the world is kind of falling apart around him. It's pretty elemental stuff.
How realistic is the story of Contagion?
Matt Damon: All the research they did, was really just in trying to gin up a story that was as realistic as possible. And so this is very, very real.
Matt Damon also talks about what it was like to work with Steven Soderbergh.