Matt Damon
LOS ANGELES, CA – MARCH 23: American actor Matt Damon celebrates after winning his Oscar for “Good Will Hunting” during the 70th Annual Academy Awards on March 23, 1998 at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Ron Davis/Getty Images)

One of the most prolific actors in Hollywood, Matt Damon’s career has been a myriad of outstanding performances fronting interesting and complex characters. Across a variety of genres, his first professional acting gig was in 1988’s Mystic Pizza and provided the foundation for the next 22 years. From breakout film Good Will Hunting in 1997, his acceptance speech with Ben Affleck went down in Oscars history.

Following the breakout role, the award winner has gone on to work with world-renowned directors and filmmakers, rubbed shoulders with fellow Hollywood heavyweights and also has credits in screenwriting. This week, Damon was spotted filming The Last Duel, which will see a release in 2021.

Approaching his 50th birthday on October 8, Damon is not only an Oscar winning actor but an award-winning writer. To celebrate the milestone birthday, we’ve taken a walk down memory lane on the 10 best performances from Hollywood’s nice guy, Matt Damon.

Good Will Hunting – 1997

Playing a 20-year old Janitor at MIT who is also a mathematical genius, the character Will Hunting, is arrested for fighting a group of people. A Professor organises for Hunting to receive no jail time in exchange for participation in therapy sessions. He receives help from a Psychiatrist who assists him to recover and gives him a sense of direction in life.

The Departed – 2005

Playing Colin Sutherland, an undercover gangster within Massachusetts State Police, the character comes up against a spy and they both must counter-attack each other in order to avoid being exposed in front of authorities.

Saving Private Ryan – 1998

The epic American war film is set during the Normandy invasion of World War II. Captain Miller (played by Tom Hanks) is given the task of locating Private James Ryan, who is the only surviving brother from the war.

The Martian – 2015

Damon plays the character of Mark Watney, an astronaut presumed dead after a storm and left on planet Mars by his colleagues. With few suppliers, Watney must find a way to survive on the planet whilst members of NASA try to bring him home in time.

Ocean’s Eleven – 2001

In this heist film, Damon plays Linus Caldwell, a talented pick pocketer who is recruited by his former colleagues to simultaneously rob the Bellagio, Mirage and MGM Grand casinos.

True Grit – 2011

This remake of the revenge Western sees Damon play a Texas Ranger who joins a US Marshall and a 14-year old girl in the hunt for the person who killed her father. Their courage and strength are tested in their journey to find justice.

Interstellar – 2014

Damon is back in the space suit for the film Interstellar. Set in the future, the planet Earth is inhabitable and Damon’s character, Mann, is tasked with piloting a space craft and team in search for a new planet to call home.

The Bourne Identity – 2002

The first Bourne movies in the franchise, Damon plays protagonist Jason Bourne, a CIA agent who wakes up with a bullet ridden body and a blank memory. He sets out to find his identity, unaware of the dangers ahead.

The Bourne Supremacy – 2004

The second Bourne film sees the lead framed for a crime to cover up the perpetrator. After the death of a friend, and thinking the CIA is making moves against him, he hunts down those responsible for his friends’ death and comes face to face with a Russian Police Officer.

The Bourne Ultimatum – 2007

Returning for the third instalment of the Bourne franchise, Damon’s character discovers a British journalist is investigating his past. The CIA is privy to the investigation and believes that his character is seeking revenge. Perceived as a threat, they begin to hunt him while Damon tries to expose an inside targeted attack on U.S. citizens.