Matt Damon in one of the Bourne Identity box office hits
He has already played a spy, a gangster and the captain of the South African rugby team.
But now Matt Damon has been tipped for another part with an even higher profile - the President of the United States. The actor has been put forward as a Democratic candidate instead of Barack Obama for next year’s elections.
Activists have been impressed with his passionate critiques of the President’s failings on everything from foreign policy to education. They also think that, like Ronald Reagan and Arnold Schwarzenegger, the 40-year-old can make the leap from Hollywood to high office.
The suggestion that Damon should run for president was first made by left-wing film maker Michael Moore who said that ‘sometimes when you run an actor, you win’.
‘I think that Matt Damon has been very courageous in not caring about who he offends by saying the things that need to be said here, and if you want to win, the Republicans have certainly shown the way - that when you run someone who is popular, you win,’ he said.
Moore’s comments tapped into a swell of feeling in liberal America that Mr. Obama is ignoring them in order to appease Republican hard liners.
WHEN HOLLYWOOD GETS POLITICAL
- 30 Rock star Alec Baldwin could race for the position of New York mayor against Kelsey Grammer, renowned for playing TV favourite Frasier.
- Arnold Schwarzenegger famously quit action movies to become California governor in 2003
- Outspoken in his support of the Democrats, Geroge Clooney has spoken widely about civil war in Darfur. He has, however, ruled himself out of running for office, saying he fears he may have a few too many skeletons in his closet
- Hollywood heartthrob Brad Pitt was widely praised for post-Katrina charitable work in New Orleans. He may, though, have a hard time pushing his agenda in Washington. 'I’m running on the gay marriage, no religion, legalisation and taxation of marijuana platform. I don’t have a chance,' he has said.
Damon has also emerged as one of the President’s leading critics and recently said he had ‘misinterpreted his mandate’. In a scathing interview he added: ‘A friend of mine said it the other day and I thought it was a great line: ‘I no longer hope for audacity.’
‘Damon has a long history of political activism. Like Sean Penn and George Clooney he has called for more aid for Darfur, he speaks out for left-wing causes and has given rousing speeches at teachers’ rallies.
His acting career also suggests he will bring a steeliness to the Presidency that Mr. Obama so sorely lacks. Damon’s most well-known part is that of Jason Bourne, the CIA agent who was shot on a mission and wakes up with no idea who he is.
His other roles include South African Rugby captain Francois Pienaar in Inviticus and starring alongside Jack Nicholson in the gangster drama The Departed.
More recently he played the lead role conspiracy theory thriller The Adjustment Bureau in which a shadowy government agency manipulates the lives of its citizens.
The son of a tax adviser, Damon was born in Boston and dropped out of Harvard University to concentrate on acting. He made his film debut in the 1988 coming of age comedy Mystic Pizza but made his mark with the powerful drama Good Will Hunting a decade later.
For that film he won the Oscar for Best Screenplay and was nominated in the Best Actor category.
Damon is married to Argentinian Luciana Bozán Barroso, 35, and they have three children together, plus her daughter from a previous relationship.
Ronald Reagan was a respected TV, radio and film actor before he entered politics and served eight years as President from 1981. Schwarzenegger appeared in a string of movies including ‘The Terminator’ before becoming the two-term governor of California.
Couple: Damon with his wife Luciana Barroso, the mother of his three children
Edited By GABRIELLA OSAMOR