Flashback: Matt Damon's Scenic Run around Paris

By ROBERT PACE

June 26, 2013

The Bourne series not only opened an entirely new chapter for Matt Damon—which sculpted him as an ideal candidate to play his role in the upcoming action film Elysium—but as we're reminded in the flashback, it landed him in some pretty exotic cities.

For the first film, The Bourne Identity, of an eventual four starring Damon based on the Bourne thriller-spy books written by Robert Ludlum, Damon and his co-stars filmed in many famous European cities. Among the various backdrops for the film, including Rome, Zürich, and Prague, was The City of Light: Paris

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While shooting in Paris, the then-31-year-old actor made the most of his time there by absorbing the historic city's beautiful architecture and scenery with a Sunday run in the heart of the city.

Damon recounts that his jog ventured from the fourth arrondissement (district), through the Tuleries Garden, down to the Louvre Museum, across the River Seine to the Orsay Museum, over to the Eiffel Tower, back over the Seine and returning to the fourth arrondissement (roughly mapped out below).


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"Normally, running can be a drag when you're doing it all the time but...doing this—I remember taking my brother and my dad—and the look on their faces when they were watching. They don't build cities like that anymore," Damon says.

Although he learned his way around the Parisian streets, Damon still had plenty of catching up to do with the French language. Given his limited language skills, Damon reveals how his character was so convincingly fluent in many languages (see: Damon's character speaking German in Zürich).

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"Some of that stuff we did in post-production, where I would say the line and the French crew would snicker at me," Damon admits. "... We would have...a French guy come in to the looping stage and he sat with me and we did it over and over...until finally I do one and he'd go, 'This is good! This one! Only this one! None of the other one!'"

Watch the full flashback for more from Damon's Bourne Identity interview in 2002, including a look at the landmarks in Paris that he passed on his picturesque run.



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