Why Matt Damon And Abigail Breslin Got Along So Well Working On This Film

'Stillwater' stars Abigail Breslin as a young woman and Matt Damon as her dad, and it seems they bonded like a father and daughter in real life too.

Abigail Breslin first captured our hearts when she was just a plucky little kid playing lovable roles like Olive Hoover in 2006’s Little Miss Sunshine. It’s been a long time since she stole the show as a charming 10-year-old. Now that she’s grown up, she’s able to steal the show in different ways, with more complex and nuanced acting performances rather than just the charisma of a precocious child actor. The recent film Stillwater features Abigail Breslin as Allison, an American student serving time in a French jail for a murder she didn’t commit, and Matt Damon as her dad Bill, a small town Oklahoma man who never stops trying to get his daughter acquitted.

The controversial film has drawn condemnation from some, most notably Amanda Knox, the American student who found herself at the center of an international murder story when she was wrongly accused of killing her roommate while the two were studying abroad in Italy in 2007. The relationship between father and daughter unfurls through to the very last frame, and the connection the two lead actors share is palpable. Given their compelling performances, we wondered what each of them had to say about working with the other. Here’s what Matt Damon and Abigail Breslin each said about their respective Stillwater costar.

Abigail Breslin Says Matt Damon’s Work Is Always ‘Incredibly Well Done’

Abigail Breslin told an interviewer that Matt Damon’s and director Tom McCarthy’s track records were part of what made her want to sign on to play Allison, a complex and challenging role. “I was already so excited to be able to work with Tom and Matt, and I know that everything that they do is always incredibly well done,” she said.

Matt Damon Is Just A Regular Old Dad

“Working with Matt Damon has been incredible,” Abigail Breslin said. “He’s a dad in real life of four daughters, so in rehearsal when I got mascara all over his white tee shirt, he was like ‘Oh no, it’s okay, this happens.’ … You think Matt Damon and you think Jason Bourne, action star – and he’s just a sweet guy he’s like, ‘I’m gonna go FaceTime my kids.'” She continued: “He’s also really great as a scene partner to act with. At his point he’s so talented and so well known, you would think there would be maybe some resting on laurels. but he’s so committed to each scene and he’s so respectful and we have some of the most intense scenes in the film together … he’s just a great guy.”

Abigail Breslin Says Matt Damon’s Talent Made It Easier For Her To Play Her Role

Interviewers on the promotional circuit for the film frequently wanted to know if it was difficult for Abigail Breslin to get into character as Allison Baker and find out more about her process of trying to hook into this story that may otherwise have been so foreign for her. Portraying a story even loosely inspired by reality can no doubt be a challenge by itself for actors, who may struggle with how to depict certain real-life people, especially ones who are still living. But Abigail Breslin frequently spoke to how much easier it was to find this character being opposite Matt Damon. To Lianne Peet, in an interview from the Cannes Film Festival, she said, “Matt is obviously incredible himself, so they [director Tom McCarthy and Matt] made my job a lot easier.”

Abigail Breslin Says Matt Damon Is Not Full Of Himself

Abigail Breslin spoke highly of her costar and emphasized to an interviewer with Collider Interviews that the star is down to earth, despite his commercially successful career spanning multiple decades. She put it this way: “He’s such a really patient actor and so generous, and really collaborative and just down to do as many takes as need be to get it right and, yeah, he’s super not, like, full of himself – he could be if he wanted to, I’m sure – but he’s just a super down-to-earth, like, normal dad.”

Matt Damon Calls Abigail Breslin ‘Incredible’

Perhaps evidence of Matt Damon’s down-to-earth demeanor, he is quick to praise his costar’s performances when asked in one interview about the process of becoming his character, reciprocating Abigail Breslin’s praise of him. In an interview with Variety, Matt Damon said, “First of all, I was working with three incredible actors [Breslin, Camille Cottin, and Lilou Siauvaud]. I mean this whole cast was really just lights out … it was really easy to just kind of lock in because they just really inhabited that world in a way that felt so real … when you work with great actors, it’s almost like they’re good enough for both of you, and that’s how I felt …”

Matt Damon Taught Abigail Breslin How To Do A U-Turn

Did Abigail Breslin and Matt Damon have any moments that felt like a real father and daughter interaction? It turns out they did! In an interview with Collider Interviews, Abigail Breslin recounted Matt Damon teaching her how to drive. “The funniest thing that happened, I think, was that we had to do a scene where I’m driving the car and he’s in it and I believe he was tipped off that I had gotten my license for the movie, and there’s just one picture of us sitting in the car and Tom’s like giving us some direction and it was right before I started driving and I’m loike, ‘Am I gonna accidentally kill Matt Damon?’ and he’s clenching onto the side of the door terrified, probably, for his life…but he taught me how to do a U-turn so that was nice.” Apparently Matt Damon’s dad-liness doesn’t stop just because the cameras aren’t rolling or he’s not at home with his IRL daughters!

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