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The Curious Cameography of Matt Damon

The Curious Cameography of Matt Damon (photo)

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When Stanislavsky decreed, “there are no small parts, only small actors,” Matt Damon was listening. In a career that started with one line in “Mystic Pizza,” Damon has risen to the ranks of the A-list. Yet as Damon’s star has gotten bigger, the roles have gotten smaller — most recently, the “Bourne” star reaffirmed his status as king of cameos with his brief appearance in “Che: Part II,” in which he plays Father Schwartz, a German priest fluent in Spanish who attempts to negotiate with rebel forces in Bolivia, with screen time of less than a minute. Though his finest pint-sized performance likely went down on the small screen last year in Sarah Silverman’s serenade “I’m Fucking Matt Damon,” no one has done more random onscreen favors for friends than Damon, who has been around the world more than Jason Bourne and worn crazier get-ups than the “Ocean’s” series’ Linus Caldwell in his briefest of roles. In case you blinked, here’s his cameography:

“Finding Forrester” (2000)

Appropriately enough, Gus Van Sant closed out his golden age — a double bill of this film and “Good Will Hunting,” marked less for being an artistic highpoint for the director than by their shared sepia-toned cinematography — with a last-minute appearance by Damon as the executor of reclusive author William Forrester’s will. Easily the least interesting of his cameos (but forgivable for being his first), Damon channels his “Rainmaker” days, playing the lawyer who bestows Forrester’s protégé Jamal with his apartment and belongings, in a scene more symbolic as a bookend to “Hunting” than anything else. Also, Damon’s cameo pales in comparison to the bizarro appearance midway through the film by Joey Buttafuoco as a security guard.

01082009_themagestic.jpg“The Majestic” (2001)

By the time Frank Darabont was casting his Blacklist-era drama about a screenwriter named Peter Appleton, who’s mistaken for a war hero named Luke Trimble after a car accident wipes away his memory, Damon had already played one amnesiac in “The Bourne Identity” and turned down playing another in “Paycheck.” He also turned Darabont down and left the heavy lifting to Jim Carrey. But when Darabont needed a voice to read a letter from the real Luke Trimble, he called up Damon, who obliged and wound up playing the central character in the film, anyway.

01092009_thethirdwheel.jpg“The Third Wheel” (2002)

When the largesse of “Good Will Hunting” allowed for Damon and Ben Affleck to create their own production company, Live Planet, Damon wisely stayed out of the casting calls for the films they produced — with one exception. Although he steered clear of being a guinea pig in one of the “Project Greenlight” films, he couldn’t avoid a last minute appearance as Denise Richards’ emotionally fragile ex-boyfriend Kevin in this ill-fated romantic comedy that went direct-to-DVD. Playing the kind of jerk he faced off with in “Hunting,” Damon makes a bad night worse for Richards’ Diana and her date, Stanley (Luke Wilson) after they hit a bum on the street who then bum feels compelled to chaperone their date. It’s worth mentioning the plot since Damon, compared to Affleck, who gamely suffers through a full-blown supporting role, gets off relatively easy.

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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at IFC.com

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Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

Uncle-Buck

Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

It’s the final countdown to Christmas and thanks to IFC’s movie marathon all Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, you can revel in classic ’80s films AND find inspiration for your last-minute gifts. Here are our recommendations, if you need a head start:

Musical Instrument

Great analog entertainment substitute when you refuse to give your kid the Nintendo Switch they’ve been drooling over.

Breakfast In Bed

Any significant other or child would appreciate these Uncle Buck-approved flapjacks. Just make sure you’re not stuck on clean up duty.

Cocktail Supplies

You’ll need them to get through the holidays.

Dance Lessons

So you can learn to shake-shake-shake (unless you know ghosts willing to lend a hand).

Comfy Clothes

With all the holiday meals, there may be some…embigenning.



Get even more great inspiration all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC, and remember…