- The Washington Times - Friday, July 9, 2021

Matt Damon says meeting oil riggers from Texas and Oklahoma during research for his upcoming film “Stillwater” was an “eye-opening” experience.

The actor, a longtime liberal activist, told reporters at the Cannes Film Festival that his character would have likely been a supporter of former President Trump while also opining on the riggers’ help.

“These people were wonderful to us and really helped us,” Mr. Damon said Wednesday of meeting “roughnecks” in both states. “I didn’t know when I first read the script how specific this culture was in Texas and Oklahoma, these roughnecks and what they do. And so it was really eye-opening for me.”

Advice on numerous issues related to the character — a man searching for his estranged daughter in France — came during invites to backyard barbecues to “the reddest state.”

“A guitar comes out and somebody starts singing church songs,” Mr. Damon said of the experience in Oklahoma, Breitbart reported.

The actor stressed that “Stillwater” is a film that is “not expressly political.”

“[My character] is who he is and he is from where he is from and the movie has a lot of empathy for him,” he said.

“Stillwater” is directed by Tom McCarthy and is scheduled for a July 30 release.

• Douglas Ernst can be reached at dernst@washingtontimes.com.

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