Matt Damon Reveals Diet Behind Dramatic Movie Role Weight Loss

The Colonel would be proud...

Matt Damon in Courage Under Fire
Weight loss Matt Damon in Courage Under Fire. Image 20th Century Fox

Matt Damon is a certified A-lister thanks to his role in the Jason Bourne films, but when he was starting out he had to go to extreme measures for his art.

Back in 1996, Damon was a 25-year-old whippersnapper who was starring opposite Meg Ryan and Denzel Washington as an army medic in Courage Under Fire.

Damon had to ditch 60 pounds for the role, and he did it by eating only one type of food: chicken.

The Bourne star revealed in a Reddit AMA (via Esquire) that he dropped to 139 pounds to play Specialist Andrew Ilario, something he found extremely uncomfortable at the time.

“I think the most challenging role that I’ve ever had, was when I did Courage Under Fire and I had to lose all the weight that I lost on my own,” he explained.

“That was the most physically challenging did I’ve ever had to do in my life. I weigh probably 190 pounds right now, and I weighed 139 in that movie, and that is not a natural weight for me and not a happy weight for me even when I was 25.”

Damon revealed that he ran 13 miles a day as part of his regime “which wasn’t even the hard part”.

“All I ate was chicken breast,” he said. “It’s not like I had a chef or anything, I just made it up and did what I thought I had to do. I just made it up and that was incredibly challenging.”

It all worked out pretty well in the end for Damon. Shortly after Courage Under Fire he landed a part in Steven Spielberg’s Saving Private Ryan then went on to star in a film he wrote with pal Ben Affleck, the Oscar-winning Good Will Hunting.

Previous Post
Next Post

Loaded digital media manager Simon Reynolds has written about film and entertainment for various leading websites since 2008. Follow Simon at @simonreyn