Matt Damon, Emily Blunt, and the Chemistry Mystery

Matt Damon and Emily Blunt, stars of the new romantic thriller "The Adjustment Bureau," discuss their fiery onscreen chemistry.

BY: Evan Derrick


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Someone has derailed the conversation (unsurprising given the pure star wattage Damon exudes) to talk about Damon’s fantastic turn as LaBoeuf the Texas Ranger in “True Grit.” “I had so much fun making that movie,” Damon begins before Blunt interrupts him: “Me too! I played the [13-year old] girl.” More laughter follows as the two continue to trade jabs. Indeed, it’s as if the entire interview is really an excuse to see who can one-up the other in front of the press rather than a chance to promote their film (one can imagine them placing bets before hand to see who gets the most guffaws). I’d say it was a carefully calculated PR stunt if it wasn’t so effortless. Asked what inspires him, Damon, without batting an eye, says, “[Emily’s] performance in ‘Black Swan.’” Blunt, of course, had nothing to do with the film that just snagged Natalie Portman an Oscar. “Very smart,” she responds snidely. One more point to Damon, it seems.

Onscreen chemistry not only dictates the success of a film, it can also predict the success or failure of the couple’s real-world relationship. In 2003, real-life couple Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez starred in “Gigli,” widely considered one of the worst films of all time. Online review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes simply stated: “Affleck and Lopez lack chemistry.” The film tanked and a year later Affleck and Lopez had broken up.

In 2006, Jennifer Aniston and Vince Vaughn starred together in “The Break-Up.” They displayed little chemistry onscreen. In December of that same year their relationship embraced the title of their film.

On the flipside, in 2005 “Mr. and Mrs. Smith” starring Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie snagged this blurb from Rotten Tomatoes: “The chemistry generated by onscreen couple Pitt and Jolie is palpable enough to make this a thoroughly enjoyable summer action flick.” Unsurprisingly, Pitt was divorced and officially together with Jolie that same year.

Continued on page 3: [Chemistry] is a strange integral thing that I think you either have it or you don’t and it’s truly as black and white as that. »

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