CNET News Video
Matt Damon says 'The Martian' is on the cusp of realityIn the upcoming film "The Martian," Matt Damon plays an astronaut stranded on Mars who has to "science the s***" out of stuff to survive. CNET's Ashley Esqueda chats with him about the role, working with director Ridley Scott and why he thinks it's necessary...
Ready? Watch out! Commander, Mark is dead. We have to go now! This is Mark Watney, and I'm still alive, obviously. I have no way to contact NASA or my crewmates, but even if I could, it would take four years For another manned mission to reach me. And, I'm gonna have designed the last 31 days, so in the face of overwhelming odds I'm left with only one option. I'm gonna have to science the **** out of. So for you personally, has there been a situation where you had to science the **** out of anything. No, no. Thank god. If I have to science the **** out of something we're in deep, deep ****. [LAUGHTER] So did you specifically do anything to prepare for the role or did Ridley ask you to do anything specific to prepare for the role. The first time I met Ridley he said he always wanted to make Robinson and Crusoe. And we were looking at this as well, okay, it's the Robinson Crusoe story. But what makes it different is actually the fact that this guy's got cameras all over the place, and he's talking to them. And he's leaving a log for other scientists so that they can learn from his experience. And that in and of itself makes it different. Because his behavior, in a way, is observed. You know or he has the feeling that it's absurd so it's not that kind of existential loneliness that you get in something like Castaway or Robinson Crusoe. It is but it's got this extra layer of self awareness to it. Okay, let's do the math. I gotta figure out how to grow four years worth of food here. on a planet where nothing grows. [MUSIC] But if I can't figure out how to make contact with NASA none of this matters anyway. I just thought this story was incredible, and so fun and entertaining but really engaging. So you know that was really what drew me to it. So recently, you've been involved in science and space based films, How has that impact your perception of what astronauts and what they'll have to do especially with The Martian to go to Mars? Yeah, well this movie is really meant to take place in the very, very near future so we're right on the cusp on being able to do a lot of the things that That we do in the movie. And that is really, it's just humbling to think of like what these people do, because it's incredibly dangerous and so it takes a lot of courage, it takes a lot of intelligence, but it's really also incredibly necessary for us to eventually get Some of the species off of our planet, you know, in order to do so we have to find some other place where we can go and trying to determine that, figure that out and start to make another place hospitable is like really, really tough, dangerous work. [MUSIC] Know the world Tell my family that I never stopped fighting to make it home.