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Video Q&A: Matt Damon on How Double Dates Got 'Promised Land' Made

If it wasn't for personal chemistry and Matt Damon's directorial ambitions, the new movie "Promised Land" may not have been made, Damon told NextMovie in a sit-down interview in New York.

The film's journey began when Damon and actress Emily Blunt worked together on 2011's "The Adjustment Bureau." Damon met Blunt's husband, actor John Krasinski, and the two hit it off. Together with his wife, Damon started going on double dates with the couple and Damon and Krasinski became such good friends they decided they wanted to make a movie. Enter "Promised Land."

"John and I were looking for something to do together," Damon said. He originally wanted to direct the movie, so he found a story he was passionate about, but realized that he was spending too much time away from home and instead handed the reins to "Good Will Hunting" director Gus Van Sant.

As for the film's subject matter — Damon, as a natural gas contractor, tries to convince small-town residents to lease their land to the gas company — Damon acknowledged that it would likely spark controversy. Fracking is a hot topic in Congress and environmental circles, showing no signs of dying down. Damon, however, said that the film tried not to preach a position either way, just present the situation.

"The potential gains and the potential losses are about as big as they can get," he said.

Reporting by Kevin Polowy

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