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8 Facts About The Talented Mr. Ripley To Know Before Seeing Matt Damon’s Favorite Movie

Matt Damon appeared in ‘The Talented Mr. Ripley’ along with many stars, including Jude Law, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Cate Blanchett. Through the years, this film remained one of the fan favorites for its plot and casting, even for Damon himself. So, there are a lot of details to know about it before you start watching.

Matt Damon’s portrayal of Tom Ripley in the 1999 psychological thriller ‘The Talented Mr. Ripley’ is a performance that lingers in viewers’ minds. The story unfolds in New York and Italy, where Ripley, a man with big dreams but little means, gets entangled in a life of deception and crime.

Being a role he took on shortly before hitting it big with ‘Good Will Hunting,’ Damon cites this film as a favorite from his acting catalog. Still, there are a few things you may want to know before watching ‘The Talented Mr. Ripley.’

8. The Film Was A Big Success

The film achieved both critical acclaim and commercial success, grossing $128 million worldwide against a budget of $40 million. It was nominated for five Academy Awards, including Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Supporting Actor for Jude Law. The film also won several awards, including a BAFTA and a National Board of Review Award. As of 2023, it maintains a solid rating of 7.4/10 on Rotten Tomatoes.

7. Damon Had To Lose Weight For This Role

Damon underwent physical training before the shootings started, losing about 30 pounds to fit the character’s slender build. His dedication to the role included strict dieting and running. He also wore heavy makeup to look pale enough to contrast visually with co-stars Jude Law and Gwyneth Paltrow.

6. A Few Sources Inspired The Project

Directed and written by Anthony Minghella, ‘The Talented Mr. Ripley’ is based on Patricia Highsmith’s novel of the same name. The story shares thematic elements with Highsmith’s other work, ‘Strangers On A Train,’ which was also adapted into a film. Both stories explore themes of identity theft and its consequences, hinting at possible inspiration from Alfred Hitchcock’s adaptation of ‘Strangers On A Train.’

5. The Crew’s Attention To Detail

The film is known for its detailed portrayal of the 1950s setting in Italy, with the crew filming in various Italian cities. The wardrobe, designed by Ann Roth, contributed significantly to the characters’ portrayal, especially Tom Ripley’s intentionally mismatched outfit. The soundtrack, featuring jazz music from the 1950s and 1960s, added to the film’s authentic atmosphere, and all these elements received praise from critics.

4. Casting Required A Lot Of Thinking

Anthony Minghella was very particular about casting his characters, wanting the perfect fit for each role, especially Tom Ripley. The director was even ready to cancel the project unless he found the perfect fit for Ripley. Eventually, Damon got the part, and Minghella chose Jude Law for the role of Dickie Greenleaf for his ability to portray both charm and complexity.

3. Actors Had To Work On Their Musical Skills

The lead actors, including Jude Law and Matt Damon, worked on new musical skills for their roles. Training with music supervisor Graham Walker, Law learned the saxophone, and Damon learned the piano and actually performed ‘My Funny Valentine’ in the film. Gwyneth Paltrow also learned the saxophone for her role to make her scenes realistic.

2. Jude Law Was Nervous About His Role

Despite his later success in the film, Jude Law initially felt nervous about working with co-stars like Matt Damon and Gwyneth Paltrow. Once, in an interview, the actor said despite being the focus in many scenes, the thought of sharing them with the Oscar-winning actors affected his nerves, although he later got over it.

1. Some Of The Characters Weren’t From The Original Story

Although she didn’t exist in the original novel, Anthony Minghella added a character named Meredith Logue to the story and looked for a Cate Blanchett-type actor to play her. Despite initially auditioning for Marge Sherwood, Blanchett showed interest in the role, leading the director to make Meredith a bigger part of the script.

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