With Ridley Scott’s The Last Duel opening in theaters this weekend, I recently got to speak with Matt Damon and Nicole Holofcener about making the fantastic movie. Written by Damon, Holofcener, and Ben Affleck, The Last Duel is based on the true story of France's last sanctioned duel. The film follows the story of Jean de Carrouges (Damon) and Jacques Le Gris (Adam Driver), two friends who ultimately become bitter rivals after Carrouges’ wife, Marguerite (Jodie Comer), is attacked by Le Gris; when she accuses Le Gris in public, Carrouges steps forward to defend his wife's honor against his friend via trial by combat, a fight that will only be resolved in death. Ben Affleck plays Pierre d'Alençon, who is friends with Jacques Le Gris and has little respect for Jean de Carrouges.
During the interview, Damon and Holofcener talk about why they wanted to use the Rashomon storytelling device where we see three different perspectives of the same events, how women were property when The Last Duel took place, how saying you were raped could be a death sentence, what it was like working with Ridley Scott and the way he added to the script, and how when Afflect and Daon asked Holofcener to join them they said it would only take a month. Cut to two years later.
Watch what they had to say in the player above and below is exactly what we talked about.
Matt Damon and Nicole Holofcener
- How did they figure out they wanted to tell the story using different perspectives like Akira Kurosawa did in Rashomon?
- How they originally told Holofcener it would be a month-long job and here she is two years later.
- How women back when The Last Duel took place were property.
- How saying you were raped by then could be a death sentence.
- How women had no legal recourse back then which is why women often stayed silent.
- What was it like working with Ridley Scott and how did he add to the script?
- How Scott would sketch how they would shoot the scene and the way he would go line by line with an actor explaining the way he would shoot each scene.