Matt Damon

Despite his all-American persona, actor Matt Damon thrived in roles that ran counter to his mom-and-apple-pie image. Whether playing a combative mathematics genius, a serial killer hunting the rich and famous or a lethal spy unable to recall his identity, Damon built a strong and respected career tackling characters against type. After appearing in several supporting roles, Damon forged his own path with best friend Ben Affleck by writing and starring in "Good Will Hunting" (1997), which earned the duo an Academy Award for Best Screenplay while opening numerous doors. From there, he delivered a brief but acclaimed performance as the titular soldier in "Saving Private Ryan" (1998), followed by a more devious part as a social-climbing killer in "The Talented Mr. Ripley" (1999). Though he stalled a bit with "The Legend of Bagger Vance" (2000) and "All the Pretty Horses" (2000), Damon became a bona fide star by aptly trading one-liners with the likes of George Clooney and Brad Pitt in the stylish action comedy "Ocean's Eleven" (2001) and its sequels. But Damon became his own man with "The Bourne Identity" (2002), which allowed him to solo drive a successful action franchise that earned big box-office dollars and critical acclaim across the board. By the time he landed a meaty leading role in Martin Scorsese's Oscar-winning thriller, "The Departed" (2006), Damon was one of the biggest stars working in Hollywood. Between crowd-pleasing hits like "Interstellar" (2014), "The Martian" (2015) and Jason Bourne" (2016), quirkier work including his continued collaborations with Soderbergh and Clooney on films like "Contagion" (2011) and "The Monuments Men" (2014) and films such as Alexander Payne's science fiction satire "Downsizing" (2017), plus a handful of high-profile flops such as Cameron Crowe's "We Bought a Zoo" (2011) and Chinese-made action drama "The Great Wall" (2017), Damon became one of the most consistently surprising and interesting leading men in Hollywood.