Matt Damon tackles "fracking" issue in the "Promised Land"

Fri Dec 28, 2012 11:48am EST
 

By Zorianna Kit

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The hot-button topic of "fracking" has finally made its way to Hollywood in the new movie "Promised Land," out in U.S. theaters on Friday, with actors Matt Damon and John Krasinski teaming up to further the debate on the energy drilling technique.

The film explores the social impact of hydraulic fracturing drilling technique, or "fracking," which has sparked nation-wide environmental and political battles over its impact on drinking water, U.S. energy use, seismic activity and other areas.

"Promised Land" will see Damon, 42, reunite with director Gus Van Sant for the third time, following their success with 1997 film "Good Will Hunting and 2002's "Gerry."

In their latest film, Damon plays a corporate salesman who goes to a rural U.S. town to buy or lease land on behalf of a gas company looking to drill for oil. He soon faces opposition from a slick environmentalist, played by Krasinski.

In real life, Damon hasn't shied away from getting involved in political and social issues, working with charities and organizations to eradicate AIDS in developing countries, bringing attention to atrocities in Sudan's Darfur region, providing safe drinking water and stopping trees from being chopped and used for junk mail.

Yet "Promised Land," which Damon also co-wrote and produced, doesn't take a noticeable stance on "fracking." The actor would not publicly state his own views, telling Reuters that he didn't think his opinion had "any bearing" on the film.

"The point is that the movie should start a conversation. It's certainly not a pro-fracking movie, but we didn't want to tell people what to think," Damon said.

The actor said he and Krasinski never set out to make a socially conscious film, and "fracking" was added in later, as a backdrop to the story.   Continued...

 
Cast member Matt Damon poses for a portrait while promoting the upcoming film "Promised Land" in Los Angeles, California December 7, 2012. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni