Damon earns $1.3m per line of dialogue in Bourne movie
IN THE rarefied world of international espionage, where discretion is considered the better part of valour, no one expects you to be the life and soul of the party.
But shadowy former CIA operative Jason Bourne is laconic, even by a spy's standards, according to United States actor Matt Damon, who has revealed his iconic character has just 25 lines in the latest Bourne film.
The amnesiac super-spy returns to the big screen next week for the first new instalment of the Robert Ludlum-based thriller series since 2012, and the first starring Damon in nine years.
Jason Bourne, the fifth film in the hit franchise, sees the 45-year-old pitted against Alicia Vikander's Heather Lee, head of the CIA's Cyber Ops department who is determined to flush out her nemesis.
Paul Greengrass, director of The Bourne Supremacy (2004) and The Bourne Ultimatum (2007), was persuaded to rejoin Damon for the next chapter of the Universal franchise after both sat out 2012's The Bourne Legacy.
Damon told the London-based Guardian that Greengrass called him after looking at the finished movie and told him he had only about 25 lines.
"Well, I've done it three times," Damon said of playing the spy of few words, adding that screenwriter Tony Gilroy made Bourne "a very lonely character" after his girlfriend dies in the second movie.
"I remember Tony writing me an e-mail saying: You do realise what this means?
"You do realise you're not going to talk in this movie.
"I said: No, I love that."
Vanity Fair pointed out in an article published on its website on Monday that, given his limited dialogue, Damon was probably earning at least US$1 million (S$1.3 million) a line for Jason Bourne.
Although his fee for being wooed back to the franchise has not been made public, he was paid US$26 million for The Bourne Ultimatum in 2007, according to Forbes magazine.