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The strong, silent type: Matt Damon only has 25 lines in ‘Jason Bourne’

Hollywood has a long history of action heroes who let their actions speak louder (and more often) than their words, and Matt Damon’s Jason Bourne will be joining their ranks in a big way in the upcoming fifth installment of his franchise, this month’s Jason Bourne.

In a recent interview, Damon revealed that his character only has around 25 lines in the entire film — and he’s actually thrilled about that fact.

Related: Matt Damon takes a dumbbell to the jaw in the latest Jason Bourne clip

In a profile published by The Guardian, Damon and Jason Bourne director Paul Greengrass explained that the decision to go (relatively) silent with the franchise’s action hero was due in part to the character’s natural evolution. With each installment of the series, the super-spy played by Damon has become increasingly isolated, losing many of those close to him in one way or another — a trend that has led him to spend far less time chatting and more time letting his actions (and reactions) do the talking.

“In the first movie, the Marie Kreutz character [played by Franka Potente] is still alive, so Bourne has a sounding board and he’s more confused about who he is and a lot more chatty,” explained Damon. “Once she dies in the first act of the second movie, it’s really a very lonely character. And we talked about that mostly on the second one. I remember Tony [Gilroy, the film’s screenwriter] writing me an email saying, ‘You do realize what this means? You do realize you’re not going to talk in this movie.’ I said, ‘No, I love that.'”

According to Greengrass, who directed Damon in both the second (The Bourne Supremacy) and the third (The Bourne Ultimatum) installments of the franchise, Damon has proven himself more than capable of getting a message across without words.

“I think what makes a Bourne movie is the violence and the set pieces, but there’s a tremendous amount of emotionality in the character,” said Greengrass.

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