Together Again: Steven Soderbergh tore down Matt Damon to build him back up

With Together Again, Jesse Hassenger looks at actors and directors who have worked together on at least three films, analyzing the nature of their collaborations.

There was a time—call it the majority of the ’00s—when George Clooney starred almost exclusively in movies directed by himself, the Coen Brothers, or, most often, Steven Soderbergh (or, barring Soderbergh’s availability, someone else associated with a past Soderbergh film). It makes sense that Clooney would do more movies with Soderbergh than with any other director (currently six, though his self-directed performances are closing in with five). Soderbergh restarted and boosted Clooney’s big-screen career—somewhat paradoxically by directing him in what was, at the time, his lowest-grossing movie as a post-ER leading man. Despite its middling box office, Out Of Sight capitalized on the movie-star promise Clooney had shown in earlier roles. Soderbergh did his best to limit the actor …

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