Matt Damon’s ‘True Grit’ Character Has No Beef With Shia LaBeouf

The man behind Texas goofball LaBoeuf also had a hand in LaBeouf's career -- coincidence?

In “True Grit,” the upcoming and much-buzzed about western from the Coen brothers, Matt Damon gets a chance to showcase his playful, comedic side via his character, LaBoeuf, pronounced “La Beef.”

Given the familiar-ish spelling of the character’s name and Damon’s history in working with actor Shia LaBeouf — one of his first non-child-actor roles was in “The Battle of Shaker Heights, the feature film made from Damon and Ben Affleck’s “Project Greenlight” series for HBO — we jokingly asked him if the goofball Texas ranger LaBoeuf in “True Grit,” bears any resemblance or relation to “Transformers” star LaBeouf (pronounced “La Buff”).

“Not unless he’s changing his pronunciation to ‘Le Beef,’ ” Damon joked back. “I thought it was pronounced ‘La Buff’ when I first saw it, but the book is very clear it’s pronounced ‘Le Beef.’ ”

Fair enough. Speaking of LaBeouf (which really does mean “the beef” in French), we wondered if Damon feels responsible for any of the blockbuster success the star has achieved thus far in his career.

“I wish I could take responsibility for his career,” Damon said of Shia, who actually got his start on the Disney Channel’s “Even Stevens.” “He’s had a terrific career and he’s a terrific actor. We thought that when we saw him on ‘Project Greenlight.’ We thought, ‘Wow, who is this kid?’ I’m very happy to see everything that’s happened to him; he’s a terrific guy.”

Perhaps there is a Damon/LaBeouf project in the future? Or better yet, a LaBeouf/LaBoeuf “Funny or Die” video/parody?

Check out everything we’ve got on “True Grit.”

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