Matt Damon, directed by a belief in great filmmakers

Ryan Huddle|Globe staff

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Matt Damon, 42, has now been a major star for more than a decade and a half, working with first-tier directors like Steven Soderbergh, Clint Eastwood, the Coen brothers, Martin Scorsese, and Gus Van Sant. Each new collaboration is an opportunity to study what ingredients make for a great film, and Neill Blomkamp is his latest instructor. Blomkamp directed Damon in the captivating new science-fiction film “Elysium,” which opens Aug. 9.

“I had a long conversation with Neill about [how] a great movie cannot be made by accident,” said Damon. “It just can’t, because there are too many decisions over too great a period of time that the director has to make. And if you can’t do it, you will be found out.”

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