The History Channel
Ready for a sequel to Good Will Hunting?
Yeah, neither are we.
But Matt Damon is revisiting a tiny moment from his Oscar-winning film in The People Speak, a documentary premiering Sunday on the History Channel.
As Will Hunting, the actor tells Robin Williams' character that if he really wants to study history, he should read Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States. As Matt Damon, the actor has turned the author's follow-up, Voices of a People's History of the United States, into a star-studded history lesson/television event.
Damon gathered Josh Brolin to coproduce, as well as Viggo Mortensen, Morgan Freeman, Bob Dylan, Kerry Washington, Pink, Bruce Springsteen, Marisa Tomei and a slew of other A-listers to participate in the passion project.
And, not unlike Hunting, this concept began in Matt's head more than a decade ago.
Actually, the 39-year-old's involvement in The People Speak began several decades ago, when he and his mother moved into the house next door to Zinn's. Matt was 5 years old at the time, and A People's History was far from finished.
"When I was 10, I had one of the first copies of that book, and I took it to school on Columbus Day to read about Columbus to a shocked group of kids," the star told E! News. "The book's been a part of my life since then."
Of course, Matt realizes that a history lesson isn't everyone's idea of entertainment, but promises that this is "electric."
"If I were studying history now, I would've love to have had Frederick Douglass read by Morgan Freeman! It's a way to really connect to these words and these peoples' experiences that's a little harder when you're reading," he says. "It's just electric when you hear the words spoken by someone."
"It was clear in what this was about and what we were trying to do," Brolin explained to us. "It's not a vanity thing."
Everyone involved in this project clearly hopes it will inspire people to be leaders and incite change.
"You start asking yourself some of those questions today, like, 'What am I doing? Am I an active citizen here?' " Matt says.
All those great intentions aside, we won't tell anyone if you tune in just to see these hot actors. We can't say that isn't playing a role in our DVR setting.
Check out all the celebs trying to make history in our Do-Gooder Gallery.