GQ Australia, Matt Damon

GQ Australia

James Bond and Jason Bourne may share the same initials and have similar occupations, but Matt Damon sees a world of difference between the two characters. In a recent interview for GQ Australia's August issue, the Jason Bourne actor made it clear which character he liked best.

"I like Bourne better than Bond," he said. "Bourne has today's values; Bond has the values of the 1960s."

 Damon said that the new Bond, played by Daniel Craig, has brought the franchise into the present a bit more, but that classically Bond is a "misogynist who likes swilling martinis and killing people and not giving a s--t."

"Jason Bourne is a serial monogamist," Damon continued. "And he's tortured by the things he's done and feels empathy and compassion for other people...And Bourne would obviously win in a fight."

This isn't the first time Damon has discussed his views of the two characters. Ever since 2007, Damon has been bashing Bond for his attitude towards women and one-dimensional character. And it's hard to disagree when Craig himself called Bond out for his womanizing ways.  

"Let's not forget that he's actually a misogynist," Craig told the Red Bulletin. "A lot of women are drawn to him chiefly because he embodies a certain kind of danger and never sticks around for too long."

But who's really the spy movie champ when it comes between Bond and Bourne?

Let's take a look at the two characters side by side to see who is the better action star:

Spectre Poster, Daniel Craig


James Bond

Nationality: British

Occupation: Secret agent in the British Secret Service. Likely served in Special Ops during WWII.

Troubled Past: After his parents die, Bond is educated at a British public school as an orphan before joining the Royal Navy.

Relationship Status: Bond is a total womanizer with numerous girlfriends. He was married once to Tracy Di Vicenzo but she was killed on their wedding day. He later dates Vesper Lynd in Casino Royale. He has no kids (that we know of, anyway).

Character Traits: Bond is a cold-hearted, martini-drinking gambler who is never without a stylish suit and a woman on his arm. He kills and feels nothing, and is both strong and quick, but occasionally captured by his enemies. Still, he is ruthless and unafraid to put himself in dangerous situations.

Technique: Bond is arguably too reliant on his high-tech gadgets, from exploding pens to underwater cars to a fingerprint-specific gun. But with his full set of knickknacks and the SIS team behind him, Bond is a formidable foe.

Matt Damon, Jason Bourne

Universal Pictures


Nationality: American

Occupation: American soldier turned CIA assassin gone rogue. In the book series, he begins as a foreign service officer.

Childhood: Unknown. He suffers from amnesia and remembers little-to nothing-from his life beforehand.

Relationship Status : In the movies, Bourne's partner Marie was murdered by his enemies and he refuses to move on from her and get revenge. In the books, he was previously married but his wife and kids died during the Vietnam War.

Character Traits: Bourne is street-smart as well as a classically trained assassin: a deadly combination. He is intelligent, thinks on his feet and hell-bent on getting revenge. He isn't cold-hearted like Bond though, Bourne is troubled by his conscience and plagued by self-guilt—tough traits to have in his line of work.

Technique: Exceptionally good at hand-to-hand combat and excellent at driving vehicles in car-chases, even down staircases and in the wrong direction on one-way streets. He is fluent in a variety of languages and has a photographic memory, but his amnesia prevents him from being one step ahead of the CIA like Bond so often is with his enemies. 

Daniel Craig, Matt Damon

Karen Ballard/Sony Pictures; Jasin Boland/Universal Studios

Now, let's get into the nitty-gritty:

Both men work in a world run where information is currency and dead bodies are part of the job description. When you pit the two against each other—agent vs. assassin—where do they stand?

Bourne is a trained assassin and a fighting machine who is most dangerous in hand-to-hand combat. He may not be the most tech-savvy spy, but Bourne knows how to get off the grid and blend into his surroundings. He is also amazingly resourceful, and can use nearly whatever is around him as a weapon, whether it be a pen or a magazine or his own feet. But where Bourne is resourceful, Bond doesn't have to be. Unlike Bourne, who is running from the CIA with no help and few friends, Bond is supported by the SIS across the globe and has Q and M looking out for him at all times (except for when he goes rogue, of course). Bourne may have the street-smarts to blend in and disappear, but Bond has the money to fly away rather than lay low. Bourne has very few skills apart from combat, but he is excellent at what he can do, and that's what matters.

Bond, on the other hand, has a broader skill-set, most of which is not explicitly related to combat, making him able to blend into social situations and wear disguises. He is incredibly deadly when armed with the right weapon and always has some side-tricks up his sleeve. If you have doubts about Bond's persona, you need to look past the flashy cars and one-liners. This is a broken man who protects his heart with the armor that beautiful women and expensive suits can provide. And on top of that, his stern, cold disposition means he can kill without a second thought.

Ultimately, being a secret agent and an assassin require slightly different skill-sets, and both men are the best in their respective areas for good reason. But the real question is: who would win in a fight?

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