While Matt Damon is fully aware certain celebrity friends of his admire his look in a Speedo, he is perplexed by the amount of Internet attention he received when he grew out his hair and wore extensions for his role in The Great Wall.
“I didn’t [know], but it was the man bun, which was fun,” Damon tells PEOPLE. “I mean they put 700 extensions in, it took like 12 hours and then I had to try and keep them. By the time they cut them out it was like a rat’s nest. I took a picture of it, I think there was stuff living in there.”
Damon’s costar Pedro Pascal fully understands the Internet attention paid to Damon’s hair.
“Of course they [obsessed over it]!” he says. “They better have, we’ve never seen him with long hair before and his gorgeous sexy man bun.”
Another “fun” thing Damon acquired for the role is archery skills — the CGI type.
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“I got to learn about speed archery,” he says. “I was in Budapest shooting The Martian and getting ready for this [film] and it turns out the greatest speed archer in the world is Hungarian and he lives a few hours outside Budapest. I would train with him on weekends and he’s just unbelievable. He does like horseback archery and is the best in the world. So that was really interesting. Just the whole look of the character is really different from anything I’ve ever done and the movie is different from anything I’ve ever done, it’s kind of a big monster movie, like a big popcorn movie.”
So does Damon now impress his friends and family with his archery skills?
“No. I can shoot CGI arrows as well as anybody, I think I’d give Orlando Bloom [Lord of the Rings star archer Legolas] a run for his money in a CGI arrow battle,” he says. “But not the real stuff. The guy that trained me actually removed one of his thumbs above the knuckle so he could do this faster. He’s like next-level.”
The Great Wall opens in theaters Feb. 17.