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How Matt Damon met John Krasinski’s alter ego: ‘Tommy from Boston’

John Krasinski spoke during a Q&A for "A Quiet Place Part II" on May 23 in New York.
John Krasinski spoke during a Q&A for "A Quiet Place Part II" on May 23 in New York.Roy Rochlin/Getty Images for Paramount Pictures

John Krasinski made sure to showcase his comedy chops after meeting Matt Damon for the first time.

During an appearance on Conan O’Brien’s weekly podcast, Krasinski and the late-night host discussed their shared Boston-area roots, and how they appreciate when Bostonians keep them from being “too big for their britches,” so to speak.

O’Brien, originally from Brookline, shared a story about a woman who gave him attitude for his reaction when she popped in to say hi while he was using the bathroom.

“They’re excited to see you, but they don’t want to show they’re excited,” O’Brien said. “If you look at all like you were expecting them to recognize you, they’ll tear your head off.”


Krasinski, a Newton native, shared a story of an Acela passenger razzing him for attending Newton South instead of Newton North.

“This is why humanity can never be saved,” O’Brien said. “We will draw a line down the middle of Newton, Mass., call one North and one South, and if you’re from the wrong one, f*** you.”

It’s that attitude that Krasinski used as inspiration for “Bitter Boston Guy,” a character he created in order to prank call Damon.

“The first time we met, I left him a message,” Krasinski said. “And I went, ‘Hey Matt, how you doing? It’s Tommy O’Donnell. Just wanted to say, we went to high school together, you probably don’t remember me. Anyway, congratulations on all your success, and your children, and your wife.’

“It just gets more and more upset the better your life is: ‘Oh no no no, congratulations on ‘Good Will Hunting,’ that was a very good movie,” Krasinski continued.

After riffing on the character, both O’Brien and Krasinski admitted that they loved the ego-deflating attitude.

“I love that there’s an edge, and I love that it’s complicated with them,” O’Brien said. “In a way, it feels more honest, like you go back and you’re not gonna get away with any s*** there.”