Rugby role worried Damon

Matt Damon was worried about playing a rugby player in new film 'Invictus'.

Matt Damon was worried about playing a rugby player in new film 'Invictus'.

The actor portrays 6ft 4in former South African captain Francois Pienaar but was concerned his 5ft 10in frame wasn’t enough.

He said: “He’s quite a physical specimen. He’s 6ft 4in and about 230lbs and I’m 5ft 10in. It was a lot of work to capture Francois physically, but then I spent time talking to him and understanding the stakes of this movie.”

Although reassured by director Clint Eastwood, the 39-year-old actor embarked on a rigorous training regime in an attempt to improve his physique.

Matt said: “Clint used tricks and camera angles to make me look taller than I actually am, but, before we started filming, I spent six months doing rigorous physical training trying to change by body.”

Shot entirely on location in South Africa and with a mainly native cast, the film tells the story of how Nelson Mandela - played by Morgan Freeman - and Pienaar joined forces to lead the team to an unlikely 1995 World Cup victory over the All Blacks and unify the racially fragmented country following the end of apartheid.

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