Matt Damon has admitted playing Jason Bourne for a fourth time was much harder than when he took on the role as a younger man.
The Hollywood star, 45, returned to the scene of the crime when he stopped off in London for the European premiere of Jason Bourne.
Set years after the CIA assassin’s disappearance at the end of The Bourne Ultimatum, he touches down in Las Vegas, Greece and the UK capital in the new thriller.
“It was very exciting for me to come back as this character. I love this character very much and it’s had a huge impact in my life and my career.
“It’s definitely more difficult to play Jason Bourne when you’re 45 years old than when you’re 29 years old because you still have to run as hard. You’re being pursued just as diligently, so you still have to run as fast as you can and try to be fit in all of those things.
“So that part was a challenge.”
Damon was joined on the red carpet in Leicester Square by Julia Stiles, who returns as spy Nicky Parsons, and Oscar-winner Alicia Vikander, who plays the CIA’s head of cyber intelligence Heather Lee.
Vikander said being on British director Paul Greengrass’ set for the first time was a “pinch me moment”.
“It’s always a gift for an actor when you have a director who seems so calm and so clear and confident in the vision, what he wants.” Damon last starred as the amnesiac in 2007, but has reunited with Greengrass to bring Bourne back in a “post-(Edward) Snowden world”.
“To be reunited with Paul Greengrass was really the main reason for making this movie, for me,” he said.
“I always said that I wouldn’t do it without Paul and I’m really glad that I laid down that ultimatum so many years ago. He’s just a brilliant film-maker.
“We made another movie in the intervening years that wasn’t a Jason Bourne movie, called Green Zone, and I’m constantly looking for things to make with Paul because I just love him and I love his whole style and his approach and I think it leads to really good work. You know, it’s incredibly challenging but the results are really great.”
Tommy Lee Jones returns as CIA director Robert Dewey, alongside Vincent Cassel, Riz Ahmed and Scott Shepherd.
Jason Bourne is released in cinemas on 27 July.
Matt Damon, Partner
Matt Damon, Alicia Vikander
Alicia Vikander, Matt Damon, Julia Stiles
Alicia Vikander, Matt Damon, Julia Stiles, Lisa Snowden