Matt Damon did not take part in military training exercises with Tom Hanks and other actors prior to filming Saving Private Ryan
The filmmakers wanted to preserve a real-life resentment of Damon because the other actors’ characters resented Private Ryan in the film.
“The making of this film – and its attendant huge popularity – was extremely good for Warriors Inc. People in the industry who had forgotten about us since Platoon, now remembered that we were still in the mix and still capable of making good films that much better. It also served to cement our relationship with Steven Spielberg who remains a fan and a friend.
In the spate of publicity that surrounded the release of Saving Pvt. Ryan, there were some apocryphal stories that abounded. Some of the media claimed we had a mutiny and that it was so miserable that the actors threatened to leave the field and quit training. It’s not true. The actors complained about the miserable weather and the lack of equipment to keep them warm and dry. That’s true. I refused to allow any equipment in the field that would not have been carried by a World War II Army Ranger. When the grumbling got too loud and irritating, I stood in the rain while the troops took shelter and gave them one of my patented ‘Captain Dye Come to Jesus’ motivational speeches. I reminded them that real Rangers and infantrymen who landed on Omaha Beach on D-Day had to endure much worse and it was their mission in life to represent those men honorably and accurately. To do that, they could certainly endure some discomforts. They understood and the mutiny never happened.”