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Matt Damon Voted for Obama, Despite Those First-Term Criticisms (Exclusive)

Matt Damon said he is optimistic that Obama's second term will be a "great one"

Matt Damon has been one of Barack Obama's harshest critics in Hollywood, but he told TheWrap that despite his rough words for the president, he is pleased he was re-elected.

"I voted for him," Damon said. "Absolutely, I voted for him."

Damon, who was in New York City this week to promote his environmental drama "Promised Land," made headlines last year when he criticized the president in interviews with Elle magazine and Piers Morgan. At the time, he faulted Obama for not pushing for more Wall Street reforms in the wake of the financial crisis.

Also read: Spike Lee on Obama’s First Term: ‘Expectations Were Way Too High’

"You know, a one-term president with some balls who actually got stuff done would have been, in the long run of the country, much better,” Damon told an Elle interviewer in December 2011.

The actor acknowledged to TheWrap that after his frank talk, he had played a less active role in Obama's re-election campaign. "They didn’t ask me to do any fundraisers this time," he said, laughing.

And, he said, he has higher hopes for the coming four years, now that the president is not worried about securing re-election.

"I’m a perennial optimist," Damon told TheWrap. "So I’m very hopeful that this second term is going be a great one and that we’re going to see who he is and he’s going to make a lot of people’s lives a lot better. That’s my true hope."

Damon's latest film casts a critical eye over "fracking," a controversial drilling process used to extract natural gas that some environmentalists fear could contaminate ground water and impact air quality. The actor not only appears in the film; he co-wrote the Oscar hopeful with co-star John Krasinski. "Promised Land" opens in limited release on Dec. 28.

Krasinski told TheWrap that he and Damon made "Promised Land" to examine the failures of the democratic process. When it came to politics, he was more critical of Washington gridlock than any one politician.

"We have a group of people in the House and the Senate who are actually willing to throw away any progress for one side or the other just to win a point for an imaginary team that none of us really belongs to," Krasinski said. "So that’s the upsetting thing."

One politician who both men support is Elizabeth Warren. The newly elected Democratic senator from Massachusetts has been a fierce critic of the elaborate financial concoctions that helped lead to the recession. Krasinski, Damon and Ben Affleck hosted a fundraiser for Warren at J.J. Abrams Bad Robot production studios earlier this year.

Damon said he has no regrets about voicing his political views and doubts that it prevents audiences from judging his work on its own merits.

"I don’t worry about it," Damon told TheWrap. "I mean people know I’m a liberal guy, and I’m fine with that. I think people go to the movies that they want to go to. A Jason Bourne movie is always going to have a bigger audience than a smaller movie and there are people of every stripe who go to those."