To convincingly play the role of François Pienaar, captain of the Springboks, South Africa's rugby team, Damon had to look the part of a champion athlete. The actor was committed to Pienaar's account of the 1995 World Cup, which was held in South Africa and helped to unite the country following the dismantling of apartheid. In addition to learning a South African accent, Matt Damon learned how to play rugby on top of his heavy training for the role. Portraying Pienaar earned Damon an Academy Award nomination and helped show his chameleonic versatility. The one thing he couldn't do: match Pienaar's 6'3" height.