Matt Damon’s hidden camera experiment highlights an important world issue

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Imagine you walk into a nice restaurant, sit down and ask a waiter for a glass water, but he or she tells you that you can’t have any. In fact, you won’t be able to have any water for another six hours. How would you react?

Matt Damon, in partnership with Stella Artois and Water.org, wanted to test that.

SEE ALSO: Matt Damon and Water.org co-founder Gary White want to ‘interrupt’ your Super Bowl experience

During a recent viral video stunt called “The Wait for Water,” which AOL Entertainment has an exclusive first-look at, Damon set up a hidden camera in various establishments in three different countries and watched how people reacted when they were told that they wouldn’t have a glass of water or take a shower for six hours, which is the average amount of time women in developing countries spend collecting water on a daily basis.

The results were telling, to say the least.

“It disrupts people’s expectations,” Damon told AOL Entertainment exclusively about the video. “You got a mixture of frustration to righteous indignation, and it just so upsets people’s expectations. Then, when they realize what it’s about, and it really lands.”

When Damon appears on a hidden screen to explain the nature of the stunt — to raise awareness about the fact that millions of people around the world are without access to clean water — every single one of the people at the other end of the prank react with genuine emotion, shock and awe.

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NEW YORK, NY – JANUARY 16: Water.org co-founder Matt Damon speaks onstage at the Stella Artois & Water.org Pre-Super Bowl Party on January 16, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Dia Dipasupil/WireImage)

NEW YORK, NY – JANUARY 16: Matt Damon is seen on the streets of Manhattan on January 16, 2018 in New York, NY. (Photo by Josiah Kamau/BuzzFoto via Getty Images)

NEW YORK, NY – JANUARY 16: Actor Matt Damon (L) and wife Luciana Damon attend the ’12 Strong’ World Premiere at Jazz at Lincoln Center on January 16, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Coppola/WireImage)

NEW YORK, NY – JANUARY 16: Matt Damon and Luciana Damon on January 15, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Gotham/GC Images)

BEVERLY HILLS, CA – JANUARY 07: (L-R) Matt Damon, Taika Waititi, Amazon Founder/CEO Jeff Bezos, Chris Hemsworth, , and MacKenzie Bezos attend Amazon Studios’ Golden Globes Celebration at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 7, 2018 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)

NEW YORK, NY – DECEMBER 11: Actor Matt Damon attends the ‘Downsizing’ New York screening at AMC Lincoln Square Theater on December 11, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Noam Galai/WireImage)

NEW YORK, NY – DECEMBER 11: Actors Neil Patrick Harris (L) and Matt Damon attend the New York screening of ‘Downsizing’ at AMC Lincoln Square Theater on December 11, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)

WESTWOOD, CA – OCTOBER 22: Actor Matt Damon and wife Luciana Damon arrive at the premiere of Paramount Pictures’ ‘Suburbicon’ at Regency Village Theatre on October 22, 2017 in Westwood, California. (Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)

LOS ANGELES, CA – OCTOBER 22: Actor Matt Damon arrives at the premiere of Paramount Pictures’ ‘Suburbicon’ at the Village Theatre on October 22, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

LOS ANGELES, CA – OCTOBER 10: Matt Damon and Luciana Barroso arrive at the premiere of Disney and Marvel’s ‘Thor: Ragnarok’ at the El Capitan Theatre on October 10, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Gregg DeGuire/WireImage)

TORONTO, ON – SEPTEMBER 10: Matt Damon, Hong Chau and Christoph Waltz attend ‘Downsizing’ photo call during the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival at Tiff Lightbox on September 10, 2017 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Walter McBride/FilmMagic)

Matt Damon speaks as Julianne Moore looks on during a photo call for ‘The Current War’ at the Toronto International Film Festival in Toronto, Ontario, September 10, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Geoff Robins (Photo credit should read GEOFF ROBINS/AFP/Getty Images)

VENICE, ITALY – SEPTEMBER 02: Matt Damon and Luciana Damon walk the red carpet ahead of the ‘Suburbicon’ screening during the 74th Venice Film Festival at Sala Grande on September 2, 2017 in Venice, Italy. (Photo by Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images)

VENICE, ITALY – SEPTEMBER 02: Matt Damon, George Clooney and Julianne Moore attend the ‘Suburbicon’ photocall during the 74th Venice Film Festival on September 2, 2017 in Venice, Italy. PHOTOGRAPH BY P. Lehman / Barcroft Images

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US actor Matt Damon attends the photocall of the movie ‘Suburbicon’ presented out of competition at the 74th Venice Film Festival on September 2, 2017 at Venice Lido. / AFP PHOTO / Tiziana FABI (Photo credit should read TIZIANA FABI/AFP/Getty Images)

VENICE, ITALY – SEPTEMBER 01: Matt Damon at the ‘Suburbicon’ Press Conference at the Excelsior Hotel on September 1, 2017 at the Venice Film Festival. (Photo by Vera Anderson/WireImage)

US actor Matt Damon arrives at the Excelsior Hotel during the 74th Venice Film Festival on September 2, 2017 at Venice Lido. / AFP PHOTO / Filippo MONTEFORTE (Photo credit should read FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP/Getty Images)

VENICE, ITALY – AUGUST 30: Matt Damon and wife Luciana Barroso arrive at the ‘Downsizing’ premiere and Opening of the 74th Venice Film Festival at the Palazzo del Cinema on August 30, 2017 in Venice, Italy. (Photo by Kurt Krieger/Corbis via Getty Images)

VENICE, ITALY – AUGUST 30: Kristen Wiig and Matt Damon at the ‘Downsizing’ Press Conference at the Excelsior Hotel on August 30, 2017 at the Venice Film Festival. (Photo by Vera Anderson/WireImage)

VENICE, ITALY – AUGUST 30: Matt Damon is seen arriving at Hotel Excelsior during the 74. Venice Film Festival on August 30, 2017 in Venice, Italy. (Photo by Jacopo Raule/GC Images,)

VENICE, ITALY – AUGUST 30: Matt Damon attends the official Press Conference and photo call for ‘Downsizing’ during the 74th Venice Film Festival at Sala Casino on August 30, 2017 in Venice, Italy. (Photo by Elisabetta A. Villa/Getty Images Paramount Pictures)

VENICE, ITALY – AUGUST 30: (L-R) Mark Johnson, Kristen Wiig, Matt Damon, Hong Chau, Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor attend the ‘Downsizing’ photocall during the 74th Venice Film Festival at Sala Casino on August 30, 2017 in Venice, Italy. (Photo by Dominique Charriau/WireImage)

BOSTON, MA – AUGUST 6: Brock Holt #12 of the Boston Red Sox poses for a photograph with actor Matt Damon before a game against the Chicago White Sox on August 6, 2017 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Michael Ivins/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

NEW YORK, NY – MAY 01: Matt Damon and Luciana Damon at ‘Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Gar�ns:Art of the In-Between’ Costume Institute Gala at Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 1, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Jackson Lee/FilmMagic)

NEW YORK, NY – MAY 01: Actor Matt Damon (L) and Luciana Damon enter the Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garcons: Art Of The In-Between’ Costume Institute Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 01, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Ray Tamarra/GC Images)

US actor and activist Matt Damon participates in a conversation with World Bank President Jim Yong Kim at the IMF/WB Spring meetings in Washington, DC, on April 20, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / NICHOLAS KAMM (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)

LAS VEGAS, NV – MARCH 28: (L-R) Matt Damon and George Clooney speak at Paramount Pictures’ presentation highlighting its 2017 summer and beyond during CinemaCon at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace on March 28, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Tibrina Hobson/Getty Images)




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“In one case, we had a guy who had actually dealt with this first-hand living as a young boy in Guatemala,” Damon told us. “He had experienced it. Not only did he know about it but he lived it. He was moved to tears because he remembered exactly what that was like.”

Both Damon and Water.org co-founder Gary White admitted that they can’t help but “still” take their access to clean water for granted, despite their years of work raising awareness around the issue.

“It is this juxtaposition of how well we’ve done in providing [clean water] to ourselves that it does just completely melt into the background,” White told us. “Think about it: Your power goes out every now and then, but maybe once or twice in your life have you ever had a water disruption. And then you really realize how many times you use water in a day. It’s a contradiction that we’ve done so well at it that we’ve kind of lost track of the fact that there are hundreds of millions of people that don’t have it.” 

The video, released on Friday, comes on the heels of Stella Artois’ first Super Bowl commercial since 2011, which also stars Damon and highlights the brand’s continued collaboration with Water.org and their efforts to bring clean water to those in need in the developing world, urging viewers to “Make Your Super Bowl Party Matter.” 

Watch “The Wait for Water” below:
 

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