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Matt Damon On Why He Thinks It's Better If People Don't Know if You're Gay or Straight

Matt Damon

'I think you’re a better actor the less people know about you period.'


Over the years, Matt Damon has become one of Hollywood's most bankable stars. Now, in a new profile in the Guardian timed to the release of his next blockbuster, The Martian, he told writer Elizabeth Day, he says he's "normal" and "boring" and people don't need to know much about him and that it's best for actors if they keep their sexuality and personal lives private. As Damon tells the Guardian:

"I think it must be really hard for actors to be out publicly. But in terms of actors, I think you're a better actor the less people know about you period. And sexuality is a huge part of that. Whether you're straight or gay, people shouldn't know anything about your sexuality because that's one of the mysteries that you should be able to play."

It's interesting since these comments come a week after Tom Hardy gave a terse response to a reporter's question about his sexuality and basically told him to mind his own business.

Earlier in the piece, he comments on the gay rumors that surfaced after he and Ben Affleck won the Oscar for the Good Will Hunting screenplay and later played the villainous gay protagonist in The Talented Mr. Ripley.

"When Ben and I first came on the scene there were rumors that we were gay because it was two guys who wrote a script together... I know. It's just like any piece of gossip... and it put us in a weird position of having to answer, you know what I mean? Which was then really deeply offensive. I don't want to, like [imply] it's some sort of disease - then it's like I'm throwing my friends under the bus. But at the time, I remember thinking and saying, Rupert Everett was openly gay and this guy -- more handsome than anybody, a classically trained actor -- it's tough to make the argument that he didn't take a hit for being out."

So it seems that he thinks it was actually a pretty awful idea that Everett came out (something the actor has said himself over the years to the Guardian). But the quotes also echo what he said in a 2012 Playboy interview concerning some high-profile people coming out in the media:

"I never denied those rumors because I was offended and didn't want to offend my friends who were gay--as if being gay were some kind of fucking disease. It put me in a weird position in that sense. The whole thing was just gross. But look, there have been great signs of progress--the fact that Anderson Cooper and Ellen DeGeneres can come out so beautifully and powerfully, and it's a big fucking deal that it turns out nobody gives a shit. If Liberace were alive today, everybody would love his music and nobody would care what he did in his private life. Like with Elton John."

So what is it, Matt Damon: Despite how far we've come, we can't have an out gay actor in Hollywood?

30 Years of Out100Out / Advocate Magazine - Jonathan Groff and Wayne Brady

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