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Matt Damon Tells Ellen DeGeneres He Doesn't Think Gay Actors Should Stay in the Closet

Matt Damon
Photo Credit: Michael Rozman/Warner Bros

'I was trying to say actors are more effective when they’re a mystery.'


Yesterday, a profile story on Matt Damon in The Guardianseemed to imply that the actor thought it was best if actors didn't come out publicly so there was mystery, and they could be better at their jobs of pretending to be straight or gay or astronauts or whatever the sript calls for. Damon was quoted as saying:

"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."

The story broke in time for Ellen Degeneres to query Damon about it during the taping of her segment with him for The Ellen DeGeneres Show. It seems Damon was taken out of context and this pro-gay ally's statements were misconstrued. Here's what he told DeGeneres about The Guardian interview:

Ellen: I just heard about this, this morning, if you want to address. Somehow it's like when you do interviews you say something and then people write it and it depends on it's out of context and it gets twisted around and something you said is getting twisted around and I want you to address it.

Matt: Yeah it was just in an interview with The Guardian that I literally just found out too, but it was that I was talking about actors are more effective when you know less about their personal lives. And was talking about it in the context of when Ben and I first started and people wrote all these articles, when Good Will Hunting came out, that we were gay because it was two guys who wrote the script. And feeling like, Oh, well we can't even like then you have to address it and then it's like well I'm not gonna throw my friends under the bus, who are gay, and act like it's some kind of a disease. Ya know how do you even address it, so you're always in these kind of weird things. But in this day and age, I said this thing to The Guardian and it got turned into and I was just trying to say actors are more effective when they're a mystery. Right? And somebody picked it up and said I said gay actors should get back in the closet. Which is like I mean it's stupid, but it is painful when things get said that you don't believe. You know what I mean? And then it gets represented that that's what you believe. Because in the blogosphere there's no real penalty for just taking the ball and running with it. Ya know what I mean? You're just trying to click on your thing. So.

Ellen: Sure. And it gets a lot of attention. Because someone mentioned it to me this morning. And I know you and I know you're not that guy. And so I just wanted you to be able to

Matt: Thank you for that.

Ellen: Yeah. And it shocks me that you and Ben are not gay, but I think that I mean if you want to deny it and keep your mystery and your marriage...

Matt: Yeah. We're trying we're trying.

So, is it a case of just misquoting or misunderstanding?

Watch the clip below:

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