Even more than a decade later, Matt Damon he still beats himself up for turning down a role in James Cameron’s “Avatar.” The actor spoke to “Avatar” actress Zoe Saldana and said it was “the dumbest thing an actor has ever done.”
Damon also praised Saldana for appearing in several films that have grossed more than $2 billion at the box office. The closest the actor came to grossing $1 billion for a movie was “Interstellar,” which grossed $673 million. Cameron himself has said that he consoled Damon over the decision, which cost him 10% of the film’s profits.
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Matt Damon says his rejection was the “dumbest thing”
Matt Damon recently had an interview with entertainment tonight for a promotional campaign for Stella Artois with “Avatar” star Zoe Saldana. During their conversation, Damon said his decision to turn down a role in 2009’s “Avatar” was “the dumbest thing an actor has ever done in acting history.”
The 52-year-old would have made about $250 million if he had taken on the role of Jake Sully, which was ultimately played by Sam Worthington. Saldana, who played the role of Neytiri, tried to reassure Damon by telling him, “‘I don’t think your career has suffered because of that, believe me.”
However, the “Good Will Hunting” star refused to stop grieving the loss. He asked, “Do you know what kind of movie it would have been if I had been in it?” With Worthington and Saldana, “Avatar” grossed about $2.9 billion.
“I’ve never been in a movie that grossed a billion dollars.”
During their conversation, Damon also praised Saldana for being involved in several movies that have grossed over $2 billion. This includes the original “Avatar,” its sequel, “Avatar: The Way of Water,” and Avengers movies like “Infinity War” and “Endgame.”
Said Saldana: “I didn’t plan it, believe me, I’ve always felt blessed that they cast me, that I worked hard and auditioned. I’m not Matt Damon. I can’t reject Avatars.” In response, Damon said: “I’ve probably done 50 movies. I’ve never been in a movie that grossed a billion dollars.”
The closest the actor came to grossing $1 billion in a movie was “Interstellar,” which grossed $673 million at the box office. “The Martian” grossed about $630 million, while movies like “Ocean’s Eleven” and “Saving Private Ryan” grossed just under $500 million.
James Cameron has tried to comfort Matt Damon
During a 2022 interview with bbc radio, director James Cameron said he earlier consoled Damon over the decision, which cost him 10% of the film’s profits. Cameron said: “He is punishing himself for this. And I think you know, ‘Matt, you’re like one of the biggest movie stars in the world; Get over.'”
Cameron explained that at the time, Damon “had to do another ‘Bourne’ movie” and was forced to “regretfully turn down” the role of “Avatar.” During a 2019 interview with british gqDamon also reflected on the choice, calling it one of his “biggest regrets” as an actor.
He said, for daily mail, “James Cameron offered me ‘Avatar.’ And when he offered it to me, he said, ‘Now, listen. I do not need anyone. I don’t need a name for this, an actor with a name. If you don’t take this, I’ll find an unknown actor and give it to him, because the movie doesn’t need you. But if you take the part, I’ll give you 10 percent.’”
Matt Damon Comments on the Barbie/Oppenheimer War
There has been a fierce dispute on social media regarding the release of “Oppenheimer” and “Barbie” on July 21. Since both movies set their release date on the same day, fans have been arguing which one is likely to gross more in the opening weekend.
Damon recently spoke with vanity fair about the premiere war, saying, “This is the first time I’ve heard of it. I haven’t paid attention to that.” The actor further said that he doesn’t understand the dispute because “people are allowed to see two movies in one weekend. ‘Oppenheimer’ is one of them!”
Damon is the father of four girls, so you’ll probably want to watch “Barbie” before “Oppenheimer,” in which his father plays General Leslie Groves. Regarding that debate, he said, “I’ll have to ask you that. If so, you’ll see two movies that weekend!”
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