For the second time in two weeks, actor Matt Damon is having to explain himself over a set of controversial remarks.
During an interview with The Guardian Sunday, Damon implied that gay actors should stay closeted, after he was asked if it is more difficult for performers who are openly gay to find success in the industry.
“I think it must be really hard for actors to be out publicly,” said the Martian actor. “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.”
Damon also told The Guardian that when he and friend and fellow actor Ben Affleck found success after penning and starring in Good Will Hunting, the pair fought with how to dispel rumors they were involved in a homosexual relationship.
“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.”
“I was just trying to say actors are more effective when they’re a mystery, right? ” said Damon. “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.”
The star apologized on Sept. 16, less than two weeks ago, for a comment he made during the season premiere of his reality television show Project Greenlight.
Damon was involved in a casting debate with producers when he suggested that finding diverse actors to play roles in the movie is more important than having a diverse crew working behind the scenes.
“I believe deeply that there need to be more diverse filmmakers making movies,” Damon said in a statement. “I love making movies. It’s what I have chosen to do with my life and I want every young person watching Project Greenlight to believe that filmmaking is a viable form of creative expression for them too.”
Damon added: “I am sorry that they offended some people, but, at the very least, I am happy that they started a conversation about diversity in Hollywood.”