Matt Damon: Gay Rumors “Offensive,” Coming Out Harms Actors’ Careers
Matt Damon feels being openly gay in Hollywood can be detrimental to one’s career. The actor made the remark while addressing old rumors that he and Ben Affleck were a couple, calling the speculation “deeply offensive.”
Damon discussed with The Guardian the 2013 HBO TV-movie Behind the Candelabra, in which he played Liberace’s gay lover. The actor was asked whether he felt actors who come out of the closet face more difficulties in show business. “I’m sure,” said Damon. “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.”
Damon and Affleck, of course, starred in and co-wrote the Academy Award-winning Good Will Hunting, which catapulted their careers but also created rumors that the two best friends were secretly gay lovers. “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?” explained Damon, adding, “which was then really deeply offensive.”
Damon noted Rupert Everett starred as the leading man in a few high-profile romantic comedies opposite women before coming out of the closet. “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,” said Damon.
“I think you’re a better actor the less people know about you period,” continued Damon in general terms. “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.”
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