Matt Damon Says He Did Not Claim Actors Should Stay Closeted as He Clarifies Comments About Gay Rumors

Matt Damon discusses rumors that he and Ben Affleck were a couple

Photo: Karwai Tang/WireImage

Matt Damon says that rumors of a romance with pal Ben Affleck in their early careers put him in the awkward position of denying he was gay.

“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,” he told The Guardian of their work on Good Will Hunting.

“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?” The Martian actor, 44, said. “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,” Damon said.

The actor, who has been married to wife Luciana since 2005, told The Guardian he welcomed same-sex marriages in California in 2008, and while attitudes are changing, it’s still a challenge for actors.

“I think it must be really hard for actors to be out publicly,” he continues. “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.”

After some took his quotes to mean he was suggesting gay actors should hide their sexuality, Damon cleared up his stance speaking to Ellen DeGeneres on Monday.

“I was talking about [that] 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 that wrote the script,” he explained on The Ellen DeGeneres Show.

“I was just trying to say actors are more effective when they’re a bit of a mystery, and somebody picked it up and said I’d said gay actors should get back in the closet,” he continued.

“It’s stupid, but, it’s painful when things get said that you don’t believe, and then it gets represented that that’s what you believe, because nobody in the blogosphere, there’s no real penalty for taking the ball and running with it “

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