Matt Damon says declining Avatar role was ‘the dumbest thing an actor ever did’ in history

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Matt Damon calls declining a key role in Avatar was ‘the dumbest thing an actor ever did in the history of acting’

Matt Damon called passing up a key role in the blockbuster 2009 film Avatar ‘the dumbest thing an actor ever did in the history of acting.’

The 52-year-old A-lister, speaking with Entertainment Tonight as he’s involved a new Stella Artois promotional campaign with Avatar’s Zoe Saldana, decried his decision to pass on participating in the record-setting motion picture.

The Boston native would have pocketed around $250 million to play the role of Jake Sully (played by Sam Worthington) in the James Cameron film opposite Saldana’s character Neytiri.

‘I don’t think your career suffered because of it, trust me,’ Saldana reassured him.

The star of classics such as Good Will Hunting, Saving Private Ryan and The Departed joked in response, ‘Do you know what kind of movie that would’ve been if I would had been in it?’

The latest: Matt Damon, 52, called passing up a key role in the blockbuster 2009 film Avatar 'the dumbest thing an actor ever did in the history of acting.' Pictured in Austin in March

The latest: Matt Damon, 52, called passing up a key role in the blockbuster 2009 film Avatar ‘the dumbest thing an actor ever did in the history of acting.’ Pictured in Austin in March 

Damon then credited Saldana, 44, for her involvement in multiple blockbuster films that have made more than $2 billion, including Avatar and its 2022 sequel Avatar: The Way of Water, Avengers: Endgame and Avengers: Infinity War.

Saldana said in response: ‘I didn’t plan it, trust me – I’ve just always felt blessed that I was picked, that I worked really hard and auditioned. I’m not Matt Damon. I don’t get to turn down Avatars.’

Damon responded, ‘I’ve probably done, like, 50 movies. I’ve never been in a movie that made $1 billion.’

Cameron said in an interview late last year that he’s tried to console over Damon over the career misstep, which would have earned the actor 10 percent of the film’s profits.

‘He’s beating himself up over this,’ the filmmaker told BBC Radio. ‘And I really think you know, “Matt you’re kind of like one of the biggest movie stars in the world, get over it.”‘

He added, ‘But he had to do another Bourne film which was on his runway and there was nothing we could do about that. So he had to regretfully decline.’

The Boston native would have pocketed around $250 million to play the role of Jake Sully (played by Sam Worthington) in the James Cameron film

The Boston native would have pocketed around $250 million to play the role of Jake Sully (played by Sam Worthington) in the James Cameron film

Damon is involved in a new Stella Artois promotional campaign with Avatar's Zoe Saldana

Damon is involved in a new Stella Artois promotional campaign with Avatar’s Zoe Saldana

Damon told British GQ in October 2019 that passing on the lucrative role was one of the ‘bigger regrets’ in his career.

‘Jim Cameron offered me Avatar,’ he said. ‘And when he offered it to me, he goes, “Now, listen. I don’t need anybody. I don’t need a name for this, a named actor.

‘If you don’t take this, I’m gonna find an unknown actor and give it to him, because the movie doesn’t really need you. But if you take the part, I’ll give you 10 percent.”‘



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