Matt Damon was on The Late Late Show with James Corden last night acting out his career in 8 minutes. They opened with Good Will Hunting which, I mean, I understand, you want to open strong. But I would have moved Bourne up to the top and maybe ended with “apples”, although I’m wondering if it was more a logistical set decision and not editorial because of that sliding glass screen.
Anyway, Matt has been busy on press tour the last couple of weeks ahead of the release of The Martian on Friday –click here to read Sarah’s review. It’s a good movie. But will you skip it now that he’s been saying such stupid sh-t? First there were his comments on diversity in Hollywood during Project Greenlight – click here for a refresher. This week everyone’s been talking about his interview with The Guardian.
The interview overall doesn’t suck. You can tell how much the writer likes him. How honest he was in his answers, how accommodating he was in that environment. But then came his remarks on openly gay actors in Hollywood, and actors not revealing their sexuality, with many interpreting that to mean that he’s basically suggesting gay actors shouldn’t tell people they’re gay.
Yesterday Matt was on Ellen, clarifying his statements, insisting that “I was just trying to say actors are more effective when they’re a mystery, right?”
Ellen tried to help him out, telling the audience, and us, that “I know you and I know you’re not that guy”.
Presumably, since Ellen is so popular, problem solved. Is it though? Here’s Matt’s quote from The Guardian:
Damon was a straight man playing gay (in Behind The Candelabra). Is it harder for actors to be openly gay in Hollywood? “I’m sure. When Ben and I first came on the scene there were rumours that we were gay because it was two guys who wrote a script together.”
“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? 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.”
He thinks attitudes are changing, and welcomes the introduction of same-sex marriage in California in 2008. “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.”
Here’s the thing about his position that all actors should keep their sexualities a mystery so that they can be convincing in their roles:
He ONLY cites the example of a gay actor experience. And Rupert Everett, who is gay, is mentioned. But there’s no counter to that, for example: Channing Tatum is straight, and that probably hurts his career. You know why Matt couldn’t say that though?
BECAUSE IT’S NOT TRUE.
You know that Channing Tatum isn’t gay. There’s no “mystery” about Channing Tatum’s sexuality. Further, most people don’t think Matt Damon’s gay. And he played a gay man very effectively. Matt Damon’s theory doesn’t work from all sides. So his suggestion that actors keep their sexuality private basically only applies to those who are gay. Which makes that suggestion an implicit endorsement of the status quo: gay actors do not have equal opportunities. Um, thanks Matt Damon?