Matt Damon: ‘It’s stupid’ to suggest I said gay actors should stay in the closet

Hollywood actor Matt Damon has taken aim at reports of an interview he gave when he suggested gay actors do better if they stay in the closet.

In an interview with the Guardian last weekend, the Bourne star made comments about fellow actor Rupert Everett, suggesting he was less successful because he came out as gay.

He mentioned gay rumours from earlier in his career, when it was suggested that he and Ben Affleck were a coupe, saying: “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.”

Going on, he made comments about Everett, suggesting he could have been more successful if he was not openly gay.

“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 went on.

Later in the interview, the star said he thought all actors should be more private about their sexual orientation.

“In terms of actors, I think you’re a better actor the less people know about you period,” Damon explained.”

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“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.”

He has now clarified his comments, saying on Monday that reports about his words were “stupid”.

On a taping of the Ellen DeGeneres show, he said: “I was just trying to say actors are more effective when they’re a mystery. Right? 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,” he said.

“In the blogosphere there’s no real penalty for just taking the ball and running with it. You know what I mean? You’re just trying to click on your thing.”