Matt Damon is everywhere at the moment.
The Oscar-winning actor is currently promoting his latest movie, “Jason Bourne,” in theaters July 29.
The action hero is arguably Damon’s most famous character, but he could easily have been known for some other high profile roles if he hadn’t turned them down.
Here are the famous roles that Damon was offered but said “Thanks but, no thanks” to:
It’s the highest grossing film of all time raking in more than $2.7 billion worldwide and making Sam Worthington (who played Jake Sully) an international star.
But the Aussie actor wouldn’t have appeared in the 2009 film at all if Matt Damon hadn’t passed on it first.
“Having to say no to ‘Avatar’ was tough because I particularly wanted to work with James Cameron, and still do, because he’s fantastic,” Damon said to Playboy.
“He knew he was the star of that movie and that everyone was going to go see it anyway. When he said, ‘Look, I’m offering it to you, but if you say no, the movie doesn’t need you,’ I remember thinking, ‘Oh God, not only do I have to say no because of scheduling, but he’s going to make a star out of some guy who’s going to start taking jobs from me later.’”
THE DARK KNIGHT
Damon revealed in 2009 that he was asked to star as Harvey Dent in “The Dark Knight” but had to turn it down.
“I couldn’t — there was a scheduling thing,” Damon said to MTV.
But the Hollywood nice guy added that he doesn’t think he could have done better than Aaron Eckhart who ended up playing Dent in the film.
“Look, Aaron is a great actor, so the movie didn’t suffer for it. Every now and then you get one and you can’t do it.”
The 2005 movie starred Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal but they weren’t the first choices to play the gay cowboys.
“Way back, Gus (Van Sant) and I talked about me doing ‘Brokeback Mountain’ with Joaquin Phoenix, but I had just done ‘The Talented Mr. Ripley’ and ‘All the Pretty Horses,’ so I said, ‘Gus, let’s do it in a couple of years. I just did a gay movie and a cowboy movie. I can’t do a gay cowboy movie now’.
“The right actor got the part,” Damon said to Playboy, “Heath Ledger was magnificent”.
Damon later spoke to Ledger about his performance in the film and asked the Aussie how he prepared for those ferocious kissing scenes with Gyllenhaal.
“He said, ‘Well, mate, I drank a half case of beer in my trailer.’ I started laughing, and he goes, ‘No, I’m serious. I needed to just go for it. If you can’t do that, you’re not making the movie.’”
Growing up, Matt Damon and his best bud Ben Affleck had always dreamt of playing the Marvel action hero, “Daredevil.”
“That’s the comic we read when we were kids,” Damon said to NY Daily News.
He was approached to star in the 2003 film but he passed and handed the role to Affleck.
“When that one came along I chickened out, because I couldn’t tell,” Damon said. “I hadn’t seen the director (Mark Steven Johnson’s) work and I didn’t know. So I just said, ‘No.’ Ben was like, ‘I gotta do it.’
“And the movie ended up doing very well, even though I don’t think Ben was ultimately very proud of it.”
Damon was offered the role of Dan White, the city supervisor who assassinated Harvey Milk, but had to turn it down with the part in the 2008 film eventually going to Josh Brolin instead.
“’Milk’ was another hard one because I was excited … and I would have had the chance to do scenes with Sean Penn,” Damon said.
“They pushed the schedule and it ran into the slot for ‘Green Zone.’ Steven Soderbergh’s mantra is, ‘The movie gets the right person; the right actor gets the part,’ but I was like, ‘S–t, no. That was my part’. But when I saw ‘Milk,’ Josh Brolin was so f—ing good that I knew Soderbergh was right.”
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