After reports construed his suggestion that being openly gay in Hollywood could affect an actor's career as implying homosexual actors should stay in the closet, Matt Damon has cleared the air during an appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show.
The topic arose earlier this week when Matt discussed his role in Behind the Candelabra, in which he plays a gay man, in an interview with British newspaper, The Guardian. Asked whether he thought it was harder for actors to be openly gay in Hollywood, Matt replied: "I'm sure."
Matt cleared up his remarks on gay actors in Hollywood during an appearance on Ellen Photo: Michael Rozman/Warner Bros
The Martian star went on to remark that he thinks it is best for actors and actresses to keep their private lives out of the public eye as much as possible. "I think it must be really hard for actors to be out publicly," he explained. "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 the remarks caused an online furor, Matt clarified his comments during his chat with talk show host Ellen DeGeneres on September 29. "I was talking about actors are more effective when you know less about their personal lives," he explained. "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 who wrote the script."
"I was trying to say actors are more effective when they're a mystery," the low-key star explained Photo: Getty Images
He continued: "It’s like, well I’m not gonna throw my friends under the bus, who are gay, and act like it’s some kind of a disease. You know, how do you even address it? But in this day and age, I said this thing to The Guardian – 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."
When it comes to keeping things a mystery, 44-year-old lives by his own rules and generally keeps his home life with wife Luciana and their four daughters private. "You know, a guy who's happily married with four kids is not quite a story," Matt told The Guardian. "And so [paparazzi] will come back and they'll take an occasional picture… but it's kind of just updating the file."