Matt Damon regrets not taking lead in Avatar

Ben Arnold
Yahoo UK Movies News28 December 2012

Matt Damon has said that he regrets turning down the lead role in James Cameron's record-breaking blockbuster 'Avatar'.

Damon was offered the role of Jake Sully, which eventually went to Australian actor Sam Worthington, but passed due to scheduling issues.

[Related story: Matt Damon didn't want to deny gay rumours]

“I particularly wanted to work with James Cameron, and still do,” he told Playboy magazine. “He knew he was the star of that movie and that everyone was going to 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 to start taking jobs from me later'.”

He also revealed that he was initially in line to star in Ang Lee's 'Brokeback Mountain' opposite Joaquin Phoenix.

“I had just done 'The Talented Mr. Ripley' and 'All The Pretty Horses'. I said… ‘I just did a gay movie and a cowboy movie. I can’t do a gay cowboy movie now',” he added.

But Damon, who is set to appear in Liberace biopic 'Behind The Candelabra' as the late pianist's lover, did learn how to approach kissing another man from the late Heath Ledger, who eventually won the part.

“I remember asking Heath Ledger after 'Brokeback Mountain', 'How'd you do that scene with Jake?' - meaning the scene where they start ferociously kissing,” he said.

“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'.”

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