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Matt Damon Says He Turned Down Lead 'Avatar' Role: "I Couldn't Do It"

"I’ve left more money on the table than any actor actually," the 'Ford v Ferrari' actor told British GQ, after also admitting that James Cameron offered him 10 percent of the film's profits had he accepted the job.
Matt Damon   |   VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images
"I’ve left more money on the table than any actor actually," the 'Ford v Ferrari' actor told British GQ, after also admitting that James Cameron offered him 10 percent of the film's profits had he accepted the job.

Matt Damon has admitted he missed out on being a part of the Pandora universe. 

In an interview with British GQ published Monday, the actor revealed that he was not only offered the lead role in James Cameron's 2009 film Avatar, but was also offered 10 percent of the film's profits had he accepted the job. 

"Jim Cameron offered me Avatar," the Ford v Ferrari star shared in the interview. "And when he offered it to me, he goes, 'Now, listen. I don’t need anybody. I don’t need a name for this, a named actor. If you don’t take this, I’m going to find an unknown actor and give it to him, because the movie doesn’t really need you. But if you take the part, I’ll give you 10 percent of...," he finished abruptly without completing the statement.  

Cameron's Avatar went on to become the top-grossing film of all time at the worldwide box office after grossing $2.78 billion, until Disney and Marvel Studios' Avengers: Endgame recently dethroned the pic, to which Cameron congratulated the studios and dubbed the film as the "new box-office king." 

"I told John Krasinski this story when we were writing Promised Land," Damon continued. "I tell him the story and he goes, 'What?' And he stands up and he starts pacing in the kitchen." Damon recalls Krasinski telling him that, had he been cast in Avatar, nothing in his life would've been different "except right now, we would be having this conversation in space."

"So, yeah. I’ve left more money on the table than any actor actually," Damon reiterated. The actor also admitted that his biggest regret would have been to have caused a problem for Paul Greengrass and "all my friends on The Bourne Ultimatum."

"I couldn’t do it — but Cameron said to me in the course of that conversation, 'Well, you know, I’ve only made six movies.' I didn’t realize that," Damon recalled.

The actor continued to explain that in passing on the role offered by Cameron, he missed his "chance to ever work with him." 

"That sucked and that’s still brutal. But my kids are all eating. I’m doing OK," Damon said.

Australian actor Sam Worthington, who was eventually cast as Avatar's lead character, is returning for the Avatar sequel, which is set to be released Dec.17, 2021.

Ford v Ferrari, Damon’s new film with Christian Bale, will hit theaters Nov. 15.

 

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