— -- On a pre-taped show set to air today, Matt Damon clarified comments he had made previously about actors and their sexuality.
"I was just trying to say actors are more effective when they’re a mystery, right?” he told Ellen DeGeneres about having previously said actors shouldn't divulge their sexuality in the media. "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. You know what I mean? And then it gets represented that that’s what you believe.”
Damon had spoken honestly to the Guardian about past gay rumors he and Ben Affleck faced when they first started acting in Hollywood, referring specifically to their film "Good Will Hunting."
The veteran actor, 44, was promoting his new movie, "The Martian," and told The Guardian in an interview that ran on Monday that "When Ben and I first came on the scene there were rumors that we were gay because it was two guys who wrote a script together."
Damon, who supports same-sex marriage, added that he believes it must be hard for talented, gay actors.
"It’s just like any piece of gossip…and it put us in a weird position of having to answer, you know what I mean?" he explained. "Which was then really deeply offensive. 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. 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.”
For this reason, the Oscar winner believes "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," Damon said.