Matt Damon regrets turning down ‘highest amount of money any actor would have received for a role’

It was a big role and it would have been the biggest payday in Hollywood.

Published on Oct 11, 2023 at 2:22PM (UTC+4)

Last updated on Oct 13, 2023 at 12:20PM (UTC+4)

Edited by Kate Bain
Matt Damon featured image

Matt Damon has a net worth of $170 million so he’s done pretty well for himself.

Still, he once accidentally turned down a role and this decision cost him nine figures.

To this day, rather unsurprisingly, the 53-year-old actor still regrets the decision he made.

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James Cameron offered Damon the lead role in ‘Avatar’ and 10 percent of the film’s box office but the actor turned it down.

As you can imagine, this decision turned out to be a bad one, because Avatar grossed over $2.8 billion at the box office.

Had he accepted the role, Damon would have walked home with close to $280 million, which would’ve been Hollywood’s biggest payday by far.

For the record, the role eventually went to Sam Worthington, who played Corporal Jake Sully.

Worthington was paid $10 million upfront for his role, but he also negotiated five percent royalties, which granted him an additional $100 million.

In an on-stage interview at Cannes Film Festival, Damon explained why he turned down the offer and, in a way, his explanation makes sense.

“I turned down [Avatar], you’ll never meet an actor that turned down more money than me,” Damon said.

Damon further explained that even though James Cameron knew the movie would be a hit and didn’t really need a ‘star’, he still wanted one, hence why he spoke with Damon.

Cameron was ready to give Damon 10 percent of the movie’s box office gross, but Damon turned it down because he was still doing Jason Bourne, and he needed to be around for post-production.

In the end, he said it didn’t feel right to just ditch the Jason Bourne project to jump on the Avatar one.

Cameron told the BBC he’s well aware that Matt Damon is “is [still] beating himself up” over this.

The Oscar-winning director jokingly said Damon should just “get over it” since he’s “kind of like one of the biggest movie stars in the world”.

Damon starred in four Jason Bourne movies, one of which he co-produced, pocketing around $100 million in total for his role.

That’s not too bad, is it?

Still, we can only imagine what it must feel like to miss out on a $280m payday.

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