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'We had nothing': Matt Damon reflects on being 'broke' while living with pal Ben Affleck before they were famous... and recalls missing out on £200m when he turned down a role in Avatar

Daily Mail
Daily Mail
 2021-07-13

Matt Damon has reflected on being 'broke' while he was living with good pal Ben Affleck and trying to make it in Hollywood.

The actor, 50, explained how they 'had nothing' and would show landlords in LA an article about their upcoming movie Good Will Hunting to try and find places to live.

Speaking at the 74th Cannes Film Festival, Matt also brushed off turning down a role in Avatar and missing out on £200m, joking his decision will 'go down in history'.

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Candid: Matt Damon has reflected on being 'broke' while he was living with pal Ben Affleck and trying to make it in Hollywood (pictured during the 74th annual Cannes Film Festival on Friday)

According to The Sun, Matt recalled how he and Ben ended up living together after the Gone Girl star broke up with his fiancée and slept on his couch in Los Angeles.

Detailing how Ben is 6ft 4in, Matt said that every morning he'd see his friend's legs 'dangling off the end' of the sofa and think 'this is just ridiculous'.

Things then seemed to pick up for the pals, who have known each other since their childhoods in Massachusetts, when the rights to Good Will Hunting were bought by a production company.

However they spent most of the money on 'matching Jeep Cherokees' and were left having to use an article to convince landlords they could afford to pay rent.

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Tougher times: The actor, 50, explained how he and Affleck, 48, 'had nothing' and would show landlords an article about their upcoming movie Good Will Hunting to try and find places to live in LA (pictured with their Oscars for Best Original Screenplay in 1998)

Matt reminisced: 'We were so broke, we had no credit score, we had nothing. So people were like, "We can't rent to you".

'But what we had was the article in Daily Variety and we were on the cover, it said like, "These two idiots sell a screenplay".

'So we carried around Variety with us and we were like, "We're these guys! Look, we have money now, you can rent to us, we're going to pay you". And one landlord did.'

Good Will Hunting came out in 1997 and won numerous awards - including two Oscars - propelling the two actors to international fame.

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Making it big: Good Will Hunting came out in 1997 and won numerous awards - including two Oscars - propelling the two actors to international fame (pictured in the film)
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Still friends: The Jason Bourne star recalled how he and Ben ended up living together after the Gone Girl actor broke up with his fiancée and slept on his couch in LA (pictured in 2017)

Elsewhere, Matt reflected on the huge payday that was never to be as he discussed turning down a main role in James Cameron's huge hit film Avatar.

James was so keen to get Matt signed up for the movie that he offered the actor a massive 10 per cent of the 2009 film's takings, but Matt turned him down.

Avatar went on to become a major hit worldwide and the highest-grossing movie of all time, earning £2billion.

Matt explained: 'I was offered a little movie called Avatar. I will go down in history. You will never meet an actor who turned down more money than me.'

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What could have been: Matt also brushed off turning down a role in Avatar and missing out on £200m (pictured Sam Worthington as Jake Sully and Zoe Saldana as Neytiri)
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Eager: Director James Cameron was so keen to get Matt signed up for the movie that he offered the actor a whopping 10 per cent of the 2009 film's takings, but Matt turned him down

Actor Sam Worthington was eventually cast as Jake Sully in the 2009 blockbuster with Matt sticking with his extremely popular Bourne series.

Matt also discussed his potential role in Avatar with British GQ in 2019, recalling his first chat with director James about a role.

He said: 'When [Cameron] 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".''

Matt is currently in Cannes promoting his new movie Stillwater, which received high praise from the critics following its debut at the film festival.

The star reportedly teared up during a five minute standing ovation following the premiere screening on Thursday night.

According to Twitter, Matt - an Oscar-winning writer as well as actor - became overwhelmed with emotion at the overwhelming positive reaction to the film.

He stars as a man who travels from Oklahoma to France to help his estranged daughter, who is in prison for a murder she says she didn't commit.

Camille plays the character Virginie, a French woman who aids him in his mission, while Abigail plays the role of Matt's daughter, Allison.

Stillwater is slated for release on August 6th 2021.

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Stillwater: Matt plays a man who travels to France to help his daughter, who is in prison for a murder she says she didn't commit (pictured with co-stars Camille Cottin and Abigail Breslin)

Comments / 13

Chiro Mammen
07-15

I mean, is that a secret? And. I think Damon went to Harvard. That doesn't mean his parents supplemented his Hollywood dreams.

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