Matt Damon clarifies remarks on gay actors: ‘It’s painful when things get said that you don’t believe’

"The Martian" star Matt Damon explains his remarks about gay actors on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show."

“The Martian” star Matt Damon explains his remarks about gay actors on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.”

(Niklas Halle’n / AFP/Getty Images)

Get ready for another round of “Damonsplaining” -- Matt Damon is again finding himself with a need to clarify his words.

The star of “The Martian,” who gave an interview to the Guardian that the blogosphere interpreted as him telling gay actors to stay closeted, taped an appearance on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” on Monday to promote his upcoming films (and impressively do the Whip and the Nae Nae to raise money for During the sit-down, he also cleared up misinterpretations of the interview.

DeGeneres, who is openly gay, said she believed his remarks were twisted and taken out of context, offering him a forum to address his critics.


“I was talking about, actors are more effective when you know less about their personal lives,” he said, speaking in the context of himself and his friend Ben Affleck being pegged as gay when they co-wrote the Oscar-winning script for their 1997 film, “Good Will Hunting.”

Damon said he told the newspaper that at the time he wouldn’t address the gay rumors and make homosexuality seem like it was some sort of disease, thereby throwing his gay friends under the bus. “I think it must be really hard for actors to be out publicly,” he told the Guardian. “But in terms of actors, I think 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.”

The Internet ran with that as Damon telling gay actors to stay closeted, which he told DeGeneres was not what he meant at all.

“I said this thing to the Guardian and it got turned into ... I was just trying to say actors are more effective when they’re a mystery. Right?” he said.

“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. And then it gets represented that that’s what you believe, because in the blogosphere there’s no real penalty for just taking the ball and running with it. You know what I mean? You’re just trying to click on your thing.”

DeGeneres said she knows him and knows that he isn’t that guy, so she wanted him get a chance to clear the air. But in typical DeGeneres fashion, she quipped that it shocked her that he and Affleck weren’t gay, but said she would let him keep denying it for the sake of his four daughters.

Follow me on Twitter @NardineSaad.