Matt Damon still curses his poor fortune after he had to turn down a leading role in the most successful film of all time, “Avatar.” The movie star was James Cameron’s first choice to play Jake Sully in the 2009 blockbuster, but he had to walk away from the role because he had other commitments.
Damon tells Playboy, “I particularly wanted to work with James Cameron, and still do. … He knew he was the star of that movie and that everyone was going to see it anyway. When he said, ‘Look, I’m offering it to you, but if you say no, the movie doesn’t need you,’ I remember thinking, ‘Oh God, not only do I have to say no because of scheduling, but he’s going to make a star out of some guy who’s going to start taking jobs from me later.’” Australian actor Sam Worthington landed the role of Sully.
The “Bourne Ultimatum” star says he also regrets having to turn down Josh Brolin’s role in “Milk.” ”I would have had the chance to do scenes with Sean Penn,” he said.
And the actor reveals he was also in the early running to land a leading role in “Brokeback Mountain,” opposite Joaquin Phoenix. He explains, “I had just done ‘The Talented Mr. Ripley’ and ‘All the Pretty Horses.’ I said … ‘I just did a gay movie and a cowboy movie. I can’t do a gay cowboy movie now.’
“The right actor got the part. Heath Ledger was magnificent.” And the role Phoenix was considered for went to Jake Gyllenhaal.