Sooner or later everyone in Hollywood learns that you never bet against James Cameron. Matt Damon took that lesson the hard way when he turned down the opportunity to be a part of the director’s biggest cinematic vision. In a recent interview at the 74th Cannes Film Festival – where the actor’s latest film, Still water, had its world premiere – Damon revealed his biggest career regret: turning down Cameron’s offer to make the front page of the 2009 blockbuster, Avatar. And the Goodwill hunting The star wasn’t just going to be the central character in the out-of-this-world epic: he was also going to be a for-profit participant in the film.

CANNES, FRANCE - JULY 09: Matt Damon attends the

Matt Damon attends the “Stillwater” press conference at the 74th Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, France. (Photo by Stéphane Cardinale – Corbis / Corbis via Getty Images)

“I was offered a short film called Avatar, James Cameron gave me 10 percent, “Damon reportedly said at a masterclass in Cannes.” I’m going to make history. … You will never meet an actor who turned down more money. Damon added that accepting the Avatar work would have meant abandoning the Jason Bourne franchise, a “moral” choice he was not prepared to make. He is also said to have signed up for three other trips to Cameron’s faraway planet, Pandora. Informed that the director was planning not one, but three more films, Damon joked, “Are there any sequels? Oh my god.”

Still, it’s hard not to regret missing out on 10% of a movie that ultimately grossed over $ 2 billion worldwide. And Damon shared the story of his near accident with Avatar before. Talk with British GQ in 2019 while promoting the Oscar nominee Ford vs. Ferrari, the actor recalled his initial conversation with Cameron. “When [Cameron] He offered it to me, he said, ‘Now listen. I do not need anyone. I don’t need a name for that, a named actor. If you don’t take that, 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. ‘”

Sam Worthington took on the 'Avatar' role James Cameron originally gifted Matt Damon (Photo: 20th Century Fox / Courtesy Everett Collection)

Sam Worthington has taken on the role of “Avatar” that James Cameron originally gifted to Matt Damon (Photo: 20th Century Fox / Courtesy Everett Collection)

True to his word, Cameron, whose filmography includes all-time blockbusters like Terminator 2, Aliens and Titanic, cast lesser-known Australian actor Sam Worthington when Damon decided to stick with the Bourne franchise. And it goes without saying that Worthington – who stars alongside Zoe Saldana in the film – didn’t receive the same 10% offer his predecessor turned down. Still, the actor has every right to brag about being in the most successful film of all time and one of the most watched sequels ever made.

Not that Cameron feels the pressure. “Wait and see what Zoe does in the sequels,” the director told Yahoo Entertainment in 2019. “I watch a lot of scenes now… and I cry. She takes it to a whole new level. And so does Sam. All the returnees have taken it to a whole new level and all the actors that come in have to be up to that level. We really got the gold with our new cast as well. ”

Watch our Director’s Reel interview with James Cameron below

Fortunately, Damon has good friends like John Krasinski – with whom he has collaborated on films like the 2012 drama. Promised land – to help him go beyond what could have been. The actor told the Cannes crowd this The Quiet Place, Part II the director said when he admitted missing out on a life-changing salary. “Nothing would be different in your life if you had done Avatarexcept you and I would have this conversation in space, ”Damon recalls, pointing out Krasinski. It’s definitely a nicer way to say it then, “How do you like these apples?” ”

Avatar is currently streaming on Disney +

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