Matt Damon has revealed how he lost out on a huge sum after turning down the lead role in Avatar.
The Oscar-winning star explained that James Cameron offered him 10% of the film’s revenue if he agreed to take the part of Jake Sully in the iconic movie – which would have seen his fortune rocketing to over $250 million.
“Jim Cameron offered me Avatar. And when he 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 gonna 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 of…'” he told GQ magazine.
In the end, Cameron lived up to his promise and hired the relatively unknown Sam Worthington – who is set to reprise the role of Sully for Avatar’s forthcoming sequels.
“I’ve left more money on the table than any actor, actually,” he added.
Despite missing out on the huge payday, Damon says his main regret came in turning down the chance to work with Cameron – the legendary helmer of Terminator, Aliens and Titanic.
“The bigger thing still to this day, my bigger regret is… Cameron said to me in the course of that conversation, ‘well, you know, I’ve only made six movies.’ “I didn’t realize that. He works so infrequently, but his movies, you know all of them, so it feels like he’s made more than he has.
“I realised in having to say no that I was probably passing on the chance to ever work with him. So that sucked and that’s still brutal. But my kids are all eating. I’m doing OK.”
It comes after Cameron congratulated Avengers: Endgame for toppling Avatar as the highest grossing film of all time earlier this year.
Meanwhile, the first of four Avatar sequels will arrive in December 2021.