As Matt Damon and Christian Bale have grown to be two of Hollywood’s most well-known actors, they are renowned for their capacity to star in blockbusters and successfully balance both drama and action. Given that they are just three years apart in age, Matt Damon and Christian Bale have naturally competed for some of the same parts in their finest films.
It’s not difficult to picture Damon playing Nolan’s Batman or Bale playing Jason Bourne or Mark Watney since they both have a wide range of roles. The fact that Damon was offered and later declined a part for which Bale would go on to win his first and only Oscar emphasises this truth.
“I think I’ve got a few projects that Matt passed on,” said Bale to GQ, in an interview with Matt Damon. “After he would pass [on a role] I remember saying to people, ‘Why would Matt not want to do this? What am I missing?’”
Damon complied and shared all when asked to go further and discuss some of the positions that they had both applied for but had declined. “I was just going to say this one, because [Bale’s] so good in it. The Fighter.”
One of the finest drama films of Bale’s career, The Fighter received an Oscar nomination for finest Picture in addition to Bale receiving the award for Best Supporting Actor. The younger brother is trying to step out from under the shadow of his larger, more well-known sibling in the narrative of two brothers, one of whom is a boxer and the other an ex-boxer. Why on Earth did Damon reject this opportunity, then?
“I read the script because I thought it was fascinating, but the script was not very good. And we had a different director at the time. And Mark [Wahlberg] really wanted to do it and was so excited about it, but we all knew the script wasn’t there. Then [director] David [O. Russell] came in, rewrote the script, got Christian, and it was awesome.”
For Damon to respond so bluntly and for Bale to ultimately win his Oscar for the role, the initial draught of The Fighter’s screenplay that Damon read must have been far different from what made it to the big screen. Although everything turned out for the best in the end, we’re confident Damon would have excelled just as much as Bale did in his part as Mark Wahlberg’s elder half-brother (the two certainly resemble one other physically). Eventually, Damon and Bale collaborated on the excellent 2019 racing film Ford v Ferrari.