“I thought a lot about playing him”: Matt Damon Has No Regrets Losing 1 Role to Christian Bale Despite Claiming He Wanted it for Himself

Matt Damon believed that the role in Mark Wahlberg's boxing film was a perfect fit for Christian Bale than him

Matt Damon and Christian Bale


  • Matt Damon opened up about the one film role he turned down which then won the Oscar for Christian Bale.
  • When Damon read the script of The Fighter, it was not that great; but David O. Russell later took it up and rewrote the script.
  • Bale was cast in the role and gave a performance that made Damon not regret his losing of the role.
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Matt Damon was initially offered the role of Dicky Eklund in the 2010 film The Fighter. Damon revealed that while he found the subject interesting, the script was not great at the time. After David O. Russell joined the biographical sports drama, he rewrote the script. Christian Bale was cast in the role of Mark Wahlberg’s character’s brother, replacing Damon.

Matt Damon and Christian Bale in Ford v Ferrari | Chernin Entertainment
Matt Damon and Christian Bale in Ford v Ferrari | Chernin Entertainment

The Martian actor has no regrets about losing the role since Bale was phenomenal in the film. He even went on to win the Best Actor in a Supporting Role at the Academy Awards next year. Damon joked that Bale owed his career post-2009 to him.

Matt Damon Passed On The Fighter Role, Which Won Christian Bale His Oscar

Mark Wahlberg and Christian Bale in a still from The Fighter | Paramount Pictures
Mark Wahlberg and Christian Bale in a still from The Fighter | Paramount Pictures

Matt Damon and Christian Bale were a power duo that drove the narrative of the film Ford v. Ferrari forward. During the promotion of the film, the two actors appeared for an interview with GQ. Bale mentioned during the interview that he had gotten several roles that were passed on by Damon. However, he refused to name any of those roles.


Damon had no problems in mentioning one of those roles as he shared that Bale was too good in it. The Jason Bourne actor shared that he read the earlier script of The Fighter to play Bale’s part. The film had a different director and the script was subpar, which prompted him to pass it on. Damon shared with GQ:

I was just going to say this one, because you’re so good in it. The Fighter. 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.

However, David O. Russell took on the director’s hat and made major changes to the script. He brought in The Dark Knight actor to play the role of Dicky Eklund, brother to the film’s protagonist Micky Ward, played by Mark Wahlberg. Bale fully committed to the role, changing his physique, accent, and mannerisms for the role.

Both Bale and co-star Melissa Leo went on to win several accolades for their supporting roles in the film. Besides the Oscars, they also won the Critics Choice Awards, the Golden Globe Awards, and the SAG Awards. Bale joked during the GQ interview that he owed Damon a percentage of everything he earned since the film.


Matt Damon Had No Regrets Losing The Fighter Role To Christian Bale

Matt Damon and Christian Bale in Ford v Ferrari | Chernin Entertainment
Matt Damon and Christian Bale in Ford v Ferrari | Chernin Entertainment

Matt Damon may have accepted the role after Russell’s rewrites since he was interested in the subject. However, he had no regrets over losing the role to Christian Bale. He shared that there were quite a few roles among the ones that he turned down, where another actor came and nailed it.

He added that the role in The Fighter was one such role. He shared it jumped to his mind immediately because he deliberated a lot about whether to play the role or not. The Departed actor shared with GQ:

I always laugh about Dicky Eklund [The Fighter] because I thought a lot about playing him. And I always do say the right actor gets the part. That’s happened to me a few times, where, for some reason, I can’t do something. And then I watch the movie and I go, ‘That was great. That worked out.’ So that one jumps to mind, just because I thought more about it than any other.

Damon also mentioned the film as one of the best performances of Bale besides The Prestige. He shared that he and his wife had watched the latter film numerous times. Christian Bale had a rather unconventional pick for his choice of Damon’s best performance. He chose Damon’s much less popular work in The Good Shepherd.


The Fighter is now available for streaming on Paramount+, while Ford v. Ferrari is now available for streaming on AppleTV+.


Written by Hashim Asraff

Articles Published: 1352

Hashim, Entertainment Writer. With over 1000 published articles on FandomWire, he covers a wide range of topics from celebrity life to comic book movies. He holds a Masters degree in Sociology and his expertise proves invaluable in handling sensitive news. His passion for crime investigation thrillers has turned him into a detective, exploring the darkest corners of the internet during his research.