“I’m very grateful”: Matt Damon Saved Christian Bale’s Career by Refusing $130M Film That Got Batman Star His First Oscar

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Matt Damon and Christian Bale have been thick as thieves since Ford v Ferrari, the Oscar-nominated movie that tells the tale of the battle for speed and glory at Le Mans. DCU’s Batman, who portrayed the legendary British race driver, Kevin Miles, and Matt Damon, who plays Ford’s automotive artist, Carrol Shelby, share a lot more stories than the ones they created whilst filming this emotional masterpiece.

Christian Bale and Matt Damon
Christian Bale and Matt Damon

During an interview, the actor shared that if it wouldn’t have been for Matt Damon, he wouldn’t even have a career in the first place. Bale openly declared that he is indebted to his friend and competitor for refusing a $130 million biopic in 2011 that got him his first Oscar win. The Academy Award-winning actors have remained great friends.

Matt Damon Paved Way For Christian Bale’s Career

During an interview, Christian Bale credited Matt Damon for refusing a $130 million biopic that turned out to be career-changing for the Vice actor. The actor expressed his gratitude for Damon, who actually passed on some lucrative roles that went on to Bale.


Also Read: “I’d never found him intriguing”: Christian Bale Said Batman Was ‘Boring’ Before Christopher Nolan’s Iconic ‘The Dark Knight Trilogy’ Broke Box Office Charts

The actor had no hesitation in declaring that he owes his career to the Good Will Hunting star. Bale revealed that before working together on Ford V. Ferrari, the two stars crossed paths closely and had the same agent for decades. He said:

“I know you think I’m making this up, I am very grateful to Matt because I wouldn’t have a career if it wasn’t for roles he passed on. There were many roles where I was told, ‘Oh, well, Matt doesn’t wanna do it.’ So they went, ‘Ugh, all right, what about Bale?”

Christian Bale won an Oscar for The Fighter (2011
Christian Bale won an Oscar for The Fighter (2011)

The actor was referring to David O. Russell-directed sports biopic, The Fighter (2011), which grossed $130 million worldwide. As Matt Damon turned down the lucrative role of Dick “Dicky” Eklund, the character was picked up by Christian Bale, who earned his first Oscar win with the movie. Interestingly, Brad Pitt also turned down this role.


Also Read: “This is really dumb”: Matt Damon Was Questioning His Career While Working With Christian Bale in $97M Sports Drama

A Friendship Forged Over Shared Passion

Matt Damon is the “most bankable star” while Christian Bale has emerged as one, courtesy of his versatility and physical transformations for his role. The Good Will Hunting star has four Oscar nominations and one win as a part of his accolades. On the other hand, Bale has three Oscar nominations and one win for The Fighter, which was a career-changing film for the actor.

While Damon remains unreplaceable with hits like Invictus and The Martian, Christian Bale has built himself a fortune with movies like Exodus: Gods and Kings and the Dark Knight trilogy. Competition aside, their friendship is rather forged over a shared passion, something which they realized during the filming of Ford V. Ferrari.

Christian Bale and Matt Damon in a still from Ford V Ferrari
Christian Bale and Matt Damon in a still from Ford V Ferrari

Also Read: Christian Bale’s $1.2 Billion Masterpiece Was a “Disaster Movie”, Christopher Nolan Was Hesitant to Make The Dark Knight Rises

Matt Damon reflected on how his and Bale’s characters in the movie “had this same passion for building something important that’s bigger than yourself,” and it’s relevant to their real-life friendship. He said:

“These guys both had this same passion. They were different people but they had this same passion to build this thing and they had to do it together, and when you’re making something that’s bigger than yourself, there’s no pretending to the other person that it doesn’t matter.

You both know very deeply how much it matters because it matters that much to you and you know it matters that much to him.”

Using a few metaphors from the unforgettable tale of Kevin Miles, Bale showered praises on Damon and expressed that he could “make a bloody good director one day,” while he can barely become one. Matt Damon is set to appear in a much-awaited Christopher Nolan movie, Oppenheimer, and fans are already convinced that Damon’s up for another Oscar.


The Fighter (2011) can be rented or purchased on iTunes or Amazon Instant Video.

Source:  CBS News


Written by Mallika Singh

Articles Published: 204

I am Mallika Singh, a lawyer and writer by profession. Writing gives me a sense of freedom and independence. I am a keen observer and an ardent reader. When not at work, you can find me at the stable. Horse riding is another passion that keeps me going.