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Ethan Hawke and Matt Damon were jealous of each other’s breakout roles

Even A-list actors feel jealous every now and again, even those with huge careers and big star power such as Matt Damon and Ethan Hawke.

Matt Damon in Good Will Hunting

Both Ethan Hawke and Matt Damon have had impressive careers in Hollywood over the years, but despite their success, that doesn’t mean they don’t share some regrets – such as each other’s filmography. Both Hawke and Damon have revealed in separate interviews how they were jealous of each other’s breakout roles in the drama movies, Dead Poets Society and Good Will Hunting.


Dead Poets Society came out in 1989 and saw Hawke rise to fame after he starred alongside Robin Williams in the Academy Award-nominated flick. After the film, Hawke would go on to star in war movies, science fiction movies, and even in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But although his career popped off, in an interview with The Guardian, the star shared how he was envious of his contemporaries, Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, for their 1997 hit, Good Will Hunting.

“When Good Will Hunting came out, I was really jealous because they had been allowed a decade more to grow, whereas I’d had to do my learning on the fly,” he said.

Funnily enough, while Hawke was jealous of Good Will Hunting, in 2016, Matt Damon told Entertainment Weekly how he regretted not being in Dead Poets Society. “Ben [Affleck] and I got called back on that,” Damon explained before revealing that he ultimately wasn’t cast in the flick.

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“When it came out, Ben and I worked at a movie theatre in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and the one movie they played all summer was Dead Poets Society,” the star said. “And we had to sit there in our black pants, white shirt, maroon vest, black bow tie, sit there, tearing tickets, serving popcorn, and then watch people bawling their eyes out as they came out. And we’re like, ‘That could have been us.'”

While it is fun to think of what could have been if both A-listers had been co-stars in their respective movies, we are pretty pleased with how everything worked out. Both stars have flourished in Tinseltown and continue to star in banger after banger.