In a new interview, "The Martian" star Matt Damon said actors might be better off if they didn't publicly reveal their sexuality.

"I think it must be really hard for actors to be out publicly," he told the British newspaper the Guardian, adding, "But in terms of actors, I think you're a better actor the less people know about you, period. And sexuality is a huge part of that. Whether you're straight or gay, people shouldn't know anything about your sexuality because that's one of the mysteries that you should be able to play."

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Damon, 44 -- whose many roles include an acclaimed performance as Liberace's lover in the 2013 HBO telefilm "Behind the Candelabra" -- also recalled how Ben Affleck and he fended off gay rumors when they wrote 1997's "Good Will Hunting."

"It's just like any piece of gossip . . . and it put us in a weird position of having to answer, you know what I mean? Which was then really deeply offensive. I don't want to, like, [imply] it's some sort of disease -- then it's like I'm throwing my friends under the bus. But at the time, I remember thinking and saying, Rupert Everett was openly gay and this guy -- more handsome than anybody, a classically trained actor -- it's tough to make the argument that he didn't take a hit for being out."

Damon's comments drew many critical responses, including Trace William Cowen, who wrote in Complex magazine Monday that the actor was "theorizing that everyone should not discuss sexuality in general, forever living in fear of being one's true self for reasons not entirely clear."