Moviemaker Steven Soderbergh has played down reports of his retirement from Hollywood, insisting pal Matt Damon took a drunken chat far too seriously when he announced the director's plans to the media.
The actor thought Soderbergh's dreams of becoming an artist were for real and started telling the press that he feared the revered director's upcoming Liberace biopic would be his last film.
Damon told The Orlando Sentinel, "I've talked at length with Steven about it. He is going away for a while, I think. He genuinely wants to paint. And he feels if he really dedicates himself he can be really good. He's not yet 50. He will put in the hours. He has a work ethic like nobody I've ever seen. He feels if he puts a hard decade of work in, he could really be doing something."
But, during a promotional appearance at the Comic-Con convention in San Diego Friday, Soderbergh made it clear that he had no intention of turning his back on Hollywood.
He told fans, "Matt Damon is about as discrete as a 14-year-old girl," he said. "I had this drunken conversation with him in Chicago shooting 'Contagion' ... [and] he remembered it almost verbatim.
"I was just sort of going off. No one wants to hear about someone quitting a good job. It got blown out of proportion. That's Matt's fault!"