By Adam Markovitz
Updated March 09, 2013 at 06:39 PM EST
Matt Damon

When HBO airs Behind the Candelabra on May 26, the world will get to see Matt Damon play Liberace’s drug-addled, surgically enhanced lover — a role about as far from Jason Bourne as it gets.

But Damon, who sat down with costar Michael Douglas to talk with EW for this week’s cover story, says he isn’t ruling out a return to his blockbuster spy franchise despite the fact that he handed the reins over to Jeremy Renner in last year’s The Bourne Legacy. That movie rebooted the series by introducing the idea of a world with multiple Bourne-style secret agents — which means the original Jason Bourne could still be out there somewhere.

Tony Gilroy, who wrote the first one and the second one, came up with an idea: I think they look at it as kind of the reverse of X-Men,” says Damon, who opted not to sign on for a fourth film because he and director Paul Greengrass “couldn’t figure out” a script. “Whereas with X-Men, you get a giant bunch of superheroes and then do the Wolverine spinoff, I think Tony pitched it as, ‘OK, we started with the Wolverine spinoff. Now let’s try to make the X-Men. So I’ll create all these other programs, and you can have your evergreen that way. There’ll be other agents.'”

So does this mean Damon and Renner might share the screen in a Bourne movie someday?

“That would be their dream,” says Damon. “Tony’s whole thing was, ‘Look, my story won’t preclude Matt from doing another one. This one can live on a parallel track.'”

In the meantime, Damon is taking on outside-the-box projects like Behind the Candelabra, though the actor says he was surprised at how much he could relate to the bizarre love story between Liberace (Douglas) and Scott Thorson (Damon). “My way in was my own marriage and understanding how these long-term relationships work,” he says. “Their relationship is absurd and funny and tragic and heartbreaking. And I realized: That’s all of our lives. I found the relationship was highly relatable.”

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Behind the Candelabra

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