Ben Affleck’s ruling the awards season in Hollywood with his film Argo, and his long-standing friend, actor Matt Damon is flying high over his buddy’s success; says it was long due
Ben Affleck is storming through the Hollywood awards season with his movie Argo, and no one could be happier than his old friend Matt Damon.
Argo, which Affleck directed, produced and stars in, won best drama movie and best director awards at both the Golden Globes and the Critics Choice recently. It is also nominated for seven Oscars. Damon, with whom Affleck shared a screenplay Oscar for the 1997 film Good Will Hunting, talked with Reuters about his friend’s success.
You must be so proud of Affleck.
I’m just thrilled for him. I’m really happy. I’m not at all surprised, because I’ve known him for so long and I know how talented he is.
Ben went through a rough patch in the early 2000s when the media was merciless with him, his career and his personal life. Was it rough to watch from the sidelines?
It was tough to watch him get kicked in the teeth for all those years because the perception of him was so not who he actually was. I always felt a knee-jerk need to defend him. It was just upsetting. It was upsetting for a lot of his friends because he’s the smartest, funnest, nicest, kindest, incredibly talented guy. And the perception of him was the opposite. So that was tough.
When did that perception change for better?
It’s taken him a long time. It wasn’t one thing that got him out of the penalty box. He had to dig. He did a lot of really good work over a long amount of time. The last movie he did (The Town) was a great movie. And the movie before was a great too (Gone Baby Gone). Finally people now are ready to go, ‘Wow, he’s at the very top of the food chain’.
The two of you came up together in your careers, and won a screenplay Oscar together. How is it that you escaped the media scrutiny and he didn’t?
Ten years ago he was in a relationship (with actress Jennifer Lopez) and he was on the cover of US Weekly magazine every week. Nobody was more aware of it than him. I talked to him about it back then. He said, ‘I am in the absolute worse place you can be; I