Ben Affleck and Matt Damon have been friends since they were kids in Boston

By Ale Russian
March 04, 2020 10:20 AM
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Ben Affleck is taking credit for getting pal Matt Damon into acting.

The longtime friends grew up in Boston together and later went on to hit it big in Hollywood with their Oscar-winning film Good Will Hunting. But before the awards success, Affleck, 47, actually had a leg up on acting — and Damon, 49, didn’t like it.

“I was seven or eight, and ended up getting the part… Periodically, I would leave town, and go do this series, The Voyage of the Mimi,” Affleck said on SiriusXM’s The Jess Cagle Show. “And it was cheesy, and I was embarrassed about it. It wasn’t like I was coming back home and being like, ‘You guys gotta see this! I’m so cool!'”

“But I did like it, and it did two things. One it instilled in me a deep love and affection for this art and craft and line of work,” Affleck said, “and it made Matt Damon so incredibly jealous, it drove him into a career in cinema. So I really take credit for that.”

Ben Affleck and Matt Damon
Ben Affleck and Matt Damon
| Credit: Ron Galella Collection via Getty

The pals were recently seen on the French set of The Last Duel, where Affleck was spotted with blonde hair, a blonde goatee, and red and gold finery for his role.

The two are also joined in the Ridley Scott-directed movie by Adam Driver, who recently sent Affleck’s son Samuel a handful of Star Wars toys for his birthday bash — in addition to a signed a card, picture, and video message from “Kylo Ren,” Driver’s character from the popular film franchise.

“It was an incredibly moving and powerful moment,” Affleck, 47, said on Tuesday’s Jimmy Kimmel Live!, recalling watching his son open the gifts.

“Adam made me a hero to my kid. And I will never, ever, ever, forget it,” Affleck added. “It’s a really good lesson in doing those small gestures of kindness, because you have no idea. For [Adam], he’s like, ‘Yeah, send the Kylo Ren doll and the Kylo Ren LEGO and the picture of Kylo Ren signed by Kylo Ren.’ But it meant the f—ing world to [Samuel]. So much.”

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Affleck and Damon teamed up to co-write the script for The Last Duel alongside Nicole Holofcener (Enough Said). The project is their first writing collaboration since 1997’s Good Will Hunting, which earned them both an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay and Best Supporting Actor for Robin Williams.

The film is based on the revenge novel by Eric Jager. Jager’s story, which is called The Last Duel: A True Story of Trial by Combat in Medieval France, is a revenge story depicting two best friends, the knight Jean de Carrouges and the squire Jacques LeGris.

Affleck’s full interview will air on The Jess Cagle Show Wednesday at 6:00 p.m. ET/3:00 p.m. PT.