Ben Affleck Says Robin Williams 'Made a Massive Impression' on Him: 'That's How You Do This'

"He did so much for us by believing in us and doing that movie," Ben Affleck said of Robin Williams starring in his and pal Matt Damon's 1997 film Good Will Hunting

Robin Williams, Ben Affleck, Matt Damon
Photo: Alex J. Berliner/BEImages

Ben Affleck is reflecting on what he learned from Robin Williams.

Affleck, 49, worked with Williams on the 1997 film Good Will Hunting, for which he won an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay (with pal Matt Damon) and Williams won for Best Supporting Actor.

In his new film The Tender Bar, Affleck plays Uncle Charlie, a father figure to the main character who offers guidance and life wisdom. In an interview with Jake's Takes, he was asked if Williams, who died in 2014, serves as that level of mentor to him.

"I loved Robin," said Affleck. "He was the first person that I really met or knew who was, like, 'famous.' We had just written this movie, and it was amazing that it got made, and then Robin Williams, who was probably the biggest star around at that time, was in the movie. I mean, he did so much for us by believing in us and doing that movie, and also by how warm and lovely and kind he was and collaborative."

"I just thought, 'Well if this guy can do it and be kind to people and collaborate and work with people and care about them and listen to them, I certainly can,' " he added.

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"He was a really extraordinary, kind, loving guy, and that to me is the legacy of Robin. That's what his comedy was rooted in, kind of a basic goodness and humanity," Affleck continued. "I wish I had known him my whole life. Growing up, I didn't have that opportunity, but when I did meet him, I was a pretty young guy; I was 24. It made a massive impression on me and I thought, 'Okay, that's how you do this. I'm going to spend my life trying to live up to this example.' "

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Back in August 2014, after news of Williams' sudden death at age 63, Affleck wrote at the time on social media, "Heartbroken. Thanks chief — for your friendship and for what you gave the world. Robin had a ton of love in him. He personally did so much for so many people. He made Matt and my dreams come true. What do you owe a guy who does that? Everything. May you find peace my friend."

The Tender Bar, directed by George Clooney, is in select theaters Dec. 17, nationwide Dec. 22, then streaming on Amazon Prime Video Jan. 7.

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