How do you like them actors?

By Ale Russian
October 08, 2016 05:21 AM
Nicola Bailey for The New York Times

How do you like them actors?

Matt Damon and Ben Affleck surprised a New York crowd Friday night by reprising their breakout roles in the Oscar-winning Good Will Hunting — and it was all thanks to John Krasinski.

Krasinski directed the latest installment of the Film Independent and The New York Times‘ Live Read New York where he assembled a cast of high-profile actors to perform the script of the movie he said was “unbelievably important” to him.

After introducing heavy-hitters like his wife Emily Blunt, Hamilton‘s Daveed Diggs and Key and Peele‘s Keegan-Michael Key, the actor told the crowd that he would be living his “life long dream of playing Will Hunting.”

Nicola Bailey for The New York Times
Nicola Bailey for The New York Times

But before he could start, Damon walked out and told Krasinski that he “wasn’t really okay with that” as the surprised crowd leapt to its feet and Damon sat down to reprise his star-making role.

And the surprises weren’t over.

Nicola Bailey for The New York Times
Nicola Bailey for The New York Times

After Krasinski told Damon that Affleck’s role Chuckie was “a better role anyway” and started reading his lines, Affleck himself walked out in equal disapproval and took a seat reprising his role as the crowd roared.

Although the audience was on its feet, Krasinski may have been the most excited of all, telling the crowd they’ll “begin again as my 16-year-old self cries inside.”

Nicola Bailey for The New York Times
Nicola Bailey for The New York Times

The Office alum then took the role of narrator and the script reading began as he animatedly led the group through the film- even leaping out of his seat when Damon said the famous line, “How do you like them apples?” and pointedly denying any sort of romance between Blunt’s Skylar and Damon’s Will.

Nicola Bailey for The New York Times
Nicola Bailey for The New York Times

For their part, Damon and Affleck seemed to be loving every second of the performance. Often laughing, patting each other on the back and sharing tidbits of the script’s writing process, the long-time friends reprised their roles perfectly. Both actors comically amped up their Boston accents while Damon brought the same intensity and skill to the reading that earned him an Oscar nom and Affleck charmed the crowd with every word he said as Chuckie.

Rounding out the cast were Spotlight director Tom McCarthy as Professor Lambeau, a surprise appearance by super producer Harvey Weinstein as a psychologist and Margo Martindale as the late Robin Williams’ Sean Maguire — a role Krasinksi said he had to give to a woman because “no man can ever do what [Williams] did.”

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