8 Things You Didn’t Know About Ben Affleck And Matt Damon’s Friendship
Ben Affleck and Matt Damon have one of those rare friendships in Hollywood that is actually genuine. The A-list actors have been friends for nearly their entire lives and continue to remain close by collaborating on projects like HBO’s Greenlight and their co-founded production company, Pearl Street Films. The two actors shared a major breakthrough in their career when they co-wrote the script for the film Good Will Hunting. Today, they are both regarded as A-list actors who are well respected in the industry, not only for their acting, but also their screen writing, producing and directing. In honor of their longstanding friendship, here’s a look at 8 things you probably didn’t know about Ben Affleck and Matt Damon’s friendship:
8. How They Met
Matt Damon and Ben Affleck became friends when Damon was 10 and Affleck was 8. The two of them grew up together in Cambridge, Massachusetts and lived only two blocks away from each other. Their mothers were friends through work and introduced the two boys which is how they began spending time together. Damon and Affleck went to elementary school together, then later high school where they both were inspired to become actors. They worked together in the summers and remained close well after college because they both lived together in Los Angeles and New York. “I’ve known him for 35 years, and we grew up together. We were both in love with the same thing — acting and filmmaking. I think we fed on each other’s obsession during really formative, important years that bonded us for life,” said Damon in an interview with ET.
7. Respect in the Workplace
Despite all of their joking and poking fun at one another, which according to Affleck is simply a side effect of their long-term friendship. They both respect each other immensely, especially in the workplace. This is why they’ve spearheaded so many projects together and even founded a production company together. When asked if they will ever work together again, Damon has always said that he would jump at the opportunity to work with Affleck because he’s so insanely talented. But the only way that can happen is if Affleck stops giving all the best roles to himself, he joked! “I choose all my jobs based on directors. So anything he’d want me to be in, I’d be in. He’s a brilliant director, but the problem is that he always gives the best parts to himself. So until he starts including the rest of us, I think we just have to go watch him be great in his movies,” said Damon.
6. Good Will Hunting
In 1997, Matt Damon and Ben Affleck rose to fame after writing the two time Oscar winning hit, Good Will Hunting. They’ve been collaborating together ever since “The good thing about ‘Good Will Hunting‘ is that we were unemployed and we weren’t writing the script on a deadline either. Nobody was expecting it, so we were just these two idiots in our basement writing this thing,” said Damon. The script told the story of a bunch of kids from Southie scraping their way through life, but one of these kids, Will Hunting, was secretly a genius. Damon had started writing the script when he was in his last year at Harvard. “I was gonna be getting out of school in two or three months when I got a part in the movie Geronimo: An American Legend. I went out to Los Angeles and stayed with Ben. I slept on his floor. I bought my Act I of the Good Will Hunting script and gave it to him,” said Damon. From that moment on the two began writing what later became a huge hit, earning $226 million at the box office.
5. They’ve Got Each Others Back
Matt Damon was the first person to come to Affleck’s defense when the media was hounding him about his divorce from Jennifer Garner. “There’s nobody who’s more misunderstood. Ten years ago, the public image of him could not have been farther from who he actually is. It was like he was being cast in a role, that he was a talentless kind of meathead, with his whole relationship with Jennifer Lopez…He just got cast as this person that he wasn’t. It was just really painful. It was painful to be his friend, because it wasn’t fair, you know? To my mind, nobody really got him at all,” said Damon.
4. Guys of the Decade
These two are such well known besties they were even honored with the “Guys of the Decade” award at Spike’s 10th Annual Guys Choice Awards last June! While on stage accepting their award, Affleck gave a speech and said: “I think it goes without saying that this is an award Matt and I have been dreaming about since we were little boys. I did Gigli and Matt did that Liberace movie and all of a sudden it seemed out of reach. Then I did [Batman v Superman] and all of a sudden it was back in reach again. Now we’re the … coveted Dudes of the Decade … the Guys of the D—heads? What is it?” he joked. Damon stepped into the mic to help his bud out and said, “No, the D—heads of the Decade award.” Regardless of what the award was called, it’s clear these two have a rare and honorable friendship in Hollywood because it’s actually authentic.
3. Best Friends
Ben Affleck and Matt Damon are the kind of friends that post Instagram shout outs to one another on National Best Friends Day. Just this past summer, Affleck took to his social media to share a collage of snapshots from what appears to be a former birthday party for Damon when they were much, much younger. The photos show Afflleck getting his face smashed into the birthday cake by none other than Damon himself! He captioned the post with a simple, “This guy. #NationalBestFriendsDay.”
2. They Like to Embarrass Each Other
In true friendship fashion, Affleck and Damon would never miss a chance to embarrass the other, especially when it comes in the form of an old high school photo. Affleck took to his Twitter to share a hilarious throwback photo while Damon was doing a Q&A with Alicia Vikander on Smallzy’s Surgery, an Australian radio show, to promote his newest film, Jason Bourne. It was a 1988 high school photo of his old buddy from his musical theater days. In response to the photo, Damon said: “I had that exact wig made for the Liberace movie [Behind the Candelabra: My Life with Liberace], for the ’80s sequence. We called it the Flock of Seagulls wig…that’s my real hair.”
— Ben Affleck (@BenAffleck) July 3, 2016
1. Auditioned Together
Not too long ago Damon gave a speech at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s commencement. In his speech he talked about when he and Affleck were young struggling actors they used to bus to New York together to attend auditions only to be turned down time after time. “For all the amazing successes I’ve been lucky to share, few things have shaped me more than the auditions Ben and I used to go on as young actors, where we’d get on a bus, show up in New York, wait our turn, cry our hearts out for a scene and then be told, ‘Okay, thanks,’ meaning game over. We used to call it, ‘Okay, thanks,’ and those experiences became our honor,” said Damon.