Ben Affleck Reveals What Made Matt Damon 'So Incredibly Jealous' When They Were Growing Up
By Paige Gawley
Todd Williamson/Getty Images
Ben Affleck is recalling how he made Matt Damon jealous when they were kids. The Way Back actor recently sat down for an interview on SiriusXM’s The Jess Cagle Show and shared how he got his start in the business -- and made his longtime friend envious in the process.
It all started when Affleck was seven or eight years old and his mom's best friend casted him in a "kids science and math [and] adventure sort of pre-Dora the Explorer kind of show for PBS."
The program filmed "sporadically" and allowed Affleck to continue his childhood outside of Hollywood. "Luckily it wasn't the kind of thing where I got carted off to Hollywood as a young kid. I'm glad that I had a normal childhood and grew up in a normal way in Boston," he said.
When he would go away to film the series, though, Affleck recalled being "embarrassed" about being on the "cheesy" show. "It wasn't like I was coming back home and being like, 'You guys need to see this! I'm so cool. I lived on a sailboat with my grandpa.' It was not that thing," he quipped.
Despite his embarrassment, Affleck found two important reasons to be thankful for his childhood work.
"It instilled in me a deep sort of love and affection for this art and craft and line of work, and it made Matt Damon so incredibly jealous. It drove him into a career in cinema. So I really take credit for that," he joked.
Damon, 49, and Affleck, 47, went on to work together in the 1997 flick Good Will Hunting, which, Affleck revealed, started out as a project for Damon's directing class. The movie, which also starred the late Robin Williams, won them a Best Original Screenplay Oscar.
"He wanted to play, basically, a guy from South Boston who was really, really smart and people underestimated. And I was like, 'That's a really good idea,'" Affleck recalled. "And then we sat down. He wrote a scene for that. And then after we performed it... nobody seemed to like the scene in the class, but we thought it was good."
Affleck said that he and Damon "were just young enough to be so incredibly stupid and naive" that they thought they should write the film and that someone would make it, "which would have been on its face a completely absurd idea."
Affleck and Damon are set to work together again in 'The Last Duel,' directed by Ridley Scott. ET's Rachel Smith spoke with Affleck last month and he said that he was "very excited" and "a little nervous" to get to work on the project, which was recently filming in France.
"I have never done medieval! It's 1386, so it is like armor and swords and stuff like that," he explained. "But it was a real pleasure working with Matt and Nicole Holofcener, who wrote the script with us. [Matt and I] kept saying, 'Why have we not done this more often?'"
"We just got lucky that our schedules kind of intersected so that we had some free time to share," he added. "We got Ridley Scott directing it. And Jodie Comer's in the movie, so that's very exciting, and Adam [Driver]."
ET also spoke with Damon about the upcoming movie and reuniting with Affleck on the big screen. Check it out: