Everyone knows that Ben Affleck and Matt Damon are best friends. In an industry where friendships are broken and made with every movie, it’s impressive that theirs have lasted for decades. After Good Will Hunting (1997) gave the duo fame and their first Oscar, they collaborated again on projects like Dogma, The Last Duel, and most recently, Air.
However, before Air or even The Last Duel, the two hadn’t teamed up onscreen for a long time. Matt Damon once clarified that it was because his friend hogged the best roles for himself. Apart from this, the actor also revealed that the two of them were living different lives for years.
Matt Damon Sheds Light On Changing Friendship With Ben Affleck
During a Reddit AMA a few years back, Matt Damon was asked why he wasn’t collaborating with his friend Ben Affleck as much. The actor replied that he would love to write another script with Affleck, but the main issue is of time. Here’s his answer:
“I would love to write another script with Ben; I love Ben, I love his work, and he’s been my buddy for 35 years. The big issue is time for us. We have a company together so we work on a lot of projects together, but to try to carve out the time is really tough.”
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He further elaborated on his answer and said that they couldn’t meet up much because of different jobs and family duties. Also, he explained that Good Will Hunting was a special project because the two of them didn’t have to adhere to a deadline. As per the Bourne franchise star:
“He’s (Ben Affleck) directing all the time and I’m off working with these other directors. The 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, and now we have all of these pressures of the lives grown-ups have.”
The actor also joked and said that Affleck always took the best roles, leaving him with nothing. Damon said,
“The problem there is that he (Ben Affleck) just keeps giving himself the best roles, so until he stops doing that and maybe just directs, none of us can really work with him.”
However, he concluded by saying that he would collaborate with the Justice League star again and would love to be in one of the films he directs. Damon’s dreams did come true, as he stars in Air which is directed by Affleck.
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Why Did Matt Damon Turn Down The Daredevil Film?
While Matt Damon did say in the Reddit AMA that Ben Affleck always gave himself the best roles. But there was one project where the former Batman actor made the wrong decision. In fact, Matt Damon was the lucky guy because The Martian actor passed on the role that Affleck ended up doing. It was 2003’s Daredevil.
In an interview with ABC News, Damon revealed why he turned down the Marvel movie. He said that he passed on the project, even though the titular hero is his favorite character because he simply didn’t like the script. But Affleck loved it enough to do it.
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As per the Elysium star:
“Daredevil, that was our guy when we were growing up, that was our favorite superhero … I didn’t love the script and I didn’t know the director, he hadn’t really done anything. So, I just tried to divorce my emotion from [it]. Ben [Affleck] is more of an emotional guy, he was like, ‘Daredevil!’ He just went and did it.”
2003’s Daredevil film had a box office collection of $179 million on a budget of $78 million. It’s not considered to be a good film let alone a good superhero film. Thankfully, years later when Netflix and Marvel rebooted the character with Charlie Cox at the helm, the hero enjoyed better critical acclaim and fan appreciation.
As for Affleck, he went on to don the cowl of another great hero, this time DC’s Batman. Regarding Matt Damon, he went on to do other projects like Ford v Ferrari before reuniting with Affleck on Air.
Air is currently in theaters.