Matt Damon Explains Why It Took 24 Years to Collaborate Again With Ben Affleck

Ben Affleck and Matt Damon set a high standard for themselves when they wrote the 1997 film “Good Will Hunting.”

The Robin Williams vehicle earned nine nominations at the Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director. And though the big two went to “Titanic,” the duo from Boston took home Best Original Screenplay, beating out Paul Thomas Anderson’s “Boogie Nights” and “As Good as It Gets.”

But, surprisingly, it wasn’t the high expectations that kept Damon and Affleck from working together again. According to Damon, it was simply a matter of planning.

At the New York City premiere for their upcoming film “The Last Duel,” Damon told E! News’ Victor Cruz that he and Affleck “assumed [writing] would be so time consuming that we’d never be able to do it.”

The “Talented Mr. Ripley” actor explained that between his family and Affleck’s they thought they’d “never find the time” to write another script like “Good Will Hunting.” But, they realized, “If we just work during hours that we could easily carve out, we could get a lot done.”

Ben Affleck & Matt Damon’s Winning Friendship

It turned out the project wasn’t as difficult as they anticipated, with Damon sharing, “We wrote it faster than we thought we would.”

As for actually filming “The Last Duel,” which stars “Killing Eve” actor Jodie Comer, Affleck said it was a pleasure to be back on set with his friend. The actor remarked, “We had such a great time doing this that it was like, why don’t we do this more? What have we been doing?”

Affleck added that he feels fortunate to have Damon not just as a collaborator, but as a friend, too. “I grew up with this guy, I’ve known him forever. We’re from the same world and place, and stayed close and I often think about people who come into this business and there’s some challenges that get thrown at you,” Affleck explained. “And having somebody to go through it with me and bounce stuff off of has been really helpful.”

“You’re lucky if you get to do the job you love and luckier if it’s with people that you love,” he reflected.

Damon’s support for Affleck extends to his friend’s love life as well. The “Jason Bourne” actor said that he’s “happy” Affleck has found love with Jennifer Lopez, remarking, “I’m happy for them … We all deserve love, why not them?”

“The Last Duel” hits theaters on Oct. 15.


New England Cable News

New England Cable News is a regional 24-hour cable news television network owned and operated by NBCUniversal serving the New England region of the United States. It focuses on regional news, though in some low priority timeslots, paid programming and programming from WNBC such as Talk Stoop and Open House are seen.

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