Matt Damon remembers the “frustration” and desperation it took for him and Ben Affleck to write “Good Will Hunting”

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE ARTICLES

  • Matt Damon and Ben Affleck grew up just two blocks from each other in Boston.
  • It was actually the “frusation” and “desperation” that forced them to write Good Will Hunting.
  • After writing the Oscar-winning screenplay that nearly ruined their friendship, they waited 25 years to write another.

Ben Affleck and Matt Damon | Timothy A. Clary / AFP via Getty Images

Matt Damon and Ben Affleck shot to stardom when they wrote the screenplay for Goodwill hunting. But the process almost ruined their long-standing friendship. According to Damon, the script was born out of “frustration” and “desperation”. It was such a grueling experience that it took them 25 years to write another screenplay together.

Matt Damon and Ben Affleck were introduced by their mothers

In the 1980s, Damon and Affleck grew up just two blocks from each other in their Boston, Massachusetts neighborhood. They were introduced by their mothers when they were only 10 and 8, respectively, and they hit it off right away.

Affleck told Parade Magazine that they are linked through sport and theater. He explained that before meeting Damon, playing the part was something he did himself. And no one understood why he had done it.

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“Acting was a solo activity where I was just going to do something, play on a little TV show or something, and nobody understood that,” Affleck explained. “All of a sudden I had this friend Matt and he understands and wants to do it and thinks it’s interesting and wants to talk about it. Soon we both do it.

Future Oscar winners started auditioning together

Damon once told Conan O’Brien that he remembered the exact moment he knew Affleck would be “a good friend to have.” He says Affleck came to his defense in a fight when they were in high school, and saving him from a much bigger opponent cemented their decades-long friendship.

The two young friends began attending auditions together in New York City, often arguing for the same role. In their late teens and early twenties, Damon and Affleck both made appearances in a series of films. Including one in which they starred together – School Ties.

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But the roles did not turn out the way either actor wanted them to. So, they moved in together to save some money and got down to work on writing their first original screenplay.

Matt Damon says “Good Will Hunting” script was born out of “frustration” and “desperation”

During a visit with Matt Lauer on The Today Show in 1997, Damon and Affleck shared the origin story of their Goodwill hunting scenario. Damon revealed that it started out as a one-act play he wrote for a college class, and the professor encouraged him to continue.

“The scenario, really, arose out of frustration with our unemployment. So we wrote it pretty much out of desperation, ”Damon explained.

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Affleck credited Good Will Hunting managed to cast Robin Williams as Dr Sean Maguire. He explained that the film had become “mainstream Hollywood” because Williams was committed to the project.

All three won Oscars for the film – Affleck and Damon for writing their original screenplay and Williams for Best Supporting Actor.

It took 25 years for the duo to rewrite together

Despite the massive success of their first screenplay, it took Affleck and Damon 25 years to write another and star in the film together. Damon said in 2015 that they waited until they found the right project before writing together again.

“We’re constantly developing things,” Damon said. “It’s just that you want to have to find the right project. We want to work together, obviously, it’s just that we want to get it right.

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Damon and Affleck wrote Goodwill hunting in 1996. But it wasn’t until 2021 that their next co-writing project – The last duel – would be released in theaters.

Matt Damon and Ben Affleck didn’t take so long to write “The Last Duel”

The duo told Jimmy Fallon about Tonight’s show that the 25-year gap was due to the long writing process they went through the first time around.

“I mean, I think Goodwill hunting took us so long. We were like unemployed, broke guys. It took us forever to write this screenplay, ”Damon said. “I think we’ve written thousands and thousands of pages. I don’t think we really knew what we were doing. I think that deterred us from writing again, as we never thought we would have the time. “

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Due to their Hollywood background, writing the second screenplay wasn’t as difficult as writing the first. So, they ended up writing it a lot faster than expected.

“We had such a great time doing this it was like, why wouldn’t we do it more?” What have we done ? Damon told E! News. Affleck added, “I grew up with this guy, I’ve known him forever. We come from the same world and the same place and have stayed close… You are lucky if you do the work you love and luckier if it is with people you love.

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