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Why Matt Damon and Ben Affleck’s bromance is so captivating 24 years later


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Matt and Ben are writing once more!

Their massive costume drama “The Last Duel,” directed by Ridley Scott, is out in theaters on Friday, Oct. 15. And sure, the blokes additionally star in it, and it’s all about knights: The ’90s actually are cool once more (assume: “Braveheart,” “First Knight,” “DragonHeart,” “Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves”).

It’s been 24 years since Matt Damon, 51, and Ben Affleck, 49, collaborated on a screenplay, and it went fairly properly the primary time. “Good Will Hunting” made them the youngest-ever winners of an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay, and launched their A-list careers. But irrespective of how well-known they get, their friendship nonetheless appears to be the factor that defines them. Why does the Matt-and-Ben bromance hold us watching? 

They received well-known collectively

In an trade rife with narcissists and divas, Damon and Affleck’s careers ascended on the identical velocity, and they’ve all the time had one another’s backs. They met in Massachusetts when Damon was 10 and Affleck was 8, and went on to audition for a similar movies as teenagers. After taking part in extras in 1989’s “Field of Dreams,” they received talking components in 1992’s “School Ties.” Then in 1997, they hit a grand slam with “Good Will Hunting,” giddily winning an Academy Award. From then on, they’ve reigned as one of many trade’s most enduring platonic partnerships.

Matt Damon and Ben Affleck holding up their Oscars.
Matt Damon (left) and Ben Affleck received Best Original Screenplay for “Good Will Hunting” on the 1998 Oscars.
Courtesy Everett Collection

They’re genuinely proficient

To paraphrase “Good Will Hunting,” these boys are depraved smaht, versatile actors. While there have been duds for every — assume Damon’s “We Bought a Zoo,” or Affleck in “Pearl Harbor” — each have made extra good selections than unhealthy. Damon’s had 4 extra Oscar nominations, and for Affleck, one win for 2012’s “Argo.” The 1999 comedy “Dogma,” which re-teamed the chums in a Kevin Smith film, didn’t get any awards, but it surely’s presumably one of the best cinematic showcase of the 2 having the time of their lives.

Matt Damon and Ben Affleck in "Dogma."
The duo clearly had enjoyable on the set of Kevin Smith’s 1999 comedy “Dogma.”
©Miramax/courtesy Everett / Eve

They make enjoyable of themselves — and one another

Credit discuss present host Jimmy Kimmel for locating one of the best operating gag to indicate off Damon and Affleck’s humorousness. Kimmel and Damon have a long-standing fake rivalry, which led to Kimmel’s then-girlfriend Sarah Silverman (*24*), “I’m F – – king Matt Damon,” on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” Kimmel’s “I’m F – – king Ben Affleck” adopted, with Affleck showing in a goofily romantic skit to go together with it. In one other look on the present, Affleck tried to sneak Damon onto the set in his coat.

Matt and Ben fortunately roast one another each time attainable. After Damon made a public remark in 2004 suggesting actors shouldn’t all the time do blockbusters, Affleck appeared on “Weekend Update” to snark again, “I can’t seem to recall which Chekhov play ‘The Bourne Supremacy’ was based on.” 

Matt Damon in "The Last Duel."
Damon performs Sir Jean de Carrouges in “The Last Duel.”
©twentieth Century Studios/Courtesy

One of them is often screwing up

There’s a concept that when Matt Damon’s fortunes are up, Affleck’s are down, and vice versa. The universe, apparently, can’t enable each to thrive on the identical time. For years, Affleck made the large missteps, from brainless blockbusters to a very showy relationship with Jennifer Lopez, with whom he has recently rekindled his romance. He appears unable to simply accept he’s higher behind the digicam (directing “Gone Baby Gone,” “The Town” and “Argo”) than in entrance of it. Affleck additionally landed in rehab a number of instances, and has credited Damon with serving to him by way of it.

Damon’s made fewer however extra sobering blunders. In 2015, throughout a season of “Project Greenlight,” Damon was captured on video talking over a black woman who questioned the dearth of range in a venture. That identical 12 months, he got here underneath hearth for a remark suggesting gay actors should keep their orientation quiet. Recently, Damon appeared to admit he had been using a gay slur till earlier this 12 months, when his daughter lectured him about it.

Matt Damon and Ben Affleck attend a game in the Red Sox/Dodgers World Series in 2018.
Matt Damon and Ben Affleck attend a sport within the Red Sox/Dodgers World Series in 2018.
Getty Images
Ben Affleck and Matt Damon arrives to the Los Angeles Premiere of "The Bourne Ultimatum" at the Arclight Theater on July 25, 2007
Ben Affleck and Matt Damon on the Los Angeles Premiere of “The Bourne Ultimatum” on the Arclight Theater on July 25, 2007.
Ben Affleck in "The Last Duel"
In their new movie, directed by Ridley Scott, Affleck performs Pierre d’Alençon.
©twentieth Century Studios/Courtesy

They are — have been? — actually good writers

“Good Will Hunting” has its share of dumb homophobic jokes, and its remedy of Minnie Driver’s character is pretty shoddy. But it holds up as a bit of tight screenwriting. Can they pull it off once more? Wisely, the pair enlisted writer-director Nicole Holofcener to put in writing the female-perspective part of “The Last Duel.” Early evaluations have been blended, with The Post’s Johnny Oleksinski weighing in as not impressed. But even when they haven’t captured lightning in a bottle twice — and even when the movie edited out a kiss between the 2 — it’s truthful to say the Matt-and-Ben present isn’t over by an extended shot. 

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