Ben Affleck and Matt Damon have spent a long time reflecting on their careers and their friendship recently, due to the fact that Affleck has just directed Damon in sports movie Air. The duo famously won Oscars for writing the screenplay for Good Will Hunting when they were in their mid twenties. The drama movie‘s killer final line was not scripted by the pair however, but rather improvised by Robin Williams.
Damon explained to Vanity Fair; “Robin would open the door and come out and find the letter, and I was right next to [Good Will Hunting director] Gus Van Sant, next to the camera. I would say, because we wanted [Robin to act as if he was] hearing my voice, ‘Sean if the professor calls about that job, tell him I’m sorry. I had to go see about a girl.’ So I’d say that.”
Damon continued; “And what was scripted was that he just takes a moment and realises I’m gone. But in true Robin fashion, we did like 60 takes. We just left the camera rolling… and he did something different every single time. I remember when he said, ‘Son of a bitch, he stole my line,’ I grabbed Gus’s shoulders and I felt him tense up. We both knew, we were like, ‘holy shit, what a line, how did we not think of that?’”
Damon concluded; “That was great. Obviously the whole movie was leading to that line and [sarcastically] clearly we thought this whole thing out.” Affleck added; “Just like we planned it.”
In Air, Damon plays the man who pushed Nike to stretch their budget in order to nab rookie Michael Jordan for an endorsement deal, leading to the Air Jordan – the most successful sneaker of all time. Affleck has a small supporting role, but it was the first time that he’d directed his friend of 40 years and counting.
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