Ben Affleck has joked that directing his latest film Argo was easy because he hardly had to tell anyone what to do.
The Hollywood star acts and directs the hostage thriller, chronicling a joint effort by the CIA and the Canadian government to rescue six Americans from Tehran after the Iranian US embassy was taken over by Islamist militants in 1978. The CIA agents entered the country under the pretence they were shooting a movie there.
Ben said: "The truth is that it's a lot easier to be directing when you don't have to deal with the actors at all. Everybody knew what they were doing, they often came up with ideas which were much more interesting than mine.
"The only time I talked to anybody was if there was a problem, and that was mostly because we had a lot of Persian actors who'd never done it before. But these guys all just came in and made the job feel really easy - and I kept thinking, 'I'm going to get credit for this!'."
The modest star - who has won critical acclaim and award nominations for his first two directing efforts, Gone Baby Gone and The Town - gave all the credit for his latest film to the script and the cast.
He said: "If I got lucky on the first two - this was the lottery!
"[Multi-Oscar winning director John Ford] said directing was 90 per cent casting... and in that sense you totally rely on actors. And I got a great script that I thought actors would respond to because it was smart, and I got very, very lucky."