Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 28 January 2015

Damon charts Affleck's career path

Ben Affleck has joked that he should pay Matt Damon as his publicist
Ben Affleck has joked that he should pay Matt Damon as his publicist

Matt Damon has heaped praise on Ben Affleck - comparing his friend to screen legend Clint Eastwood.

Ben is at the Toronto International Film Festival with The Town, a genre-bending bank heist thriller that he directs and stars in, delivering what Matt called the "best performance I've seen in a long time".

Matt, who shared a screenplay Academy Award with Ben for Good Will Hunting, said: "This one is really, I think, the one where people are just going to remember who he is and let all of the other stuff go. He's just a monumentally talented guy. In a lot of ways, I always think of Clint, because Clint was doing orangutan movies, and people weren't taking him as seriously. And look at the second half of his career. He's an icon. And I really feel like that's the kind of career Ben's going to have."

Critics knocked Ben's performances in the likes of The Sum Of All Fears, Paycheck and Gigli but he earned a Golden Globe nomination with Hollywoodland, which the star followed with his acclaimed directing debut on Gone Baby Gone.

"Who needs a publicist when you've got a friend like Matt?" Ben joked after hearing of Matt's praise. "I've got to pay this guy."

Matt has starred in two films directed by Clint, last year's Invictus and the upcoming Hereafter.

Set around Ben's home town of Boston, The Town is based on a novel by Chuck Hogan. Ben, who co-wrote the screenplay, plays Doug MacRay, the leader of a daring band of bank robbers, who falls for a bank manager (Rebecca Hall) the gang takes hostage on their latest job.

The film co-stars Jeremy Renner, Mad Men star Jon Hamm, and Oscar winner Chris Cooper.

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