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How Ben Affleck helped Matt Damon adjust to fame

Stardom shook Matt Damon – but long-time pal Ben Affleck was there to help.

Stardom shook Matt Damon – but long-time pal Ben Affleck was there to help.
Christopher PolkGetty

Matt Damon never saw himself becoming famous, and when he did skyrocket to fame, he didn’t know how to deal with it — until his long-time friend and business partner Ben Affleck helped him out.

Damon and Affleck just released their latest film, ‘Air’, which is a biopic that follows the Nike Air Jordan brand taking off alongside NBA superstar Michael Jordan. The movie was produced through the pair’s production house, Artists Equity.

Life changes after fame

Following the release of the award-winning ‘Good Will Hunting’ in 1997, Damon had to face the fact that his life would be forever changed. Though he struggled with it, he leaned on his pal Affleck, and says that the challenge would have been “unimaginably harder” without his friend.

“[The friendship means] everything to me,” the 52-year-old actor said about his friend in an interview with People magazine. “The shock of becoming famous…that messed me up for a couple years.”

“It’s been really helpful to check in with Ben throughout this whole surreal process over the last 25 years. Because the whole world just starts to treat you differently. And so your subjective experience changes. It’s like somebody rewrites your code in the Matrix, but just your code.”

“It’s like, ‘Oh, my whole experience has been altered in this really overwhelming way.’ And so to have somebody who I’ve known my whole life who I can be like, ‘Hey man, is this happening to you? Are you…?’ And to check in with him, it was really, really helpful. Stabilizing.”

Matt Damon and Ben Affleck’s long friendship

Damon and Affleck have been friends since childhood, growing up in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Damon was 10 years old, and Affleck two years his junior, but Affleck was the one to defend Damon in the schoolyard.

“I remember that was like a big moment,” Damon has previously commented on the time Affleck saved Damon from the school bully. “He will put himself in a really bad spot for me. This is a good friend.”

When the boys grew into teenagers, with a love of baseball and acting, they traveled to New York to pursue their acting careers.

In a previous interview, Affleck said that however they got there, they always managed to get to auditions together.

“We’d take the train,” Affleck said. “Or sometimes we’d even take the airplane, back when there was the Eastern Shuttle or People’s Express.”

“It cost like $20 to fly and you could smoke on the plane,” Affleck continued. “We were smoking like idiots because we thought we were really supposed to be grown-ups. It was pitiful.”


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