Watch: Matt Damon and Ben Affleck explain why they hadn’t written together since ‘Good Will Hunting’

“I think that kind of put us off writing again."


It’s hard to believe that it had been 25 years since lifetime Cambridge pals Matt Damon and Ben Affleck collaborated on a screenplay, given the Oscar-winning success of 1997’s “Good Will Hunting.” But according to Damon, it wasn’t because the experience soured the duo on working together.

“We were like unemployed broke guys. It took us forever to write that screenplay,” Damon told Jimmy Fallon on Wednesday night’s episode of “The Tonight Show,” where the pair appeared with Nicole Holofcener, with whom they wrote their new movie, “The Last Duel.” “I think that kind of put us off writing again because we never thought we’d have the time.”


But bringing in Holofcener to prod them along helped expedite the process this time around, according to Damon — “I was like, ‘Come on boys,'” she told Fallon, snapping her fingers. And beyond that, Damon said he and Affleck have learned a lot during their journey from movie newbies to Hollywood royalty. “I think we found writing this that we actually kind of picked up structure over the last 25 years of kind of making movies, and so it went a lot faster then.”

As for “Good Will Hunting” — which has become something of the definitive Boston movie, not to mention a fertile meme source — Affleck says it really was meant to be more of an “acting reel” to secure the pair future parts.

“The whole thing was have a reel and show casting directors, and so we’ll write these parts for ourselves,” Affleck told Fallon. “I think we were shocked that it even got released.”

Fallon also dug out some embarrassing old photos of the duo — “That’s BFFs for life,” Fallon enthused — prompting Damon to declare sarcastically that “those guys clearly have ‘star’ written all over them.”

Check out highlights from Damon and Affleck’s appearance below.


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