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Matt Damon Nearly Had His First Onscreen Kiss With Ben Affleck In The Last Duel

Still of Matt Damon in The Last Duel
(Image credit: 20th Century Studios)

The latest film from the talented duo that brought us Good Will Hunting is steadily approaching for the world to see, and apparently Matt Damon and Ben Affleck were almost closer than ever before on screen in their upcoming The Last Duel. Affleck, who appears in the film opposite his writing buddy, opens up about how he nearly had an on-the-mouth kiss with Damon in The Last Duel, which would have been the pair’s first in the 30 years they have been acting together.

You’d be pretty hard pressed to find two people in Hollywood that are closer than Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, the two openly referring to each other as brothers. Despite that closeness, they’ve never shared a kiss on screen, a fact that was almost rectified in The Last Duel. In an interview with ET, Affleck explains that in the original story, on-the-mouth kisses were customary in certain situations and he and Damon wrote their script to stay true to that. Here is what the actor/writer/producer says on the subject:

In the original actual version of that scene -- the way that ceremony actually took place was that you kissed everybody on the mouth. And we had that in the script.

The Last Duel takes place in medieval times, when cultural acts were much different than what they are now, and would have been the perfect opportunity for fans witnessing what would be the besties' first kiss on screen. Matt Damon confirms this in the same interview, saying:

That would've been our first on screen kiss

Unfortunately, this kiss the two wrote in the script didn't make it into the film. Apparently director Ridley Scott didn't want the kiss to take away from the importance of the scene. Ben Affleck, after jokingly saying he and Matt Damon will have to find another film to plant one on each other, explains why they went with Scott's advice on the kissing matter. As Affleck put it,

Ridley thought it would be distracting, and his instincts are pretty good.

The cut kiss between Matt Damon and Ben Affleck would have been a type of power play or show of respect, as Affleck’s character out ranks that of Damon’s. Ridley Scott’s decision to change the gesture to a bow probably doesn’t change the meaning very much at all, but would most definitely get a more mild reaction from those viewing the film, even though fans are used to seeing Affleck and Damon working closely together at this point.

The fact that Matt Damon and Ben Affleck started out in Hollywood together and have found immense success both together and separately is pretty incredible, the two mostly parting ways professionally following their Oscar win for Good Will Hunting. The Last Duel marks a pretty huge reunion for the two in the sense that it’s their first writing project together in over 20 years, and this time they’ve got some massive Hollywood careers to back them up.

Even though fans may be missing out on that on screen kiss, they’ve certainly got some major Game of Thrones action coming their way with The Last Duel. Fans of Matt Damon and Ben Affleck will be able to catch The Last Duel this Friday, October 15th as it releases exclusively to theaters. 

Carlie Hoke
Carlie Hoke

Constantly thinking about books, coffee, and the existential dread I feel from Bo Burnham’s Inside.  While writing I’m also raising a chaotic toddler, who may or may not have picked up personality traits from watching one too many episodes of Trailer Park Boys.