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Matt Damon And Ben Affleck Joke About Why George Clooney Hired Him Instead Of His Ocean’s Eleven Co-Star

Matt Damon, George Clooney and Brad Pitt in Ocean's Eleven
(Image credit: Warner Bros)

Matt Damon and Ben Affleck have been a legendary Hollywood friendship ever since the pair teamed up to make Good Will Hunting back in 1997. Since landing on the map for the award-winning movie, the actors have each carved out their own impressive careers over the years. Still, as you can imagine, there is some friendly competition, especially when it comes to their mutual collaborator, George Clooney, whom Damon starred alongside in Ocean's Eleven

Ben Affleck recently worked with George Clooney for the latter’s latest directorial project, The Tender Bar. In the drama, Affleck plays a character named Uncle Charlie, who forms a relationship with a young boy living in Long Island. Matt Damon recently told Entertainment Weekly that he had his eye on the film too while speaking with Ben Affleck about the role. In Damon’s words: 

I guess I first became aware of [The Tender Bar] when you called me very excited that you read a great script that Bill Monahan wrote and George [Clooney] offered you a job. I promptly called George and he said that it was because you were cheaper than me. But as the month went on, I started to wonder if he was telling me the entire truth.

Ben Affleck and Matt Damon have a close relationship to this day, and had a phone call conversation when Affleck nabbed The Tender Bar role. Damon was excited for him, but proceeded to call his Ocean’s Eleven collaborator to ask why he wasn’t the one to get the call. Affleck responded: 

He told me that you argued too much. ‘I got tired of dealing with Damon’s bullshit. You’re gonna do what I tell you, right?’

It’s a fun exchange between two talented actors about another talented actor/director they’ve both had the honor to work with over the years. Matt Damon and George Clooney were co-stars in all three Ocean’s movies, but the pair have also worked together on 2002’s Confessions of a Dangerous Mind and 2014’s The Monuments Men, both of which Clooney starred and directed in. Damon and Clooney also re-teamed on 2017’s Suburbicon, though Clooney didn't appear on camera in that one.

Alternatively, The Tender Bar is the only movie George Clooney has directed to include Ben Affleck. It was about time, don’t you think? But considering Matt Damon’s longtime working relationship, you can imagine why he might wonder he wasn’t in the conversation. Damon and Affleck clearly have developed a lightness about the whole thing. Can you imagine how many projects they’ve both been considered for or been jealous of the other for? 

Ben Affleck and Matt Damon recently wrote and starred in their first movie together since Good Will Hunting, The Last Duel, which was directed by Ridley Scott. We’d guess these two are far from over yet – maybe next time we’ll get an Affleck, Clooney and Damon movie! 

Sarah El-Mahmoud

YA genre tribute. Horror May Queen. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.