Matt Damon and Ben Affleck were reunited at the annual Spike Guys Choice Awards in California over the weekend, where they both accepted the “Guys Of The Decade” award.
The wooden, antlered trophy may not be one of the most coveted awards an actor can receive, but the duo had fun with their acceptance speech, making light of the bombs within their respective careers. Affleck mentioned his most recent work, Batman V Superman.
“I think it goes without saying that this is an award Matt and I have been dreaming about since we were little boys. I did Gigli and Matt did that Liberace movie and all of a sudden it all seemed out of reach. Then I did Batman v Superman and all of a sudden it was back in reach again,” Affleck joked.
The best friends have withstood quite a bit of negativity where their acting careers are concerned, becoming the subject of unflattering memes and internet discussions due to their movie choices. They both seem to be taking it in stride, however, and continue to work both together and apart on several different projects, including a new interactive series called The Runner. The concept of the series is that one contestant will travel across the U.S. to find a series of clues, which–providing they evade a group of people tasked with chasing them–will lead to a specific destination and a possible cash prize of $1 million.
Although Matt and Ben have both found success with separate projects, Damon recently told the graduating class of Massachusetts Institute of Technology that he will always hold dear the times they got to work together, especially in the early days of their careers when they went out to auditions. Those were learning experiences, Damon says, and he feels lucky to have been able to go through it with his best friend.
“For all the amazing successes I’ve been lucky to share, few things have shaped me more than the auditions Ben and I used to go on as young actors, where we’d get on a bus, show up in New York, wait our turn, cry our hearts out for a scene and then be told, ‘Okay, thanks,’ meaning game over. We used to call it, ‘Okay, thanks,’ and those experiences became our honor,” Damon said.
Matt, who played a genius working as a janitor at MIT in Good Will Hunting, told the students that they need to try and use their education in more than one way when it comes to solving the Earth’s problems, a somewhat perplexing bit of advice to a group of people graduating from technology programs. But Damon insists that some things can be solved by using out-of-the-box thinking.
“Not every problem has a high-tech solution. We can’t science the you-know-what out of every problem. You’ve got to go out and do really interesting things, important things, inventive things, because this world has problems that we need you to drop everything and solve,” Matt Damon said.
While many action stars are under constant media scrutiny and paparazzi surveillance, Damon says the photographers don’t really bother him too much anymore because he doesn’t do anything worthy of their attention. The married actor has four children and the family lives happily in L.A.
“You know, a guy who’s married happily with four kids is not quite a story. And so they’ll come back and they’ll take an occasional picture … but it’s kind of just updating the file,” Damon told the Guardian.
Damon may not think he does anything too interesting outside of the silver screen, but others disagree; he found himself in hot water last year when he made remarks about gays in Hollywood, saying he believes actors should be quiet about their sexuality because being open could hinder their bankability.
“In terms of actors, I think you’re a better actor the less people know about you period. And sexuality is a huge part of that. Whether you’re straight or gay, people shouldn’t know anything about your sexuality because that’s one of the mysteries that you should be able to play,” Damon said in an interview.
Damon later said that his words were taken out of context, and he apologized if they offended anyone.
“My comments were part of a much broader conversation about diversity in Hollywood and the fundamental nature of Project Greenlight, which did not make the show. I am sorry that they offended some people, but, at the very least, I am happy that they started a conversation about diversity in Hollywood,” Matt Damon said.
[Photo by Angela Weiss/Getty Images]