It’s Ben Affleck’s second film as a director, and the first where he’s put himself in front of the camera as well. And over the weekend The Town, a smart cops-and-robbers pic set in Boston and costarring Rebecca Hall, Jon Hamm and Jeremy Renner, opened a strong number 1 at the box office.
A few weeks before its $23.8 million weekend bow, Affleck talked about the film, and about meeting one of his idols -- another actor-turned-filmmaker by the name of Clint Eastwood. Affleck said that he was working on the Warner Bros. lot in Burbank, Calif., earlier this year doing post-production work on The Town, and…
“At Warners, if you do a movie for them, you score your movie and you mix your movie on their stages on the lot — for piracy reasons, and also just for cost. And it’s called the Eastwood Scoring Stage. So, I was in there on the stage and we were mixing and you get very tired after a while -- you’re going through it over and over again, and, then, suddenly the movie stopped, and I looked at the mixers and they were all just standing there. I was like `why is nobody doing anything?' And I looked over and there was Clint Eastwood standing in the doorway of the Eastwood Scoring Stage.”
Affleck laughs. He says he and Eastwood talked about Matt Damon, who played a South African soccer star in Eastwood’s Invictus, and who, of course, shared an Oscar with Affleck for their script of Good Will Hunting. And then he talks about Eastwood, who made his directing debut when he was 41, with The Beguiled.
“Clint is the gold standard, for sure. I think he may have directed 30 films now, and he didn’t start directing until he was older than 40,” says Affleck, 38. “And his movies just kept getting better and better. You know, life is confusing, this business is confusing, and at a certain point it’s very helpful to try to calibrate your compass and pick your north. And he’s a pretty good north…. He’s definitely one of the people that I fix my compass to, and just admire. There are others, and not all of them are actor/directors, but it’s kind of obvious, it’s not like I’m picking some obscure guy -- he’s one of the greats. I feel lucky to have met him.”