“Air”: Matt Damon and Ben Affleck’s filmmaking jump shot

From the sounds of it, Ben Affleck and Matt Damon are in a good place these days. They’ve known each other for forty years, and now they’re working together again. To hear them explain it, they never had a better time. “That was one of the things we wanted to do,” Affleck said, “the idea of, like, why don’t we hang out and spend more time together, because we’ve been able to be friends this whole time. ?”

“Besides, we hit our 50s,” Damon said. “I mean, you can see the end of the tunnel!”

Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, stars of “Air.”

CBS News

Affleck said, “I think the most amazing thing about it is that I loved coming to work every day. I love watching Matt. First of all, he’s a genius. He loves your movie. By having it as an anchor …”

“See?” Damon laughed. “It took you forty years to…?”

“No, I didn’t think so!” Affleck laughed. “But it makes it so easy. And it was so much fun — I don’t know. It just felt like us and doing what we wanted to do. I did it. I loved it. I loved it. It was. I miss it every day since then. It was the best work experience of my life, without question.”

That experience is the movie “Air,” which debuts in theaters only on April 5. It tells the story of Nike and how, in 1984, they built an entire shoe brand around an NBA rookie they thought would become a household name: Michael Jordan.

In the film, Affleck (who also directed the film) plays Nike founder Phil Knight. Damon is Sonny Vaccaro, the Nike executive who tries to sell him on the idea.

Vaccaro: “I mean, if you look at it, if you really look at Jordan like I did, you’ll see exactly what I see.”
Knight: “Which one?”
Vaccaro: “The most competitive man I’ve ever met. He’s a killer.”

Click the video player below to watch the trailer for “Air”:

AIR | The official trailer by the

Now we know it turned out to be a killer deal for everyone involved: Jordan Brand is still flying off the shelves, with over $5 billion in sales last year alone.

The film isn’t a biopic, but Affleck made sure everyone looked as close to the real thing as possible, especially Damon, who mused, “My favorite thing about Ben is when I finally When I went to work with him, he made me wear a thick suit.”

And according to Affleck, Michael Jordan himself made some suggestions: “A lot of things — I’m not sure I’m at liberty to share, like, everybody. But what I will tell you is that he Said, ‘Viola Davis is going to be my mother.’

“Which is like picking Michael Jordan for your basketball team,” Damon added.

Davis was actually cast as Delores Jordan, Michael’s mother. Chris Tucker plays, and helps write, the part of someone he knows personally: Nike VP Howard White. Affleck said, “I called Chris Tucker, who I always thought was a genius and wanted to work with him. And he was like, ‘I know Howard White.’ ‘ I said, ‘You know Howard White?’ Later it turns out Chris Tucker knows. Everybody!

One person we rarely see is the actor who plays Jordan. When asked why, Affleck said, the reason was clear: “It’s a movie about an icon, about someone who means so much, that the moment you know, I show you somebody and tell you, like, ‘Hey, that’s Michael Jordan, you just go, ‘No, that’s not it. I know what Michael Jordan is, I know what he is. .’

“And not only that, the only actor who played Michael Jordan was a little too old to play the role, and we probably couldn’t afford it! But the idea was, like, if I show you somebody Yeah, so you know that’s not Michael. Jordan, and now everything else is fake,” Affleck said.

So, the final result feels Genuine and as always, it was a team effort.

Ben Affleck and Matt Damon met as kids in Cambridge, Massachusetts and clicked from the start, chasing the same Hollywood dream.

You probably didn’t catch them as extras in the crowd at Fenway Park in Boston in 1989’s “Field of Dreams.” But you may have caught them in “Goodwill Hunting,” for which the duo won an Oscar for original screenplay. Whether he produced them or not, he launched them into the Hollywood stratosphere.

Actors Matt Damon, left, and Ben Affleck, right, pose with Robin Williams with the Oscar he won for “Good Will Hunting” at the 70th Annual Academy Awards on March 23, 1998 in Los Angeles. Damon and Affleck won Best Original Screenplay. Williams won Best Supporting Actor.

HAL GARB/AFP/Getty Images

“What did he do to you guys to win this young man over?” Smith asked.

“I remember it wasn’t fixed, it was a couple of years, I think,” Damon replied. “It was completely surreal.”

“In March of ’98, I was 25,” Affleck said. “I look at myself now and think, ‘I still have a lot to learn.’ You know, it’s a 25-year curse, right? Think You have it all figured out.”

They seem to have it figured out. Individually, they have won everything from box office honors to Oscar gold.

Affleck said, “Honestly, one of the lessons of growing up is, it’s not all about the money, it’s not the most important thing. You spend your life chasing money, you You may end up with a lot of money, but you’ll probably miss out on a lot of things. I don’t find that the money makes a difference, as I’m happier with it. The truth. I, that’s the beautiful thing about it, was this joy worth being here every day? With my kids in Los Angeles, see them every day. Have them come on set. Work with my best friend for a lifetime. . I don’t want anything more in my life. I thought, ‘Okay, this is it. It’s what I’ve always wanted, you know?’

“And then I thought, ‘This could mean I’m going to die!'”

“I literally thought the same thing,” Damon laughed.

and now, Affleck and Damon have teamed up to form a new production company called Artist Equity.this will give the film crew a bigger slice of the financial pie.

“That’s why it’s called artist equity,” Damon said. “The idea is that we’re drawing in a group of people who aren’t traditionally there.”

“Air” is his company’s first offering, with more to come soon. “We’re just rolling with Amazon again to do the story of Anthony Robles, a wrestler who was born with one leg and won a national championship for the state of Arizona,” Affleck said. was.”

“And who’s starring in this movie?” Smith asked.

“I know where you’re going with this. But I’m going to tell you who the lead actor is…”

“There is one more Actor in this movie?”

“We always hire the best actors,” Affleck said. “And in this case, I can say that about every single person that’s ever been cast, I think. Very excellent choice.”

“You’re dancing around that Jennifer Lopez is in this movie too?”

“Yeah, I’m sure Jennifer Lopez is probably filming that. She may not feel like she’s doing it as a favor to me, but she really is.”

It seems fitting that Affleck and Damon’s new film is a story about collaboration: it’s what got them here, and what keeps them going.

Affleck said, “What fun, what a joy to do something with, look great, go to work with your wife, go to work with your best friend. Because eventually, like, your Work becomes a big part of what defines your life, in terms of the time you spend there. And if you don’t like who you’re working with, and if you don’t like the work. I have difficulty or anxiety, so I think that’s one of the things that can really lead to depression, anxiety and worry. Pain for people and vice versa. [if] You love people at work, maybe you have a great life, you know?”

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Story by John D’Amilio. Editor: Ed Gwinish.

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