‘Good Will Hunting’ Screenwriters Matt Damon and Ben Affleck Added a Fake Sex Scene That Only Harvey Weinstein Noticed
In retrospect, any studio would have loved to produce the cinematic phenomenon Good Will Hunting.
Even close to 25 years after the movie premiered, it’s still considered culturally relevant and valid in its messaging. The drama about a secret genius mathematician janitor swept the 1998 Academy Awards, scooping up 9 nominations including Best Picture. Robin Williams won for Best Supporting Actor while Ben Affleck and Matt Damon clinched the award for Best Original Screenplay.
Damon and Affleck chose Harvey Weinstein’s Miramax Studios to produce the film. But it turns out they only did because of a little trickery involving a fake sex scene.
Matt Damon wrote ‘Good Will Hunting’ while attending Harvard
The story goes that Damon came up with the script as part of a final assignment for a screenwriting class at Harvard. Originally, Castle Rock bought the rights to it, but they lost out on the opportunity to make the movie even after they helped influence the final version.
The central story was about a janitor named Will Hunting at MIT who happens to be a mathematical genius. He finds a mentor in his therapist, Dr. Sean Maguire (Williams), who urges Will to live up to his potential. But Will rebels against Sean and his friends despite his obvious intellect.
The story is memorable and emotional. It was also very special for Damon and Affleck, which is why they put any potential producers to the test.
Harvey Weinstein noticed a weird scene in the movie script
Weinstein has since become disgraced as a producer in Hollywood due to multiple allegations of sexual abuse. But back before that drama came to light, he recounted how he scored the rights to Good Will Hunting.
“Every studio wanted the movie, every studio wanted them to be in the movie and make this film,” Weinstein said during a 2105 interview with The Graham Norton Show, Huffpost reported.
[Affleck and Damon] were young kids, just really starting out, but they had some good roles behind them. They came to my office, and I read the script [before] the meeting, and we walked in and everything was pleasant, and then about 10 minutes into the meeting I said, ‘Guys, there’s just one thing on the script … I just have one really big note. About page 60, the two professors give each other oral sex and they’re on their knees and this whole big sex scene. What the hell is that? Because the guys are straight, and there’s no hint of anything like that … I don’t get that scene.’
Damon and Affleck put a fake scene in ‘Good Will Hunting’ as a trick
Weinstein’s attention to detail ultimately won him the movie rights over Castle Rock Entertainment, who had originally bought the script.
Weinstein continued, explaining how the scene was intentionally included as a test. “They go, ‘That’s the scene that we wrote to find out whether guys in your job actually read the script, because every studio executive we went to … no one brought that scene up, or maybe people thought it was a mistake or maybe nobody read it themselves.’ They said, ‘You’re the only guy that brought it up. You get the movie.’”
The movie Good Will Hunting was a critical and commercial success that still remains popular to this day. Weinstein was thrilled he took the time to read the whole script carefully.