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They wrote and starred in Good Will Hunting together and have known each other for decades but Matt Damon would rather not flaunt his friendship with Ben Affleck. The Stillwater star said in a recent interview he prefers not to be Affleck’s “friend in public.” 

Matt Damon and Ben Affleck have been friends since childhood

Damon and Affleck go way back. They’re one of the most well-known celebrity friendships after rising to fame in the late ‘90s as the Oscar-winning stars of Good Will Hunting. But they didn’t meet while they were trying to make it in Hollywood. They met as kids having grown up down the street from each other in Massachusetts. 

Their friendship has endured through the years. Damon and Affleck have worked together on occasion and, for many, they are the epitome best friend goals

Matt Damon’s friendship with Ben Affleck is ‘way too important’ to be friends ‘in public’

Matt Damon and Ben Affleck looking at cameras at event
Matt Damon and Ben Affleck | Jerod Harris/WireImage

Damon opened up about just how important his friendship with Affleck is in an October 2021 GQ cover interview. The Bourne star said their friendship is way bigger than being friends in public.  

“Like, I don’t want to be his friend in public, you know what I mean?” Damon said. “It’s way too important a friendship for that, and it goes so beyond this career or anything. You know, it’s a significant part of my life and not for public consumption in that way.”

So that’s probably why Damon and Affleck aren’t often seen together publicly aside from awards shows and movie premieres. 

Ben Affleck defending Matt Damon in a fight marked a ‘big moment’ in their friendship


Ben Affleck Once Shared the ‘Whole Reason’ He Did ‘Good Will Hunting’ With Matt Damon

Damon shared the moment he realized Affleck was a “good friend” of his in a 2019 interview with Conan O’Brien. He recalled a fight breaking out when he and Affleck were playing football as kids. 

“Before I knew it, I was on the ground. He was above me, and I was like ‘This is going to be bad.’ And it was right then that little 5’2” Ben Affleck tackled this dude off of me out of nowhere,” Damon recalled. “I was a junior, and he was a freshman. And he tackled this kid off of me literally at the risk of his own life. And really quickly then everyone broke it up.” 

Damon continued, saying it was a “big moment” for him. “I remember that was a big moment, going like ‘This guy will put himself in a really bad spot for me. This is a good friend.’”

Expect to see Damon and Affleck not in public but on screen in Ridley Scott’s historical drama The Last Duel. Not only does the duo star in the film but they also co-wrote the screenplay with screenwriter Nicole Holofcener. The Last Duel, which premieres on Oct. 15, 2021, features a star-studded cast including Adam Driver, Killing Eve’s Jodie Comer, and, of course, Affleck and Damon.