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Voting Argo for Best Picture? Upset Ben Affleck wasn’t nominated for Best Director? The latter was a surprise to many people, especially since Argo has seven nominations. Affleck, however, has been handling award season with grace and winning just about every award for Best Director so far, including the BAFTA, the Golden Globe, the Critics Choice and the Director’s Guild. It also won Best Picture at the Globes, Critics Circle, Producer’s Guild and the Screen Actor’s Guild’s Best Ensemble award. According to the The Hollywood Reporter, “No film ever has been awarded the top prizes of all of the aforementioned groups”. Soon after the Oscar® nominations came out, Affleck was quick to tell reporters, he’s happy just to have Argo recognized in other categories.
I don’t get into worrying too much about who got what and who didn’t get what…I just feel so incredibly honored to be nominated as a producer for this movie, to be here for the big party. It’s tremendous.
Even if Affleck doesn’t win this Sunday, his shelf still showcases a Best Screenplay golden statue for his Good Will Hunting win, which he shares with Matt Damon. It was 1998 and Good Will received nine Oscar® nominations. Newcomers Affleck and Damon quickly became the talk of the town. The Wrap’s writer, Steve Pond was at this particular Oscar® rehearsal 15 years ago and recalls some of the highlights.
The two young nominees came to the Shrine with the wide-eyed wonder that first-time presenters often showed. When Affleck’s mother asked if she could take pictures inside the auditorium, the show’s publicist went to its security chief, who rescinded the usual ban just for Mrs. Affleck.
Affleck: We went in there and they had the little cardboard cutouts of the actors in the seats they were going to sit in, and we just kept taking pictures, we couldn’t believe they let us in. We took pictures with the cutouts of James Cameron, Kim Basinger, Jack Nicholson …
Many of the staffers kids were at the rehearsal and an 11-year-old boy came up to Affleck and Damon and said, “Kick Titanic’s Ass”. Affleck hugged him and replied, “You’re gonna go far in this life, kid, you speak your mind.”
Good Will did not beat out Titanic for Best Picture but had perhaps, the most memorable moment of the night when they accepted their Best Screenplay award. On stage and for the world to hear, Affleck announced, “I just said to Matt, ‘Losing would suck and winning would be really scary…and it’s really, really scary.”
Affleck: It was so new, and so incredible, it was such a dream come true in the purest sense, and such a thrill—not just the award, but every little stop along the way. We had no idea what we were doing, but it was a great, thrilling time.
Watch their energized acceptance speech. It’s quite the inspiration for young writers and filmmakers to keep pursuing their dreams.
15 years later, do you think we’ll be hearing another acceptance speech from Affleck this Sunday? Let us know your picks and remember to enter our Oscar® Ballot Challenge now and make sure to watch The Oscars®, this Sunday, February 24 7e/4p on ABC.
Good Will Hunting is available on DVD, Amazon Instant Video and Digital Download. The Good Will Hunting 15th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray, featuring 90-minutes of new special features, including retrospective interviews with cast & crew is now available.