Before they shared movie screens together, Ben Affleck and Matt Damon shared a bank account.
The Oscar-winning duo have been friends since high school, where they both aspired to make it in Hollywood. On Wednesday’s episode of “The Bill Simmons Podcast” the pair explained that opening a checking account together as teenagers in the late 1980s was a way to help them chase their goals.
“It was unusual, but we needed the money for auditions,” Damon said, calling it “a weird thing in retrospect.”
Affleck said that because they were best friends trying to make it as actors, they were rooting for each other’s success and felt comfortable sharing their money.
“We were going to help each other and be there for each other,” Affleck said. “It was like, ‘You’re not going to be alone. I’m not going to be alone. Let’s go out there and do this together.'”
Over the years the account would be funded whenever Damon or Affleck, who were also roommates, booked a role — with some being bigger than others.
“As long as one of us had money we knew the power wasn’t going to get shut off,” Damon said. “After doing [1992’s] ‘Geronimo’ I probably had 35 grand in the bank. I was like ‘we’re good for a year.'”
But the actors didn’t allow themselves to dip into the checking account for whatever they wanted. Instead, there were rules about how the young actors were allowed to use the funds.
“You were allowed to go to [auditions in] New York with the money. You were allowed to take out $10 and get quarters and go to [the arcade] and play video games,” Damon said. “Eventually we were allowed to try to buy beer, which never f—ing worked.”
Thirty years later, the bank where they had their account has since shuttered, but Damon and Affleck are still working together, most recently on the Affleck-directed film “Air.”
“I love working with this guy. I love hanging out with him,” Affleck said. “If you can work with great people, who are good people too, it’s so much more rewarding personally and professionally.”
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