They hit the A-list together in 1997 when they won the Best Original Screenplay Oscar for "Good Will Hunting," but Matt Damon and Ben Affleck are rarely photographed together these days. So it was a surprise to see Hollywood's most famous BFFs act so chummy at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival on Friday.
Affleck, who directs and stars in the fest film "Argo," rested his hand on Damon's shoulder as the duo posed on the red carpet for the premiere at Roy Thomson Hall. Damon, who isn't promoting any films at TIFF and simultaneously appeared in a pre-taped message as part of Friday's star-studded "Stand Up to Cancer" telethon, also showed up with wife Luciana Barroso at the post-premiere party, where Affleck celebrated with his better half, Jennifer Garner.
And he has much to celebrate, considering the Oscar buzz surrounding his new film. Dubbed "a feel-good suspense film" by The Wrap, "Argo" revolves around six American diplomats who were smuggled out of Iran during the 1980 hostage crisis by disguising them as a Canadian film crew. (In Toronto on Friday, Affleck expressed surprise that Canada had shut down its embassy in Iran).
"Argo" premiered to rave reviews at the Telluride Film Festival last month, and its favourable reception at TIFF means that the film will likely land at least a few Oscar nominations in 2013.
Despite how rarely he is photographed with Damon, Affleck would no doubt celebrate a nomination with his old friend. The last time the famous duo was photographed together was in January 2011, when they were caught having an animated conversation during the 16th annual Critics' Choice Movie Awards and they remain good friends out of the spotlight.
Just this week, it was reported that the childhood friends who grew up together in Massachusetts became neighbours once again when Matt Damon reportedly moved from New York to Affleck's gated community in Los Angeles. In July, Garner was photographed taking her kids to a pool party at Damon's place.
Last year in an interview with GQ, Damon called Affleck his "hetero life-mate," and the two still work together at their joint production company, Pearl Street Films. In fact, they are currently developing a biopic about Irish mobster James "Whitey" Bulger, in which Damon will star and Affleck will direct. This will be the first time they have teamed up on a film together since they took Hollywood by storm 15 years ago with their critical and commercial hit, "Good Will Hunting."
Ben Affleck's film "Argo" is set for wide release on Oct. 12, 2012.