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Matt Damon and Ben Affleck had to relive Dead Poets Society snub every day

Cover Media logo Cover Media 16/5/2021
Jason Bourne holding a sign posing for the camera: Ben Affleck © Provided by Cover Media Ben Affleck

Matt Damon and Ben Affleck were constantly reminded of their failure to land roles in Dead Poets Society after having to work at a theatre screening the 1989 drama.

Ocean's Eleven star Damon didn't reveal which roles the young actors missed out on in the classic Robin Williams film, but it was a rough summer for the childhood pals when the movie was initially released.

"Ben and I both got really close on Dead Poets Society back in the '80s and it's a great example of this business and the feast and famine nature of it," he explained on U.S. breakfast show Today, "because we got close, didn't get it, and ended up working in the movie theatre in Cambridge, (Massachusetts), where we grew up.

"The only movie that the theatre played that summer was Dead Poets Society, so Ben and I literally sold tickets, tore tickets, were the ushers, sold popcorn, and cleaned up after everybody and watched them walk out crying every night because Dead Poets Society was so great."

And although Damon and Affleck were sore about losing out on the gig, Matt's convinced it was for the best.

He explained, "It's a great movie... but I don't know if we would have written Good Will Hunting if we were in Dead Poets Society, so we ended up doing our own movie with Robin Williams and that worked out pretty well, so you never know!"

The actors wrote and starred in the 1997 drama, alongside Williams, and it was nominated for nine Oscars - with the late funnyman winning the Best Supporting Actor prize and Affleck and Damon bagging Best Original Screenplay for their script.

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