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 411mania » Movies » Columns

411mania Interviews: Ben Affleck Talks Game of Thrones, More
Posted by Al Norton on 05.22.2014

 photo f49b9c3b-f2df-4cc3-8fbe-d8d3422bb6c2_zps2836c787.jpg

Ben Affleck is an Oscar winning actor, writer, producer, and director who films have grossed almost $3 billion in worldwide box office. His newest movie Gone Girl opens in theaters in October.

Al Norton: I assume you don't lack for opportunities to produce TV projects, but in the last year or so there's been a clear increase in your interest in the small screen; what's driving that and what's your selection process for these projects?

Ben Affleck: Well, the chance to do Project Greenlight came up again this year because of the rights resurfacing and we thought it was a great opportunity to use the incredible advancements in technology (both in size and price of camera as well as ubiquity of editing systems) as well as people's increased comfort with sharing video to see if we could cast a wider net and find a great, undiscovered, director.

I have a few pilots this year. Our Tom Papa show didn't get picked up but I believe in him a lot and I think we will see something else from him soon. One of the great things about television now is there are so many outlets and platforms—not to mention the web. It's an exciting time.

I have an animated show in the works at Fox, so we'll see…

Al Norton: How will your time in the industry since it last aired inform what we see in the new season of Project Greenlight?

Ben Affleck: The show will have the same spirit as the last one; giving someone with talent but no access a chance to be a filmmaker but we hope technological advancements will make it a more robust contest experience and we believe the documentary will also benefit from this.

Al Norton: Several of these TV projects have Matt Damon's involvement as a common denominator; how much of the appeal of these is working with him and how has your professional relationship changed over the years in terms of who plays what roles in getting things off the ground/bringing the other in?

Ben Affleck: A big part of this is Matt and I finding ways to work together. We've always believed that our partnership was more than the sum of its parts so it's always exciting to find something to collaborate on. Plus he lives down the street from me so it's easier to get together and work on this stuff.

Al Norton: You were on a TV show - Against the Grain - pretty early in your career; what did you learn from the experience of being a series regular that helped you going forward?

Ben Affleck: Mostly what I learned is that it's next to impossible to produce an hour of television in six, seven or eight days—and I developed an enormous respect for those who can do it well. The Americans is a great example of that. I think it is easily one of the best shows on TV and they have to jam through every episode because they don't have much time.

Al Norton: Knowing what you know now about the entertainment industry and life in general, if you could go back in time to 1995, what advice would you give yourself?

Ben Affleck: Buy google.

Al Norton: David Fincher, who directed you in Gone Girl, has a reputation for being one of the best and also most demanding directors in Hollywood; what was your experience like working with him and what will you take with you the next time you get behind the camera?

Ben Affleck: David is a masterful director. Working with him was instructive and inspirational—and I feel like we came away friends, which is not something you can say every time you work with someone. It was an honor.

Al Norton: We talked before about your love of Game of Thrones; what do you think of the current season and what else are you watching these days?

Ben Affleck: Game of Thrones is only getting better. The show is astounding. True Detective blew me away. Cary Fukunaga is one of the best directors working in any medium. He is astonishing. The Americans is my other favorite right now. The leads are amazing, the writing is good, the concept is original, the supporting cast is great and the show continues to surprise. I find myself counting time between Wednesday and Sunday.


To stay up-to-date on the world of television, read Two Tivos To Paradise on 411Mania.com every Friday and visit Al Norton's Two Tivos To Paradise on Facebook.


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