A long time ago, Ben Affleck and his BFF Matt Damon were just two kids from Boston looking to become household names. Fast forward about ten years, and we’ve got two Hollywood superstars looking to make names of those they cast in their films. Such is the case of Ben Affleck and Blake Lively – Affleck, who directed Blake’s upcoming film The Town, raves to Esquire about the blonde glamazon.
Ben showers Blake with praise: “The whole movie kind of hinges in a lot of ways on her performance, and I knew it was going to be the hardest part to cast. This girl came in, and no one had said to me beforehand, ‘Hey, look for this person.’ And obviously she was really attractive, and so I thought, Oh, here comes some blond girl. She came in, did one reading, and just crushed it. Like, Boston accent — really good. I was sort of stunned. I said, ‘Jeez, you know, that was really f—ing good. Who are you?’ She didn’t mention that she was on a television show.”
“I just said, ‘Look, there’s no alternative. I don’t have a second choice [in casting this role].’ …I want to be on the record because I think she’s really going to blow up, and I want to look like the smart guy. I didn’t quite discover her, but at least I want to say I bought the stock when it wasn’t $500 a share.”
Says The Town costar and Mad Men star Jon Hamm of Blake: “She’s a very self-confident person. And I think a big part of that comes from being on a TV show and getting that experience of acting every day. It’s a long slog. You realize, ‘Okay, I’m either going to be professional and diligent about this, or I’m just going to use this as a stepping stone to something else,’ and I think she’s chosen wisely in that respect. I’m certainly not the ultimate marker of what is a good actor and what is a bad actor, but I know what I’m up against and what I’m acting with, and she was fantastic. She’s in it to win it.”
On her career: “I surround myself with people I trust, but ultimately it’s my gut. That’s what I trust. Because I could be swayed any which way — I’m not saying I’m a person who can be swayed easily, but one can be swayed any which way. People will talk to me and something that I’m against at first will then seem like a good idea, but I always end up saying no to that thing, because — It’s like when you do SAT questions. Go with your first choice. It’s been proven that your first choice is often the right one. It’s like 56 percent of kids — your first instinct, if you don’t know the answer to something, that’s the right one.”
On the intensity of her scenes in the flim: “Every scene that I had was a heavy scene,” she says. “I mean the scenes were — I hate to sound dramatic, but they were cataclysmic. I’m screaming, I’m crying, I’m fighting, I’m on drugs, I’m in the hospital. They were all very, very rough. Rough to perform, rough to watch or to experience. But they were rewarding, because you feel like, wow, I can do that. I did that.”