Kin you feel the love? Matt Damon & Ben Affleck do!
By Gayle Fee & Laura Raposa
November 23, 2009
NEW YORK – Cambridge cutie turned Hollywood heavy Matt Damon said he wasn’t surprised to learn that he and BFF Ben Affleck actually are related. They felt like bros from way back!
“I always felt like we were kin. He always felt like kin,” Damon told the Track after a screening in the Apple of his latest project, the History Channel documentary “The People Speak.”
As you may know, the New England Genealogical Society announced a few weeks back that they had done a study of the Damon and Affleck family trees and discovered that Matt and Ben are 10th cousins once removed. The Tinseltown titans have a common ancestor – a 10th great-grandfather, William Knowlton of Ipswich, a bricklayer who died in 1655. “I remember when I got that story on my phone, I e-mailed it to him and at the same time he was e-mailing it to me,” Damon laughed. “And then, it turns out, Ben is even related to Barack Obama!”
Affleck, the genealogical society determined, is an 11th cousin to Obama via the Hinckley family of Cape Cod. Jealous much, Matt?
Well, as it turns out, Matt is jealous of Ben, but not because of his ties to the Leader of the Free World. Matt, who is currently filming “The Adjustment Bureau,” in NYC with Emily Blunt, wishes he could work in Boston again.
Affleck has just made two back-to-back flicks in Boston: “The Company Men” with Kevin Costner and Tommy Lee Jones and “The Town” with Jon Hamm and Blake Lively, which he is directing and taking the lead role.
“I’m very jealous and I’m planning my countermeasures as we speak,” Damon declared.
Matt, one of the top leading men in Hollywood, said he’d love to try his hand at directing after seeing Ben’s success with two terrific stories – “The Town” and made-in-Boston “Gone Baby Gone.”
“I hope I’d be good at it,” he said, adding that the Massachusetts tax incentives that have lured lots of big-budget flicks to the Bay State will help make his countermeasures a reality.
“I was beside myself when we were making ‘The Departed’ that we had to shoot most of it in New York because it was actually cheaper to film here than Boston before the incentives came in,” he said. “Now that they have them, all the work’s in Boston. You ask the Teamsters in New York and that’s what they tell you, everything’s happening in Boston.”
Damon said he believes the sometimes-controversial incentives are a no-brainer for the state. “The movie business is a light-footprint industry,” he said. “It doesn’t pollute. We don’t knock down trees. We just turn on our cameras and leave behind piles of cash.”