Ben Affleck hosted a special screening of his film Argo last night at the Writers' Guild Theater in Beverly Hills. He was joined by several of his cast members, including Bryan Cranston, Scoot McNairy, and Clea Duvall, and celebrity guests including Sam Trammell and new parents Curtis Stone and Lindsay Price. The event was a fundraiser for two causes close to Ben's heart: the Eastern Congo Initiative and Children Mending Hearts. Ben has been traveling to the Congo since 2007 in the hopes of helping the people of the war-torn African country.
After presenting the movie — Ben joked that the audience was extremely lucky for seeing it one day before it hits theaters as he introduced it — Jimmy Kimmel came on stage for a Q&A session with Ben, producer Grant Heslov, and the cast. Despite the film's sometimes heavy subject matter, Jimmy kept the tone of the panel relatively light, and even ribbed Ben for exaggerating some elements of the true-life story to bolster the movie's drama. Here are some of Ben's answers:
- On tweaking the true story to create drama: "We definitely embellished the third act stuff to give ourselves a third act . . . I thought this was a more interesting and more powerful way [to tell the story]. You have to serve two masters, and the core spine of this movie is 100 percent true."
- On capturing the look of the late 1970s: "These guys really, they don't look anything like the real people, but it speaks volumes for what bad hair and fake mustaches and eyeglasses can do."
- On people who consulted on the movie: "We had a few different technical advisers, you know . . . the actual Tony Mendez [who Ben plays] and we had some of the actual house guests . . . and we had a lot of Iranian folks. There wasn't one Iranian extra who didn't want to be a technical adviser. We enjoyed those contributions."