Affleck thanks Damon for 'Paycheck' role

Dec. 31, 2003 at 1:45 PM

LOS ANGELES, Dec. 31 (UPI) -- Matt Damon is responsible for his pal Ben Affleck's current starring role in "Paycheck," the San Francisco Chronicle reported Wednesday.

Affleck, who has the lead role in the John Woo science fiction film "Paycheck" with Uma Thurman and Aaron Eckhart, said he got the role because Damon originally turned down the part.

The premise of the film resembles Damon's 2002 hit movie "The Bourne Identity," with both films featuring amnesiac heroes trying to make sense of events around them in order to survive.

Woo wanted Damon for the lead in "Paycheck," Affleck said.

"Matt was obviously flattered, but when he read the script and sat down with John, he said, 'I can't do two amnesia pictures or else people are going to say why are you doing so many amnesia pictures?' So Matt phoned me and said, 'I met with John Woo, it's a really good script and you ought to check it out,'" Affleck said.

Affleck and Damon, who have been friends since age 3, first made headlines in 1997 when the struggling actors wrote "Good Will Hunting," which won an Academy Award for the duo.

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