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Thursday 14 December 2017

Affleck film 'not politicised'

John Goodman and Ben Affleck arrive at the screening of new film Argo
John Goodman and Ben Affleck arrive at the screening of new film Argo

Ben Affleck has said he worked hard to ensure his new thriller Argo was not seized upon for political gain.

The film - which the Oscar-winner directed, produced and stars in - is based on the true story of a CIA agent who hatched a plan to rescue six Americans in hiding during the 1979 Iran hostage crisis, by disguising them as members of a fake movie crew.

At Argo's BFI London Film Festival premiere, Ben said he took care to make sure those with "an axe to grind" could not politicise the project.

"This movie is about this story that took place, and it's true, and I go to pains to contextualise it and to try to be even-handed in a way that just means we're taking a cold, hard look at the facts," he added.

"I didn't want it to be co-opted by people who had an axe to grind or who wanted to make a certain point, and use the movie for those purposes."

He joked that it was greed which led him to get both in front of and behind the camera for the film.

"I was greedy and I wanted to be part of it. It was the part of me as an actor, the mindset that says, 'You've got to chase jobs when you see them'. And I was sleeping with the director so I got the job," he quipped.

Ben - who picked up an Academy Award with friend Matt Damon for their 1997 Good Will Hunting screenplay - was joined on the red carpet at London's Odeon Leicester Square by co-stars John Goodman and Bryan Cranston.

John, who plays a special effects expert, praised Ben's directing skills.

He said: "He stacks up very well. He's extremely smart, very well-prepared and it just made for a relaxed set for everybody. He's a very creative guy."

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