Oscar winner Ben Affleck has reflected on how not to accept an Academy Award following his rather acceptance speech for Good Will Hunting with Matt Damon in 1998. His acceptance speeches for his hit film Argo this year were a lot more composed.
In a rather effusive interview with Deadline, he explained what it felt like to be at his first Academy Awards ceremony, "We go down the red carpet and see all these journalists from TV. We’re starstruck. Holy shit, is that Roger Ebert? I see Dustin Hoffman, and he says, ‘You know, I did theatre with your father.’ When [my father] said he knew Dustin Hoffman, I thought he was bullshitting. And there I am at the Oscars and Hoffman brings it up . . . So now I’m re-evaluating my whole relationship with my father as we’re walking inside.
"Every star you could ever imagine — there’s Jack Nicholson. It was Titanic’s year, and there’s James Cameron. We sat down, close to the front of the stage. Billy Crystal comes out, starts this song, and it’s ‘Matt and Ben, Ben and Matt.' It was like walking through the fourth wall of your television into a weird dream, one where I’m at the Oscars and Billy Crystal is singing to me and, never mind, I remember turning to James Cameron.
"I had never seen him before and don’t think I’ve spoken to him before and don’t think I’ve spoken to him since, but I’m overly relaxed and caught up. I go, ‘Hey, how’s it going, Jim?’ I remember he kind of looked at me. I say, ‘Don’t you think it would be cool if you knew how many votes each movie got?’
"He looks at me like: ‘What the f*** is this kid talking about? Why is this kid talking to me? And why is he talking about the vote? I sat down. I’m thinking, ‘Shit, I just made an idiot out of myself with James Cameron. I’ll never be in one of his movies.’
In the interview, a starstruck Affleck also revealed what went through his mind as he and Damon were announced as the winners for Best Screenplay, "They read off our names. I’ll never forget the first thought I had - that I hadn’t given one second of thought to what I might say. You are an idiot. You come to the Academy Awards and didn’t prepare anything, not even secretly in your mind.”
Of the speech itself, he said: " I mumbled a bunch of stupid things. I thanked Boston twice. Probably once would have been enough. We’d won the Golden Globe, but I think the only other thing I’d ever won was some Little League trophies when I was 12.
"I look back on the whole thing ruefully. I had no perspective. I thanked Cuba Gooding Jr. — by now I was just saying stuff. We high-fived everybody. I hugged Denzel Washington as we were coming off stage and he was going on. Why did I hug Denzel Washington? Maybe he didn’t want to be hugged by me, a stranger. I felt like such an idiot afterwards, but I have to say, we had a lot of fun that night.”
Watch Affleck and Damon's acceptance speech here: