As the director of "Argo," Ben Affleck knew who he wanted in the starring role as CIA agent Tony Mendez: himself.
"I was just greedy for this part in this movie," Affleck said at The Envelope Screening Series. What's more, he joked, the director and the actor "were sleeping together, so I talked myself into it."
Affleck was able to cast an array of established actors (Bryan Cranston, John Goodman, Alan Arkin) in prominent roles and a variety of up-and-comers (Clea Duvall, Rory Cochrane) in smaller but equally critical parts as the six American State Department employees hiding with the Canadian ambassador during the 1979 hostage crisis.
While some of the actors (like Cranston) were playing composite characters, the other performers were playing historical figures and felt a strong desire to make sure they depicted their characters accurately, even within a slightly fictionalized tale.