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The Envelope Screening Series

'Argo': Ben Affleck, George Clooney on acting in one's own movie

December 07, 2012|By Oliver Gettell

Some actors and directors have such complementary working relationships that it seems as if they share a brain. In a few cases, they do. Such is the case with Ben Affleck, who is the star and director of "Argo," a political thriller about an unusual CIA rescue mission during the 1979 Iran hostage crisis.

In an Envelope Screening Series session with The Times' John Horn, Affleck and "Argo" producer George Clooney, who has directed himself in films such as "Good Night, and Good Luck" and "The Ides of March," discuss some of the challenges of pulling double duty.

"People often say, 'Well, this is a common thing,' " Affleck says of the actor-director phenomenon. "I took some comfort in that. And then I looked around, and it didn't happen all the time."

His ultimate approach was simple: "For me, it's about shooting enough footage that I have something that I can find to work with in the cutting room," Affleck says.

Clooney could relate to the challenge. "There is this weird thing that happens, which is you try desperately not to do more takes on yourself than you do on other actors because you just feel like such a schmuck if you do it," he says.

"There has to be an understanding between actors that you go, 'I'm going to do the one thing that you're not supposed to do,' " Clooney adds. "One actor's not supposed to tell the other actor what to do. … It's a tricky thing."

For more insight from the "Argo" cast and crew, including costars Bryan Cranston, Kerry Bishe and Rory Cochrane, check out the full video above.


The Envelope Screening Series: Complete videos

Ben Affleck and Chris Terrio on 'Argo's' shifting genre [Video]

For 'Argo's' Ben Affleck, complex stories and characters work best

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