Ben Affleck warned about the dangers of chasing money during an interview that aired Sunday, telling CBS News’ Tracy Smith that his own personal happiness comes from being close to family and his best friend Matt Damon.
“Frankly, one of the lessons of growing older is it’s not all about money,” he said. “It’s not the most important thing. If you spend your whole life chasing money, you might end up with a lot of money, but you’ll probably miss out on a lot of things.”
“I haven’t found that money changed any of the happiness that I had. In fact, that’s the beautiful thing about this is that happiness is being here every day in Los Angeles where my children are and seeing them every day, having them come visit the set, [getting to] work with my best friend,” he added, gesturing toward Damon at his right.
“There’s nothing more that I want in my life. This is it. This is what I’ve always wanted.”
Still, Affleck said in a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter that both he and Damon have had “modest” upbringings, something that perhaps compelled them to view turning down roles that paid a lot of money as “almost irresponsible.”
“The phone could stop ringing at any time, and especially where Matt and I grew up pretty modestly, it was almost irresponsible to not take a job where they were going to pay you a lot of money,” he told the outlet.
“My mother made, I don’t know, $30,000 a year as a public school teacher in Boston. And I remember making $600,000 for ‘Armageddon’ and thinking, ‘This is 20 years of my mother’s salary.’ It just seemed absurd that you would pass on that opportunity, no matter what it was.”
The 50-year-old “Justice League” star formerly starred alongside Damon in “Good Will Hunting” and together co-produced the HBO filmmaking series “Project Greenlight,” but the duo recently joined forces to make something else happen the film industry, creating and launching a production company called “Artists Equity” to give a larger cut of money to the film crew.
The goal is to create a “more equitable” experience for the crew behind films, including cinematographers, costume designers and more instead of watching an overwhelming chunk of the funds go to actors and directors.
“That’s why it’s called Artists Equity,” Affleck told CBS. “The idea is that we’re pulling a bunch of people above the line who traditionally aren’t. And they stand to do a lot better financially than they’ve ever done on movies before.”