Ben Affleck says he couldn't cast Matt Damon in 'The Town' because his salary would have 'cost what the movie cost'

  • Ben Affleck has said that Matt Damon wasn't in "The Town" because he couldn't afford to cast him.

  • Damon said on "The Bill Simmons Podcast" he would've liked to have played Jeremy Renner's role.

  • "Let me tell you the truth, we couldn't afford Matt Damon by a country mile," Affleck responded.

Ben Affleck has said that he didn't cast his longtime friend and collaborator Matt Damon in his Boston-set heist movie "The Town" (2010) because the film just didn't have the budget.

Appearing on "The Bill Simmons Podcast" Wednesday, the two reflected on their 40-year friendship and discussed their latest project together, "Air," which Affleck has directed and they both star in.

Although the two have become known for their collaborative projects, including "Good Will Hunting" (1997) — for which they won a best original screenplay Oscar — Damon revealed that he's a little hung up about the fact that Affleck hadn't approached him for any of his other movies until now.

"Well, he didn't ask me to be in 'The Town,'" Damon said when asked by Simmons if there were any of Affleck's projects that he would have liked to have been a part of.

"He gave that part to Renner," he said, referring to the role of the hot-headed criminal Jem in the movie, which went on to earn Jeremy Renner a best supporting actor nomination at the 2011 Oscars.

However, Affleck explained that getting Damon for the part was just not possible because of just how much money the actor was raking in at that point in his career.

"Let me tell you the truth, we couldn't afford Matt Damon by a country mile," he said. "Matt Damon would've cost what the movie cost, you know what I mean."

Ben Affleck and Jeremy Renner in "The Town" (2010).
Ben Affleck and Jeremy Renner in "The Town" (2010).Warner Bros.

Asked by Simmons if that was true, Damon laughed and said: "Back then, yeah."

Damon explained that thanks to his role as an amnesiac spy in the hugely successful "Bourne" franchise, he "was doing really well."

In fact, according to Forbes, Damon was paid $10 million for his role in "The Bourne Identity" (2002) and $26 million for followups "The Bourne Supremacy" (2004) and "The Bourne Ultimatum" (2007). For "Jason Bourne" (2016), the actor received another $25 million, meaning that across the quartet of films, he made $87 million.

Meanwhile, Box Office Mojo reports that "The Town" had a production budget of $37 million.

Elsewhere in the podcast, Damon said also said he would've liked to have had the lead role in another film Affleck helmed, "Argo."

"He didn't ask me to do 'Argo,' which I could've crushed the lead in that movie, but he took it for himself," he said.

Affleck responded: "Could have, yeah, but I would've made less money."

Read the original article on Insider