The hit of the New York International Fringe Festival in 2002, Matt & Ben, a spoof about the friendship between Hollywood stars Ben Affleck and Matt Damon, is now playing at the Darlinghurst Theatre Company.
One reason the play gained so much attention in the States was that the two famous actors were played by women, which is the case again in the Sydney production. The boys are being portrayed by NIDA graduates Trilby Glover and Jasmin DeMain.
Set in 1995, the story sees the then-struggling actors trying to write a script that will propel them to stardom. When the completed screenplay for Good Will Hunting falls from the heavens and into their laps, the boys decide they are being tested by a higher power and must work out what to do with it.
It was actress Glover, who plays Affleck, who decided to bring the play to Sydney after hearing about it on the internet.
I was looking for new exciting work and thought it looked like a really cool and interesting show, Glover said. I also thought it would be a great opportunity for two female actresses.
Playing Affleck is very, very fun, according to Glover, who has immersed herself in the actor’s work for the role.
I’d never had any predisposition to watch his films before, but now I have I really like Ben. I’ve been watching all his outtakes and interviews and he’s such a nice guy. I feel very close to him now and I defend his poor acting.
The weird thing was, I quite liked Gigli, which was when I realised I was becoming too close to him.
Affleck is portrayed as a slacker who doesn’t care where the script came from, while Damon is much more moral and wants to do the right thing. The pair end up arguing over who will play the lead role, and there’s even a cameo by Gwyneth Paltrow.
Glover said the fact two women are playing the boys adds a great element of humour to it.
It makes it funny straightaway, she said. We’re not strapping down our breasts or anything, you can see that we’re girls.
As for what the real Affleck and Damon would think of the play, Glover is convinced they’d find it funny.
They take the piss out of themselves in Jay And Silent Bob Strike Back, when they play themselves and make fun of all their movies, she said. I think they’ve got a sense of humour about the whole thing.
Mat & Ben is playing now until Saturday 29 October at Darlinghurst Theatre Company, 19 Greenknowe Avenue, Potts Point. Tickets are $27/ $21. Bookings 8356 9987 or the Darlinghurst Theatre website.