Matt Damon On How An Iconic Hollywood Friendship Formed When Ben Affleck ‘Tackled This Dude’ Who Was Beating On Him

Matt Damon and Ben Affleck have been friends since their childhood, and Damon shared the fascinating — and quite violent — story of how they became pals during a sit-down with fellow Boston native Conan O’Brien.

Appearing on Conan, the 49-year-old “Bourne Identity” star revealed that he and a group of neighbourhood kids were playing football on Cambridge Common during a snow day in the 1980s when an altercation occurred.

“I mouthed off to this kid that I knew, but he was like your [Conan’s] height, like six-foot-six, and I might have been five-three at the time, and I said something,” Damon told O’Brien. “I’d scored on him or something, and I don’t know, I said something but he came for me. And it was like this mountain of a guy came at me and I was like, ‘Oh man.’ So before I knew it, it was like I was on the ground, he was above me, and I was like, ‘This is gonna be bad.’”

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Help arrived in the unexpected form of Affleck. “It was right then that little five-foot-two Ben Affleck tackled this dude off of me, like out of nowhere,” he recalled. “I was, like, a junior and he was, like, a freshman, and he tackled this kid off of me, literally at the risk of his own life.”

Added Damon: “But I remember that was a big moment, going like, ‘This guy, he will put himself in a really bad spot for me.’ Like, ‘This is a good friend to have.’”

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