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Had an obligation to tell 'Argo': Ben Affleck


Updated: October 24, 2012, 3:52 PM IST
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Had an obligation to tell 'Argo': Ben Affleck
Ben Affleck says he was worried about missing important things while adapting a true story for 'Argo'.

New Delhi: Actor-director Ben Affleck says he was worried about missing important things while adapting the true story of the dramatic escape of six US diplomats from Tehran during the 1979 Iran hostage crisis in 'Argo'. A CIA man Tony Mendez, played by Affleck in the film, teamed up with a Hollywood make-up man and a producer to rescue the six diplomats hiding in the Canadian embassy by
posing as the film crew of a sci-fi film 'Argo'.

Affleck's third outing as a director, the film is already generating Oscar buzz. 'Argo' was released in India last week by Warners Bros. "I definitely had the sense that I had a very strong ethical obligation to tell the story truthfully, because, among other reasons, it has resonance to things that are going on today. We made sure to stay true to the spine and the heart of the story," Affleck told PTI in an email interview.

The director, who was sent the script of 'Argo' by his friend and co-producer George Clooney, said that the only problem while directing the film was that the story had too many details.

"The fact that six Americans were in the American embassy when it was taken over, escaped, hid out with the Canadians, and were rescued by an operative of the CIA who conspired with his Oscar-winning make-up artist friend to disguise them as a movie crew is absolutely true."

"The problem is that you have a story with so much detail in it so stuff get compressed. The thing that bothered me was the sin of omission. When you have to take stuff out for the sake of moving it along, you lose a little bit."

"It's kind of a 'Rashomon' effect: You talk to one person and they give you their version of events from their perspective. Ultimately, we had to be rooted in Tony's perspective," Affleck said.

The actor-director, who celebrated his 40th birthday recently, says another challenging thing was to get the extras to shoot the riot scene in Turkey.
"Grant (Heslov, producer), me, and our line producer had a long lead-up, trying to get thousands of people in Turkey to show up and there was a lot of anxiety about whether they would."

"It was harder to get younger people. It was a student revolution, so you didn't want it to look like a riot at the senior center. We tried to make it as real as possible, and it required a lot of people and a lot of wrangling. When you have
2,000 people, if they're cold, they just go home."

Affleck, who says he is equally at home as an actor and director, is facing the camera in his next outing. "My next release as an actor will be 'To The Wonder'
which is a romantic drama opposite Rachel McAdams and I am really looking forward to it release."

First Published: October 24, 2012, 3:52 PM IST
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