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Matt Damon explains how his friendship with Ben Affleck ‘changed’ after his dad died

The "Oppenheimer" star reflected on how he and Affleck have been "bizarrely close for a long time."
/ Source: TODAY

"Oppenheimer" star Matt Damon shared how his longtime friendship with fellow actor Ben Affleck changed after Damon's father died in 2017.

Damon, who co-wrote the Oscar-winning film "Good Will Hunting" with Affleck, spoke about how he has been "bizarrely close for a long time" with Affleck on the July 21 episode of "Who's Talking to Chris Wallace?"

"After my dad passed in 2017 — and Ben was very, very close with him — it changed something in us, I think," Damon said. "You start to see the end game and you start to feel like, 'I want to make every second count. I don't want to fritter away time anymore.'"

Damon, 52, recalled watching "Get Back," the Peter Jackson documentary about The Beatles, and how it reminded him of his relationship with Affleck, 50.

Matt Damon and Ben Affleck
Matt Damon and Ben Affleck at the 2021 red carpet for "The Last Duel" in Venice, Italy.Stephane Cardinale / Corbis via Getty Images

"At the end, they're playing on the roof in London and it says this is the last time that they ever played together live, and it made me so sad. Because you look at them and they're so happy," Damon said.

"Then I called him and I said, 'Look, man, we were talking about doing this and it's like, it's been 25 years or something since "Good Will Hunting," what are we doing?'" he continued. "You know, we both kind of hit the lottery. Why aren't we working together more often?"

The pair eventually paired up again for the 2021 Ridley Scott movie "The Last Duel," which they starred in and co-wrote with Nicole Holofcener. This year, they worked together in "Air," directed by Affleck and starring Damon, about the origins of basketball star Michael Jordan's sneaker deal with Nike.

The pair are also listed as producers on upcoming film "The Instigators," which is about two thieves who go on the run with the help of one of their therapists after a robbery goes awry.

Damon further spoke about his relationship with Affleck in a July 16 Sunday Sitdown with Sunday TODAY’s Willie Geist, saying Affleck is one of the three most significant partnerships in his life.

"Between Ben and my wife and Gary White ... Those are the three most significant partnerships in my life. And all those things are going really well," Damon said, laughing. White is Damon’s co-founder and a fellow water access activist.

Damon also discussed how his closeness with Affleck allows for brutal honesty when they work together.

"You can waste so much time by trying to be polite. In the movie business, and in theater, they’ve developed a whole vocabulary for how to talk to somebody," Damon told Willie. "And basically how to tell somebody they’re sucking, right? And, like, we can just say, 'You suck.'"

And despite all of Damon's success, he said what he's best at is choosing who to surround himself with.

"I feel like if I’m good at anything, it’s picking partners," Damon said.