“That would’ve been our first onscreen kiss.”
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While most of us probably know them best for their acting credits, Ben and Matt have dabbled in creative work behind-the-scenes too.
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Back in the ’90s, the pair collaborated on the script for Good Will Hunting, which won a Golden Globe and an Academy Award for best screenplay.
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Now, more than 20 years later, Ben and Matt’s second co-writing endeavor is about to hit theaters. They talked about the film — a historical drama called The Last Duel, where they’ll star alongside Jodie Comer and Adam Driver — in an interview with Entertainment Tonight, and revealed its initial script called for something neither celeb had done before.
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Ben and Matt co-wrote The Last Duel with Nicole Holofcener.
Matt’s character was originally meant to kiss Ben’s in the movie, which focuses on the final, legally-sanctioned duel in France’s history. Apparently, sharing a kiss was customary to start the brutal ceremony.
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“In the original actual version of that scene…the way that ceremony actually took place was that you kissed everybody on the mouth,” Ben said. “And we had that in the script.”
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While Matt noted that the kiss “would’ve been [their] first” onscreen, Ben explained that a gesture of that variety is “going to have to wait” until some other time, since the moment was cut from the screenplay before filming.
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“[Ridley Scott, who directed The Last Duel] thought it would be distracting, and his instincts are pretty good,” Ben said, and Matt agreed that playing up the animosity between their characters instead “was really fun.”
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“The two characters really hate each other and that was really fun,” Matt recalled.
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“In fact, the scene where I kneel before him” — which replaced the original kiss — “Ben just improvised this thing where I started to say my line and he just interrupted me and goes, ‘Closer.’ And I have to kind of get up and kneel again in front of him,” he continued. “And that was just…he just did that and just kind of blurted that out, and it wasn’t in the script.”
The Last Duel opens in theaters this Friday.
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