Actor, producer, and Matt Damon’s childhood friend, Ben Affleck has come a long way in his life. But where did he grow up?
Ben Affleck was born in Berkeley, California but his family moved to Cambridge, Massachusetts when he was three. He was raised in Cambridge, attending Cambridge Rindge Latin School, and became close friends with fellow Hollywood actor Matt Damon, at the age of eight.
Read on to learn more about Affleck’s hometown, friendship with Matt Damon, and his love for the Red Sox.
With the full name Benjamin Géza Affleck-Boldt, Affleck was born on August 15, 1972 in Berkeley, California.
Though his place of birth, Affleck didn’t stay in California for long and moved to Massachusetts with his family when he was just three years old.
The family eventually settled in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where Affleck would spend the rest of his childhood. Though his father said it was a bit of a rough neighbourhood, Affleck recalls playing Little League, breakdancing, and hanging out with his best friend, Matt Damon.
Affleck was 12 when his parents divorced, owing to his father’s struggle with alcoholism, and Affleck was raised primarily by his mother. It was his father, however, that passed on the acting genes.
Along with Matt Damon, Affleck attended Cambridge Rindge Latin School, where the pair would spend all their time together.
Watch Ben Affleck give a tutorial on the Boston accent in the YouTube video below.
Friends for Life
It’s a testament to their friendship that Matt Damon and Ben Affleck remain the best of friends. The pair grew up two blocks away from each other in Cambridge. Damon is a couple of years older than Affleck and they became best friends when Affleck was 8 and Damon was 10.
Speaking with Interview Magazine, Damon and Affleck explained the circumstances surrounding how they met. Both the young boys had mothers who were educators of children. As Damon said: “I was pretty much forced into hanging out with Ben”.
Close as can be, they played Little League together, an area of great rivalry, and were constantly hanging out at each others’ houses. Spending so much time together likely encouraged their joint aspirations to become actors.
After high school, Damon went to Harvard and Affleck went to the University of Vermont, but they’ve said they knew their friendship wouldn’t be affected. According to Affleck, “We saw each other all the time, we talked on the phone all the time”.
Though they briefly went their separate ways after leaving Cambridge, they stayed in touch and reunited when they began to write ‘Good Will Hunting’ together, which they also co-starred in.
Affleck recalls, with embarrassment, thanking Boston twice in his acceptance speech for the Oscar for Best Screenplay. Clearly he didn’t forget his roots.
Looking back on his teenage years in Boston, Affleck reflects “it was me, Matt, my brother Casey and a bunch of friends from Boston – all of them were trying to make it in some capacity or other”, adding “those years were wonderful”.
Red Sox Fan
Hailing from Cambridge, and with a commitment to showing Boston in his films, it’s no surprise that Affleck is a lifelong Boston Red Sox fan.
Appearing on ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live!’, Affleck displayed the full extent of his Red Sox love, including how he feels about Tom Brady, saying jokingly, “I think it’s totally appropriate for grown men to make totems and idols of other grown men and worship them”.
Throughout his career, he’s been snapped at Red Sox games and it was at a game in 2004 that he was first seen publicly with his then-girlfriend Jennifer Garner. It seems that Affleck will always be a proud Bostonian.