The close friends were honored Saturday night with the “Guys of the Decade” award at Spike’s 10th Annual Guys Choice Awards, taped at Sony Pictures Studios in Culver City, California.
“I think it goes without saying that this is an award Matt and I have been dreaming about since we were little boys,” Affleck, 43, said in his speech, Damon, 45, at his side. “I did Gigli and Matt did that Liberace movie and all of a sudden it all seemed out of reach. Then I did [Batman v Superman] and all of a sudden it was back in reach again.”
“Now we’re the … coveted Dudes of the Decade … the Guys of the D—heads?” he continued. “What is it?”
“No, the D—heads of the Decade award,” Damon replied.
While Affleck and Damon hung together backstage, they spent time chatting apart: Damon talked with Julia Roberts and Robert De Niro while Affleck spent several minutes speaking with Shilo Harris, an Army veteran-turned-motivational speaker and writer, following injuries during an IED explosion.
Affleck and Harris had a “great talk,” Harris told PEOPLE.
“He was a great man,” Harris said. “He asked me what I do, and I told him that I was a motivational speaker, and that recently we’ve been combatting the epidemic of veteran suicides.”
And of the possibility that Affleck might contribute to Harris’ work with veterans, he said, “I don’t know, but you know what, I kept talking and he kept listening. So I’m very proud of that.”
Affleck and Damon have been close since growing up together in Massachusetts. They proved to be an award-winning pair, when their 1997 hit Good Will Hunting won two Oscars, and have continued to collaborate – currently on HBO movie Thirst, Syfy thriller Incorporated, and an interactive competition series called The Runner.
Damon recently recalled the obstacles he and Affleck faced together as they tried to kickstart their careers, while delivering the commencement address at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology on Friday.
“For all the amazing successes I’ve been lucky to share, few things have shaped me more than the auditions Ben and I used to go on as young actors, where we’d get on a bus, show up in New York, wait our turn, cry our hearts out for a scene and then be told, ‘Okay, thanks,’ meaning game over,” he said. “We used to call it, ‘Okay, thanks,’ and those experiences became our honor.”
The 10th Annual Guys Choice Awards will air on June 9 (9 p.m. ET) on Spike.