By Carrie Bell
October 05, 2012 at 08:31 PM EDT
Jason Merritt/Getty Images

Ben Affleck was not going to let “a little cold” stand in his way. He had a job to do last night at the LA premiere of Argo, the stranger-than-fiction tale of how the CIA, Hollywood and the Canadian government worked together to rescue six Americans from Iran during the 1979 hostage crisis.

“It’s my goal to get people to come see the movie. This could [be] a tough sell [because] it’s confusing. It’s hard to tell if it is a spy story, a thriller or a comedy,” Affleck, who acted in, directed and produced the film, told Entertainment Weekly on the carpet at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences. “But at its heart, this is a movie that’s really fun to watch. I’m trying to get that message out there so people show up Oct. 12.”

Based on the overwhelmingly good early reviews and Oscar chatter, it seems Affleck is not alone on his mission and he does not take that support lightly. “Naturally, it feels good whenever someone says something positive about your movie. Way better than when someone says something snarky. I appreciate that it can also get people to theaters.”

It was enough to motivate Kevin Smith to put on his best pair of shorts, Jon Favreau to call it a day on Jersey Boys pre-production and New Girl’s Max Greenfield to book childcare. “I haven’t seen a movie in about two and a half years, but the trailer looks great and I’ve been hearing amazing things so I got off work early, got a sitter, picked up the wife and figured I’d take the opportunity to have an adult night out.”

One group already convinced that the film and Affleck deserve attention of the trophy variety is the cast. “I’m not a campaigner, but I will say that I couldn’t put the script down. It was a real page-turner. I was immediately going, ‘Where do I sign up?’” said John Goodman, certainly no slouch in his portrayal of Oscar-winning makeup artist John Chambers. “And Ben’s a born storyteller. His work is so richly detailed.”

Clea Duvall, who plays one of the six “houseguests,” concurred. “I think Ben made an extraordinary film that is smart, engaging, balances comedy, drama and action and even has some lessons applicable to today’s environment. He deserves every bit of praise coming his direction.”

While thankful for the positive peer reviews, Affleck is quick to remind everyone who the real heroes of Argo are. “It’s a story of American triumph and a tribute to our foreign and clandestine service members, the kind of dangers they face serving overseas and the sacrifices they make for us.”

Bryan Cranston, Affleck’s character’s boss in the film, added, “If it was a piece of fiction, I think studios and producers would have said, ‘Sorry but it’s just not plausible. You have to make stories that feel real, stories people will pay to see because they buy them.’ But because it had happened, no one turned Ben away and good thing because it is a fantastic story of real heroes. It celebrates what can happen when there is cooperation and open communication between governments and the selfless nature it takes to accomplish a mission like this without anyone getting injured or killed.”


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