The longtime pals sit down to discuss Affleck's latest film and pivotal career moments.

Ben Affleck's career hasn't been all sunshine and rainbows — or all Argos and Good Will Huntings. For EW's latest cover story, the actor and filmmaker sat down with longtime friend, collaborator, and personal "fan club of one" Matt Damon to discuss the highs and lows of his time in Hollywood. In the duo's full-on lovefest, which you can watch above, they delve into the 49-year-old's latest role as the wise but tough Uncle Charlie in the George Clooney-directed coming-of-age drama The Tender Bar.

"Sometimes people will go 'You know, you've really gotten better as you've gotten older,' which sometimes feels like, 'You're not that bad-looking in person,'" Affleck says. He adds, "Part of our fates are controlled by the opportunities we have in terms of material and directors."

When Affleck was offered The Tender Bar, he had no hesitation that his fate was in the right hands with Clooney — or as Damon affectionately calls him, "Georgie." Affleck credits Clooney with some of the best direction he's ever received, praising to the tone and attitude he immediately established on set.

Matt Damon and Ben Affleck
Matt Damon and Ben Affleck
| Credit: Todd Williamson/Getty Images

"I knew that this was kind of mine to screw up," Affleck says. "I couldn't imagine there wasn't a long line of people that wanted to take this part, so I really respected his confidence and faith in me, and I wanted to do well for him."

Still, he's learned more from his failures than his successes, citing the aftermath of the 2003 J. Lo rom-com Gigli as an example. Damon remembers his friend turning to him at the time, conceding that his fear had come true: "I can sell magazines, but not movie tickets."

"I've never found any virtue in fame at all," Affleck muses. "I've probably gotten out of a couple of [traffic] tickets. I've gotten reservations at restaurants. But the whole point was to be able to do this job. Otherwise, what is it worth?"

For more of the Boston bromance's tender conversation, including a comprehensive rundown of titles from Affleck's career, check out the video above.

To read more about Ben Affleck, order the February issue of Entertainment Weekly now or pick it up on newsstands Jan. 21. Don't forget to subscribe for more exclusive interviews and photos, only in EW.

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