NEW YORK—Oscar-winner Ben Affleck says his new movie “Argo,” which tells the true story behind a well-known CIA rescue mission, is a “nail-biting thriller, a comedy, a CIA spy movie and a hostage drama.”
In what became known as the Iran hostage crisis of 1979, 52 Americans were captured and held for more than 14 months. What many don’t know, however, is that six other Americans escaped to the Canadian Embassy in Tehran. “Argo,” out in theaters on October 12, tells the story of the rescue, carried out by a team pretending to be a Canadian film crew. Affleck directed and stars in the film, and spoke with the “CBS This Morning” co-hosts on Tuesday.
Affleck told Charlie Rose that it was a challenge to “synthesize comedy and this kind of nail-biting thriller,” while at the same time, maintaining “the integrity of the true story underneath it.”
Affleck said he sought advice from others who have both starred in and directed their own films, from Warren Beatty, to Kevin Costner, to George Clooney, and his biggest takeaway was to resist what they said was a common temptation to do only one take of his own scenes.
Affleck also spoke about making the cast live together to simulate the experience of the hostages they played in the film. “After living together for a while, they came out knowing what it felt like to be hunkered down...it lent a sense of claustrophobia and fear,” he explained.
He also touched on the process of accessing previously classified security secrets and the importance of telling the American side of “a story that we had thought was just the Canadians for 30 years.”