NEW YORK » Matt Damon and Ben Affleck resurrected their “Good Will Hunting” roles, not to mention their Boston accents, in a special one night only live read from the script today in New York.
John Krasinski hosted and served as a guest director for the night before an audience that benefits a non-profit arts organization called Film Independent. Tickets ranged from $65 to $150.
He began saying the “Good Will Hunting” script was special to him, not only because he’s from Boston, but because it makes him emotional.
Krasinski introduced a cast to read the different roles including his wife, Emily Blunt, in Minnie Driver’s role, and Margo Martindale, reading Robin Williams’ part of a therapist who helps Damon’s emotionally damaged orphan, who also is unusually intelligent, let go of his past and realize his potential.
Keegan Michael Key and “Hamilton”’s Daveed Diggs also had parts.
The read kicked off with Krasinski taking Damon’s lead role of Will Hunting when Damon walked on stage and surprised the audience. Krasinski then attempted to begin Affleck’s role of Hunting’s wise-cracking friend, when he appeared.
The crowd screamed and gave a standing ovation and Krasinski took over the duty of narrator.
The reading went off script a few times, like when Krasinski would jokingly protest to Blunt and Damon’s portrayal of lovers and when Affleck and Damon pointed out inside jokes. A few lines were flubbed, but the theater was silent when Martindale recited Williams’ dialogue in an emotional scene.
“Good Will Hunting” won Damon and Affleck the Oscar for best writing of an original screenplay in 1997. Williams won the best supporting actor Academy Award.
Live Read events began in 2011 in Los Angeles with director Jason Reitman gathering actors together to read popular scripts like “Breakfast Club”, “The Princess Bride” and “Reservoir Dogs,” to raise money for Film Independent.
Recordings are prohibited to preserve the exclusivity and spontaneity of the event.
Live Reads are co-presented by The New York Times.