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Matt Damon reveals how Stallone helped him make his best movie

Oppenheimer star Matt Damon opened up about how Rocky movies legend Sylvester Stallone helped him get his best movie made the way he envisioned it would be.

Matt Damon in Good Will Hunting and Sylvester Stallone as Rocky Balboa

The famed story of Matt Damon‘s rise in Hollywood from humble beginnings has been a treasured and polished industry mantelpiece for decades, and much of the interest in his rise has to do with one of Matt Damon‘s earliest and best movies.

Good Will Hunting‘s path to glory is well documented: many film fans can and will recount the ways in which Damon and friend Ben Affleck struggled to get it off the ground before eventually finding validation and legacy at the Oscars. What people may not know, however, is how Sylvester Stallone from the Rocky movies played a part, albeit from the outside, in Good Will Hunting’s successful transition from page to screen.

It’s all down to the battle Stallone had in getting his own project off the ground, and how it ended up being one of the best sports movies ever made. Here’s how it impacted one of the best Matt Damon movies.

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Reflecting on the story behind Good Will Hunting, Damon told Sunday Today: “Stallone, that was like our code word. We’d go into these meetings and these people would say ‘You guys can’t play the parts. I mean, come on.’ They wanted Brad [Pitt] and Leo [Leonardo DiCaprio]. We were like, ‘Sylvester Stallone.'” He continued, “Yes we can play the parts, we are playing the parts.”

Damon is referencing Stallone’s grit to not only bring Rocky to the screen but to insist on starring in it. Much like Damon and Affleck’s negotiations, studios were hesitant to allow an unknown actor to lead the movie when bigger stars could potentially draw in bigger crowds.

Stallone, Affleck, and Damon can all sleep well knowing just how right they were. Sometimes, the studios make the wrong call! For more on the actor, we’ve got a story about how Hollywood spent 900 billion rescuing him, or you could look through our lists of the best drama movies of all time, the new movies coming soon, and the best Ben Affleck movies.

If you’re hankering for more Stallone, we’ve also got a guide on how to watch the Rocky movies in order.