Matt Damon Talks Working at a Harvard Square Movie Theater with Ben Affleck

Damon tells Jay Leno about the summer he and Affleck cleaned bathrooms at the Janus.

Matt Damon was a guest on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno yesterday where he told a story about the summer he and fellow Boston native Ben Affleck worked at the Janus movie theater in Harvard Square.

“We did everything. We had the black pants, the maroon vest, the white shirt with the black bow tie, and our name tags, ‘Thank you for coming…’ and the whole thing,” Damon shared. “We tore tickets, we did the popcorn, we cleaned the bathrooms… We did basically everything.” (“Wow, so you were in the movie business!” joked Leno.)

Damon explained that the most painful part of working there was that the big summer movie was Dead Poets Society (1989), which he and Affleck had both auditioned for and weren’t cast in.

“Every night you’d see 400 people walk out of the theater with tears streaming down their faces going, ‘That was the greatest movie ever and Robin Williams is amazing…’ And we just had to sit there. It was like getting kicked in the teeth three times a day, every day.”

Of course, less than 10 years later, Matt and Ben decided to write their own little script and got to work with Robin Williams after all.

And because we’re Boston and we like to keep score: Dead Poets Society was nominated for two Oscars and won one, while Good Will Hunting was nominated for nine Academy Awards and won two. How do you like them apples, Ethan Hawke?

Just kidding, it’s all in good fun. Carpe diem.