The high-profile actor remembers his
childhood home, from boyhood walks with his dad to the haunts
he frequented with best friend Matt Damon.
"One of the things I appreciate more and more about Boston is that
out of all the cities in the United States it has its own history,"
says 29-year-old leading man Ben Affleck. When he was 8, the city
of Paul Revere and the American Revolution gave Affleck two gifts.
one, he landed his first acting job, on the marine biology PBS
series The Voyage of the Mimi. The same year, on a basketball
court, he met a new kid in the neighborhood: Matt Damon. The two
became best friends, participating in their school's drama program
and working in Boston-area films.
After a stint in college, Affleck moved to L.A. to become an actor.
Work was sporadic, and he returned to Boston to work with his
friend on a screenplay that Damon had started at Harvard about two
Boston youths and their quest to become somebody. The result was
Good Will Hunting, which won Affleck and Damon best-screenplay
Oscars in 1997. This month, Affleck steps into shoes previously
worn by Alec Baldwin and Harrison Ford, as he takes on the role of
Tom Clancy hero Jack Ryan in The Sum of All Fears. But before you
check him out on the big screen, check out this weekend with Ben in
Boston, the city that gave him a foundation on which he's built his
"The Four Seasons is nice, as is The Ritz-Carlton. But when I go
home, if I don't stay at the house I grew up in with my mother, I
stay at The Charles in Cambridge. It's an excellent place to stay
because you don't have that sense that you could be staying in any
hotel from Seattle to Miami. It's got a unique feel to it, and an
excellent restaurant, Rialto. In fact, I've gone to Rialto without
even staying at the hotel, which says something. I'm a pretty
simple guy, with what some of your readers might consider pretty
pedestrian taste. I can't recall food with my palate, but I know
every time I've gone there it's been good. And the decor is lovely
and the service is excellent."