"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 career.
"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."