ARGO WINS GOLDEN GLOBE FOR BEST DRAMA – Check out the acceptance speech by producer Grant Heslov after Argo won the Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture – Drama. Afterwards, Ben Affleck, Heslov, and co-producer George Clooney answered several questions backstage about Affleck’s Golden Globe for best director, Oscar nominations, and developing the movie.
GRANT HESLOV: Thank you. Wow. On behalf of the whole cast and crew, I want to thank the Hollywood Foreign Press for this. Thank you. Victor Garber, ladies and gentlemen.
Ben thanked a lot of people. I want to thank all the folks at Warner Bros. They’ve supported us through this whole thing, and they’ve been amazing and thank you guys very much. We want to thank Ben Affleck, our fearless leader.
And he’s also a producer. I want to thank all the thousands of people that work in our diplomatic services that are putting their lives on the line every day of the week. This is for them.
I want to thank the folks from the clandestine services who don’t always get the credit that they deserve, but they do a lot of great work. And thank you to them as well. I’m getting a wrap up. So thank you. Thank you very much. And love to my wife, Lysa, and my kids, Maya and Olivia.
Watch the acceptance speech below:
Q. A lot of people are saying it is your year, kind of like a comeback story, because in the press, you know, you not only did well as an actor, but as a director. Can you kind of tell us what it feels like having the buzz around you and coming back and solidifying that you are a director?
MR. AFFLECK: You know, I do not know about all of that. I do know, you know, I did a movie with a lot of really talented people who worked really hard and I am really proud of it and had great producers who were standing next to me. And can I just purely have a wonderful night to enjoy that and be so grateful that we are honored?
Q. Ben, hard question. What — after you didn’t get the Oscar nomination for best director, what the hell your consolation is? I mean, I don’t get it, what is it, what went — what are their reasons to you?
MR. AFFLECK: I don’t know what you imagine my life is like. It sounds a lot cooler than it is.
MR. CLOONEY: I don’t think he’s going to make it, kid.
MR. AFFLECK: I don’t look too far for those recaps. We got nominated for seven Oscars, including best picture. I mean, if you can’t be happy with that, your future — your prospects for long-term happiness are pretty sad.
Q. Good for you.
MR. AFFLECK: Thank you.
Q. I guess what was the tough thing, what was the toughest thing to shoot?
MR. AFFLECK: Probably the hardest thing, directorily, anyway, has to do with trying to have three different tones and make them work together as one movie. I was lucky. I was supported by a great cast and had really good producers who helped me organize. It was a bit of a — for me, anyway, kind of a leviathan. A continent, different cities, a lot of extras, all that kind of — you know, we were kind of the poor man’s David Lee movie, but, you know, I got lucky, and I am really pleased.
Q. How did All the President’s Men influence your shooting style?
MR. AFFLECK: Whoa. Sounds like you got us. Heavy. That was a big influence with the CIA stuff. We emulated everything from the way they used the — moved the dolly to some of the color tones to that sort of texture of the ’70s to sort of tone, the way the men kind of talked to one another. It was an era where it was basically male-dominated offices, whether it was “Washington Post” or the CIA. You know, CIA, at that time, there was not one woman that worked anywhere except a secretary for the whole place. So it was a very different feel, and we used All the President’s Men because it was the most perfect, you know, well-done example of that.
Q. Online, people are freaking out and so happy for you. Is there honestly no part of you that’s like in-your-face happy, like you feel good tonight, come on?
MR. AFFLECK: Listen, I am a member of the Academy. I — we got nominated for awards by the Academy. The Academy is made up of all the great movies that we talk about and love, so I am an enormous admirer of the Academy. I am, you know, also thrilled to get the — to get this acknowledgment, but I take it acknowledgment of the eclectic work that I have done.
MR. HESLOV: Which Academy are you talking about?
Q. Grant, George, can you talk about what you saw in him as a director and the business of him going from actor to director, how — all three of you, how was that relationship?
MR. CLOONEY: It was cheap, right?
MR. HESLOV: And available.
MR. CLOONEY: And available. Cheap and available, that’s why we like him. He’d done a couple of really great movies. You know, it is a funny thing when you look at Ben, and part of the reason why there’s such a great admiration for him from this stage of his career is because, you know, he had — he was in an actor jail for a couple of years. We have all done it. I did Batman and Robin, trust me, I know. And just a lot of times it is how you handle yourself when things are not going particularly well. That’s what creates a career as opposed to just, you know, you had a good run. He directed his way out of this. He got in it, he did Gone Baby Gone, terrific film; it made money. Then he did The Town; it was a big hit and a really good film. And this is a step in the right direction. And he continues to make money. Movies that make money, you get to make more movies like this. That’s what he did and what — that’s what he brought to this film. And I can’t tell you how proud we are to have worked with Ben and how much I hate him.
MR. AFFLECK: I think the thing for me about this, about coming into the project, very hard project to do, hard to navigate, hard to sell. And George and Grant have used their kind of – their weight, their talent, their commitment to make these kinds of movies. So I felt like I wasn’t just adrift. That I was in a place where these kinds of movies had been successful before, not just George directing himself as an actor, but also, you know, trying to make movies that are tricky, you know. So I thought, you know, when I need help, it will very likely be there. That’s actor George Clooney. This is Tony Mendez, the guy I play in the movie. Chris Terrio, kind of created the whole thing behind him, Victor Garber, extraordinary man played Ken Taylor in the film and married me, among other stains to his character, and this is Bryan Cranston, Alan Arkin, John Goodman, Tate Donovan and Grant Heslov.
Q. You have come a long way since the last time you won an award. What would you say is the most important thing that you have learned about show business and what’s up next for you as a director?
MR. AFFLECK: I am not sure what’s up for me. I have probably learned not a lot. I don’t know. I notice these are a different shade 15 years later. But other than that, it’s — you know, I have learned that you are — to try to pick things wisely and pick your collaborators wisely. And think what’s good about the movie is reflected on — by all the people that you see standing behind me. And that’s not bullshit. I genuinely, truly believe you work with people that make you better, and I did that on this movie.
Q. You are talking about something that happened in the past, talking about politics, but it is not something so controversial or something I told you or anything like that, do you think it should be seen as a different movie that took a different perspective that respect some of the things or just like you see as a part of a movie conversation about finish it like in times, different times?
MR. AFFLECK: No, I think this is a movie for all audiences, I mean, beyond a certain age. I wouldn’t take my kid, but that’s because I don’t want her saying the F-word around the house. This is a movie I believe — that I hope that I made for everybody to see, not for America, not for international and not one that carried a political agenda or one to be didactic in any way, but rather like just presented the facts of our history and involvement with Iran, what happened with the Islamic revolution in Iran, what happened when Tony Mendez went into Iran and helped these six diplomats to get out. And what I rarely, carefully tried not to do is do a lot of editorializing about it, but rather, just by telling the simple, startling, astonishing facts of this story, the audience would reflect something of themselves on that, and then the movie would resonate with them.
Q. Thank you.
MR. AFFLECK: You’re welcome.
Q. George, what’s your take on Ben not being nominated by the Academy for best director?
MR. CLOONEY: This will work out well. I am disappointed. I was disappointed. I think that he gave — that he did a phenomenal film, job with the film, and I thought he should have been nominated, but you can’t figure out what goes on with the Academy. And he’s still nominated for best picture, and we still have a shot at that. And I really do believe that — we talked about this for — the next day for a while. And we got seven nominations out of this film. He did a wonderful job, and it all happened because of what he put together. So it is disappointing, but we are not out of the water yet, so we are not dead yet.
MR. AFFLECK: So, I mean, George is really, honestly and truly the smartest guy about what’s going on with politics, Hollywood, Hollywood politics, you know, a lot of different things. He’s a very strategic, bright, wise guy. I just said that to embarrass him. But, you know, I really, really agree with what he’s saying about, you know, you have to remember we got these nominations. It is a wonderful thing, wonderful, exciting thing. To frame it as — to be about like the nomination I didn’t get, like I also didn’t get the acting nomination. Nobody’s saying I got snubbed there. We are really proud of this. One of the nice things about taking me out of it as the director is that it doesn’t make it about me, it makes it about the movie. And I agree with George, you know, we are trying our best and we think we still have something left in us and we love and admire and respect the other films that are out there. I mean, there are — so in that spirit, we believe we can still go forward.
Q. George, you have a reputation about doing really great movies. Why didn’t you do this? If you produced it, why didn’t you keep it for yourself?
MR. CLOONEY: Well, had I known he was going to do such a good job, I probably would have tried. We were doing Ides of March. We sent Ben the script and he read it and then said he wanted to do it. One of us wanted to do it. And he – from the minute that happened, Grant and I had a long conversation and had a couple meetings with Ben, and his take automatically, it was just so good, you know. But the thing you have to understand, Chris’ script, you — you know, when you commission a script, usually the first draft doesn’t work very well. In fact, I have never seen one work well. This was — Chris’ first draft was a great first draft, great first draft, beautiful first draft. And it only got better than that. And we changed — when Ben came along, the tone of it somewhat changed, which was good, and it was better. So it was his take on it.
Q. What did you do?
MR. CLOONEY: We leaned a little harder on the comedy in the first draft because there was some funny stuff that went on in Hollywood at, you know, the Beverly Hilton, actually. And when Ben came on, his take was, you know, much straighter, much straighter forward about the drama, the thriller part of it, and he was absolutely right. It was great. It was really fun to work with him on it. So it really was — we were very happy with the choice, and I have no regret at all.