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Ben Affleck was sleeping on Matt Damon's couch when ‘Good Will Hunting' script sold for $650,000

Affleck found himself without a place to live after breaking up with a girlfriend he had recently moved in with.

Nbc | Nbcuniversal | Getty Images

Selling the screenplay for "Good Will Hunting" didn't just help Ben Affleck break into Hollywood, it also helped him get off Matt Damon's couch.

In 1994, Affleck had found himself without a place to live after breaking up with a girlfriend he recently moved in with. His first call was to Damon, who was living with another roommate at the time. The pair invited Affleck to come stay with them.

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"I was sleeping on a Naugahyde couch," he explained in an appearance this week on Peacock's "Hart to Heart". "It was three of us in this two-bedroom little thing."

While he was crashing on Damon's couch, Hollywood began showing interest in the script they had written together. "It turned into this crazy, surreal thing," he said of the bidding war for their screenplay.

Suddenly finding themselves with leverage, Affleck and Damon's agent was able to push studios to commit to allowing them to appear in the film.

"When we finally sold it, we sold the script for $650,000," he said. "We split it, $325,000 each."

With money in the bank, Affleck and Damon were ready to splurge.

"Me and him both bought new Jeep Grand Cherokees," he said. "Right away. First check, it was 'When can I get my Jeep?'"

"We had to flip for colors, because we both wanted black," he added. "One of us had to get green."

Buying the $55,000 Jeep even came ahead of finding Affleck a bedroom of his own.

"I had the car before I got off the couch," he said.

With their cars settled, Affleck and Damon set about finding a home with more bedrooms. The duo had no credit, but Affleck said they succeeded in securing a lease by showing their prospective landlord an issue of Variety announcing the sale of their script. They settled on a "kind of janky party house" near the Hollywood Bowl.

"At the time I thought it was the s---," he said. "All our friends from home moved out. We had seven, eight people living in there. Between the Cherokee and the rent and taxes, I was broke in eight months."

Of course, their finances took a turn for the better after 'Good Will Hunting' won them the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay at the 70th Academy Awards.

They've since done well for themselves. As recently as 2020, Ben Affleck was earning as much as $55 million in a year, according to Forbes data.

Damon, meanwhile, has earned enough during his career that he was able to purchase Brooklyn's most expensive home.

Disclosure: Comcast is the parent company of NBCUniversal, Peacock and CNBC.

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