Ben Affleck: "I want Daniel Day-Lewis to star in my next film"

Ben Affleck has given an interview to 'The Times', where he  reveals his next project is 'Live By Night' - "about love, fear an death in 1920s Florida in the days of rum-running and Prohibition." 

He is writing script from the Dennis Lehane novel. He suspects he will have to star in it but would rather cast "an actor more interesting than myself".

Ben Affleck (Credit: Wenn)
He jokes he's thinking of bumping into Daniel Day Lewis in the gents at the Baftas on 10 February with a copy of the script. "I think he may be the modern Brando."

Affleck, 40, admits he is surprised by the huge success of 'Argo' (which took Best Picture and Director at the Golden Globes and won the top honour for overall cast performance at the Screen Actors Guild Awards this week). 

"It's just unlikely that 'Argo' would be this popular: it's a drama, it's set in the Middle East, and the cast are all adults. They tell you adult movies don't play at the box office."

The script landed in Affleck's hands by chance. "Warners said it was their 'best script', and you know what that means in the hyperbole of Hollywood. But I was gripped instantly. "

He identifies with the character he plays in the film - CIA agent and estranged father Tony Mendez.  "Chris Terrio, the scriptwriter, said this a thriller but it's also a man's journey back to a son." Adding: "Any kind of job that pulls you away from your family is hard - but at least I wasn't risking my life. The divorce rate in the intelligence community is high."

It was important to start the film with a history of the Iranian revolution, he says. "I wrote a couple of papers on Iran and the revolution doing Middle Eastern studies at school [college]. It wasn't a popular field of study but i had this thing, like the Iranian film official says, in the movie, about the myths of the Middle East, 'the snake charmers and the magic carpets'. I know better know."

He is also concerned about the plan to make an Iranian sequel to 'Argo'. "I just wish they'd consult me on the franchise."

He's disappointed not to be Oscar-nominated as Best Director but enthuses: "I'm pleased to be on the team with the other directors that didn't get listed: Paul Thomas Anderson, Kathryn Bigelow and Tom Hooper."