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Affleck thanks Canada at film fest
On behalf of himself and his fellow Americans, Ben Affleck has said thank you to Canada.
Affleck made his latest return to the Toronto International Film Festival on Friday to premiere his Iran hostage thriller Argo, for which he does double-duty as star and director.
Argo chronicles a joint effort by the CIA and the Canadian government to rescue six Americans from Tehran after the US embassy was taken over by Islamist militants in 1978.
While 52 others were held hostage at the embassy, the six Americans were hidden by Canadian authorities, who worked with US operatives to concoct an elaborate scheme to get them out of the country.
"The idea they came up with was to pretend they were all on a location scout for a movie," Ben said in a telephone interview before the festival.
"They went to Hollywood and basically put together the back-story for a fake movie. They took out ads, did a read-through, all the real things a real movie would have to do."
Ben stars as exfiltration specialist Tony Mendez, who teams with a Hollywood producer (Alan Arkin) to dream up a phony Canadian science-fiction flick they want to shoot in Iran, intending to smuggle the six Americans out as part of the film crew. Argo also features John Goodman and Bryan Cranston.
"It's really a movie about Canadian heroics and the relationship between Canada and America," Ben said. "Once you see the movie, you'll see how it resonates, the theme of, 'Thank you, Canada.'"