The star-studded A-list affair at the Beverly Hills Hotel on Thursday included numerous long time CDF supporters, plus newcomers to the cause, such as Matt Damon, who said he and his wife, Luciana Barroso, were there for the first time at the invitation of friends and looking forward to the program.
As an admirer of Matt Damon’s films, I enjoyed the opportunity to talk with the “Bourne” star, who said he came at the invitation of friends, naming Abrams among them. I only wish I’d thought to ask him about Nelson Mandela, as he starred as the rugby captain in “Invictus,” and no doubt would have met South Africa’s remarkable president, who died earlier on the day of the dinner.
The event raised $1 million, with 420 guests, tickets priced from $500 and tables available for as much as $100,000. Students will each receive a $10,000 college scholarship, in addition to support services.
PLAYBOY: Matt Damon has been your friend since you were eight. What’s the value in a long-term friendship like that?
AFFLECK: I probably can’t overstate the degree to which he’s been helpful, even in that it’s psychologically good to have somebody you trust, who’s going through it too, who can understand what you’re going through and whose opinion you respect. Matt just moved down the street from me, so he lives closer to me now than when we were growing up together in Boston. Our kids hang out together; we have barbecues. I was at his place two nights ago. Having a friend you’ve been connected to since you were a little kid, that’s grounding. Matt and my brother Casey are the two people I rely on the most, emotionally and professionally.
PLAYBOY: Isn’t there a competitive nature between you? Who wins at poker?
AFFLECK: I’m still the better poker player, probably, though neither of us plays much anymore. Matt was talking about getting a game going in his house. Yeah, we’re competitive, but we learned to handle it early on. We would take the train from Boston to New York to audition. We both felt, Look, I want to get the part, but if it’s not me, I want it to be you. It was a healthy way of acknowledging you want what you want, but you’re also rooting for the other guy.
Recent Angeleno Matt Damon, wife Luciana Bozán Barroso, and two friends popped by Casa Vega for an upbeat and casual Sunday lunch. The baseball cap-clad actor ordered a couple rounds of Cadillac Margaritas and beers for the group, and they all enjoyed steak tacos and guacamole.