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Cast of Ben Affleck’s ‘Argo’ to Prepare by Simulating Hostage Situation for Two Weeks

Written by on June 15, 2011 

As of late, the details for Argo, the next directorial effort from Ben Affleck (The Town) have been piling up at a steady clip. Of course, first came the news that Affleck’s involvement with Argo would indeed keep him from starring in Baz Luhrmann‘s adaptation of The Great Gatsby. Earlier this month, we also learned that Alan Arkin (Little Miss Sunshine) will play “an O.S.S. veteran described as equal parts bookie and rabbi” in the film.

There will be six principal cast members in the film — Arkin, Affleck, and four others — and although we don’t know for sure who those four others will be, we do have confirmation that they will rehearse for the film by living like actual hostages for a time period of two weeks. The film, to remind you, will center on a hostage situation that took place in November 1979. Here is a more detailed synopsis of the historical events that the film will depict. [New York Magazine]

When the U.S. embassy fell, 66 American diplomats and family members were trapped inside for 444 days, but six actually escaped into the street, ultimately hiding at the Canadian embassy. These six would spend the next 84 days as faux “houseguests” of Canadian Ambassador Ken Taylor while the CIA implemented a covert operation called “Argo”: A CIA hostage extraction expert named Tony Mendez (who’ll be played by Affleck) concocted a ruse wherein the six “houseguests” were presented as part of a fake Hollywood film crew scouting movie locations for an equally fake movie called, naturally, Argo. Canadian Parliament even had its first secret session since World War II to grant the six real Canadian passports. Display ads to promote Argo were actually taken out in the American press. The Argo cover was meant not only to allow the extraction of the six escaped American hostages from the Canadian embassy, but also for the infiltration of a U.S. commando team that could retake the American embassy and free the remaining 60 hostages, too. The six ultimately escaped three months later, but word of the operation broke in the Canadian press, scotching plans for the rescue of the remaining U.S. hostages.

Looks like Affleck is planning to go all out on this project, which is wonderful news, considering the promise he’s shown with his first two efforts in the director’s chair. And it shouldn’t be long now until we learn of the full cast, which we’ll inform you of as soon as possible.

What do you think of Affleck implementing Method acting techniques?




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