Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but the world could’ve enjoyed steamy footage of Matt Damon hate-kissing Ben Affleck, were it not for the editorial judgment of director Ridley Scott. According to Entertainment Tonight, the two actors–slash–best friends were supposed to lock lips in the forthcoming period drama The Last Duel until Scott deemed the moment too “distracting.” To which I say: For whom?
But before we get into all of that, a brief recap for those of you who (like me) have never heard of The Last Duel before now: This is the story of a knight (Damon) defending his wife’s honor against a rapist squire in 1300s France, and in the original script, it was necessary — to maintain historical accuracy as well as an aura of general sexiness — for Damon to lay one on Affleck, even though their characters “really hate each other,” per Damon. Affleck plays a nobleman, and “in the original actual version of that scene,” he explained, “the way that ceremony actually took place was that you kissed everybody on the mouth.” Presumably the ceremony in question underscored Damon’s fealty to Affleck, but regardless, “that would’ve been our first onscreen kiss,” Damon told ET. Only now, per Affleck, “it’s going to have to wait.” Rude!
Anyway, the Little Kiss became a Little Kneel in the movie, which Affleck improvised to be especially awkward for Damon. (I won’t spoil it for you.) But what jumps out at me here is the word onscreen, which implies that these two have kissed offscreen — not for the cameras but for personal reasons having to do with love and friendship, I bet. These two are besties, after all, and though much of Affleck’s time is currently consumed by performatively kissing another celeb in public, maybe he and Damon will one day give the people a show. Until then, please direct your complaints and criticisms to Ridley Scott, the only person standing in the way of this kiss between bros.