Robin Williams

“I’m the Rainmaker”: Matt Damon Sent an Ominous Message to Harvey Weinstein to Cast Robin Williams in His $225M Movie After The Godfather Director’s Advice

Matt Damon and Ben Affleck began their Hollywood adventure in an unusual fashion. They came up with a novel script that became their ticket to Hollywood superstardom. Frustrated with repeated failures at bagging lead roles in movies, the duo negotiated with studios for their script, with the stipulation that they would headline the project. However, since they were relatively small stars at that point, they needed an A-list actor in a prominent role in their movie to finally clinch a deal with a studio.

Matt Damon and Ben Affleck in Good Will Hunting
Matt Damon and Ben Affleck in Good Will Hunting

That actor ultimately was Robin Williams, and Francis Ford Coppola was instrumental in his casting in Good Will Hunting. Matt Damon confided with Harvey Weinstein in a phone call where he told the Hollywood producer about his casting in Francis Ford Coppola’s The Rainmaker.

Matt Damon’s Ominous Message to Harvey Weinstein

Matt Damon and Harvey Weinstein
Matt Damon and Harvey Weinstein

Childhood best friends, Matt Damon and Ben Affleck were tired of getting overlooked in Hollywood. After constantly losing roles to other actors, the duo decided that they had to take matters into their own hands. And thus began the script-writing process for the Oscar-winning film, Good Will Hunting.

Now, while the script in itself was pretty awesome, Damon and Affleck had a condition; they wanted to be the stars of the film. And they soon realized that they would need a big name in their ensemble to make producers listen to their demands and show interest in making the film.

Soon after the realization, they got to work and came up with a character in the script that an A-lister would want to play – Sean Maguire. Here’s where The Godfather director, Francis Ford Coppola, played a very vital role. He decided to pass on the script of Good Will Hunting to Robin Williams who was absolutely floored.

This happened after Damon was cast in Coppola’s The Rainmaker based on the story by John Grisham. This brought more attention to Good Will Hunting. After being cast in the role, Damon sent an ominous message to the disgraced producer, Harvey Weinstein, who thought the actor was getting a lawyer.

As per Boston Magazine, Damon recalled,

“I sent [Harvey Weinstein] a fax that literally said, ‘Dear Harvey, I am the Rainmaker. He called me and he was like, ‘What does that mean?’ He thought I was getting a lawyer or something. I was like, ‘No man, I got the Coppola movie. They cast me as the lead.’ And Harvey goes, ‘THE GRISHAM MOVIE? THOSE THINGS MAKE $100 MILLION!’”

Ben Affleck then stated that while this managed to impress Weinstein, it wasn’t enough for him and his production company to green-light Good Will Hunting. The real push came when Williams got on board. Affleck stated, “Robin really was the rainmaker.” The Alladin actor loved the role so much that he knew he couldn’t let it go and this is how Williams helped Damon and Affleck’s dreams come true.

Matt Damon and Ben Affleck had Written an Open Role

Matt Damon and Robin Williams in Good Will Hunting
Matt Damon and Robin Williams in Good Will Hunting

While looking for an A-list actor who would get on board the Good Will Hunting bandwagon, Damon and Affleck knew they couldn’t be choosy or particular with the role of Sean Maguire. In an interview with GQ, Damon revealed that they wrote the role in such a way that they could make changes as per the future actor’s wishes.

“We were looking for an actor that could get us money because Ben and I wanted to star in the movie and we knew we were worth nothing. So we needed to get [a big name involved]. We wrote [the role] really open-ended… We knew we could adjust it if Morgan Freeman or Denzel Washington wanted to come and play it… if Meryl Streep took the part instead of a father-son relationship it could be a mother-son relationship. So we really left it open because we wanted to cast as wide a net as possible because we were just trying to get the movie made.”

Well, desperate times call for desperate measures. But in the end, all their hard work and struggles paid off as Good Will Hunting went on to receive critical acclaim, and with a score of 97% on Rotten Tomatoes, it changed Damon and Affleck’s lives forever.

Good Will Hunting is available to stream on Max.

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