In 1998, Ben Affleck and Matt Damon were the awards season's biggest success stories. When they won Best Original Screenplay for Good Will Hunting, the best friends' exuberant acceptance speech was the highlight of the show.

Now, that golden moment could go to Best Actor nominee Jeremy Renner. A working actor for more than 20 years, Jeremy's breakthrough role arrived in the form of Kathryn Bigelow's The Hurt Locker, a tense portrayal of an elite bomb squad's sacrifice and heroism in Iraq. Jeremy plays soldier Will James, an explosive ordinance disposal specialist who risks his life every day to disarm bombs.

Ben just finished directing his second film, The Town, in which Jeremy also stars. The two men decide to talk Oscar® one-on-one at Chez Jay, a Santa Monica watering hole where Oscar winners and nominees like Marlon Brando, Warren Beatty and Frank Sinatra were rumored to hang out. "I really believe in him," Ben says. "I think he's great."


Next Story