Affleck explained the true story behind the film, saying, “This incident in ‘Argo’ happened on, like, Day 78 [The diplomats ultimately left Iran on Day 86], but it was on Day 444 that the hostages were released, so the events that we focus on in the movie were like this glimmer of hope that quickly subsided into the general malaise and depression about the fact that we had these people stuck over there and we couldn’t do anything about it.”
When making the film, Affleck tried to stay true to the heart of the story. “Well, the movie is about kind of a sub-story in the larger drama of all the hostages and the whole takeover — ‘Argo’ is just one small piece of that. The story itself was in Time magazine and is actually pretty well documented, but overall, it got kind of upstaged by the larger issue of the hostages.”
If the film wasn’t based on a true story, he’s not sure the public would buy it. “People ascribe a certain kind of silliness to the movie business,” he said. “Everybody feels like, ‘In the movies, they do crazy stuff.’ So I don’t think audiences would buy it if it weren’t a true story. You’d just think, Oh, this is absurd. But to me, ‘Argo’ is about storytelling, and in particular, the way fantasy touches a certain place in our collective consciousness.”
“Argo” is in theaters now.