Tuesday September 11, 2012

TORONTO -- On behalf of himself and his fellow Americans, Ben Affleck is saying thank you to Canada.

Affleck made his latest return to the Toronto International Film Festival to premiere his Iran hostage thriller "Argo," for which he does double-duty as star and director.

Opening in theaters Oct. 12, "Argo" chronicles a joint effort by the CIA and the Canadian government to rescue six Americans from Tehran after the U.S. embassy was taken over by Islamist militants in 1978. While 52 others were held hostage at the embassy, the six Americans were hidden by Canadian authorities, who worked with U.S. operatives to concoct an elaborate scheme to get them out of the country.

"The idea they came up with was to pretend they were all on a location scout for a movie," Affleck said in a telephone interview before the festival. "They went to Hollywood and basically put together the back-story for a fake movie. They took out ads, did a read-through, all the real things a real movie would have to do."

"It’s really a movie about Canadian heroics and the relationship between Canada and America," Affleck said. "Once you see the movie, you’ll see how it resonates, the theme of, ‘Thank you, Canada.’ "

Affleck has reason to give personal thanks to Canada. His bank-robbery hit "The Town" got a warm welcome from Toronto festival crowds two years ago, and he hopes for the same this time.


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