In late 2012, while promoting the movie he was directing in which he starred as a CIA agent, Ben Affleck was asked if he worked for the Intelligence Agency. His response was, “I am, yes, and now you’ve blown my cover.”
One might think Affleck was joking, but considering his earlier comment “Hollywood is probably full of CIA agents, and we just don’t know it” and that to play his role in the award-winning Argo, he was in close contact with CIA agents and visited the facility, what appeared to be a joke may not be.
The movie Argo is based on a real CIA operation in Tehran, where 6 U.S. embassy employees trapped after the 1979 revolution were taken out.
It should be noted that Argo was supported by the CIA and brought a big publicity boost to the intelligence agency, as reported by RT.
Regarding Affleck’s relationship with the CIA, the actor had already been in contact with the agency when in 2001, he played agent Jack Ryan in The Sum of All Fears, which was released a year later.
According to the film’s production notes, CIA veteran Chase Brandon served as a liaison between the agency and Hollywood, who arranged for the actor to visit CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia, on several occasions.
Brandon also recruited Affleck’s ex-wife, Jennifer Garner, to star in the CIA-backed series Alias and appear in a CIA recruitment ad.
British academic Matthew Alford made an FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) request. The CIA recently released more than 200 pages of documents showing the agency’s close relationship with Ben Affleck and the Argo movie task force.
These documents reveal many details of the work Affleck and the CIA did together.
For example, how former agent Tony Mendez, who Affleck played in the film, worked closely with the actor.
In 2011 they toured together the Old Naval Observatory, the former CIA headquarters and the Agency’s Office of Technical Services base, which was where Mendez worked during the Argo operation.
These visits, along with a later visit to the Langley, Virginia headquarters, were organized jointly by the CIA and the State Department.
In one of the emails you can see the actor’s thanks to the agency for allowing him to visit the facilities.
In another email, Affleck can be seen thanking the Agency for the permission he was granted to sign inside the CIA facility and promised that they would make the agency proud.
It is really very difficult to determine if actor Ben Affleck is truly a CIA agent. Still, if his job as an agent was to improve the public image of the agency, his mission was more than accomplished as a 2014 study by Michelle Pautz determined that he had improved trust in the government and government institutions after watching the movie Argo and the also CIA-backed Zero Dark Thirty.
And notably 34% of people who saw Argo raised their assessment of the CIA….