Back when the critics mocked him and the tabloids stalked him, some in hollywood wondered if ben affleck was just a guy matt damon brought along for the ride. Not anymore, as he built a family life... See More
Back when the critics mocked him and the tabloids stalked him, some in hollywood wondered if ben affleck was just a guy matt damon brought along for the ride. Not anymore, as he built a family life and a passion to help the most desperate in africa, he earned a spot as one of the most represented directors in hollywood and his latest film may be his best. As we discussed in the "nightline" interview, at argo" is based 32 years later. An angry mob storms an american embassy in the middle east. But this is not 2012 and these aren't clips from a recent "nightline." This is 1979. The moment that created "nightline." Outside our embassy and all through tehran, more chanting and shouting today. Reporter: For 444 days, as america obsessed over the 52 hostages held in iran, few knew about the six embassy workers who escaped and fled to the home of the canadian ambassador. While they hid, for weeks, from the deadly wrath of the revolutionary guards, a cia agent named tony mendez hatched an insane rescue plan. He would fly them out of tehran, posing as a film crew, scouting locations for a "star wars" rip-off called "argo." You need a script. You need a producer. Reporter: Before he could convince the americans to play along, he needed hollywood to help sell the lie. Teach somebody to be a director in a day? You can teach a rhesus monkey to be a director in a day. Reporter: Funny to think there are genuine laughs in a story like this. But one comes from the idea that spies and hollywood producers are hustlers of dafrnt strifferent stripe, right? It really is true. To have to make up all these yarns in order to get done what they want to get done. Security of our country depended on hendless, you know, stories. And, so, it never would have worked if it weren't a true story because people would have thought, there's no way the cia would be working with hollywood. Reporter: But it did work. And because dozens of hostages remained back at the embassy, the cia had to give all the credit to canada. Good evening. Day 87, and finally a sliver of really good news. Reporter: I and tony men delz got the glory he deserved. But affleck may not have to wait so long. If the early buzz is right, that grinning kid who got an oscar for writing "good will hunting" could be picking up another for directing "argo." And what a ride in between. My father's killer as he dies. Wait. Reporter: If you look at the filmography, you have "gigli," jt jersey girl." You have "company men", "the town." This is a guy making very different choices now. On some level. I'm not super into the idea of doing super hero movies now. Not because I have any judgment in them. Reporter: If you could go back to the shrine auditorium in 1998, when your mom was there, you got the trophy, matt's there, you can pull that kid aside and tell him what you know now, what would your advice be? Well, probably be a long conversation and not one that was suitable for television. That was a very strange time. It was almost, you know, too much stimulation. It was hard to take in and hard to really recognize and put in perspective. Took me a little while -- this is my wife. Reporter: And during the maturity talk, right on cue -- hey, I'm doing an interview. Reporter: Comes a call from jennifer garner. Now wife of seven years, mother of his three kids and constant career counselor. Extraordinary as a person and as a parent. Seems to have these instincts where I'm totally lost. Reporter: Who is the alpha? Listen. Any man who wants to have a marriage work needs to know who is boss is. For one, and for o, they need to know it's not them. Reporter: How has fatherhood changed you? I think it's changed me in the way that I view the world in terms of doing something substantive, leaving behind something that matters. This is the congo river. Reporter: Exhibit a, the congo. Four years ago, affleck invited "nightline" along as he laid the groundwork in his effort to bring attention to the desperation of millions, ravaged by war and famine. How goes that fight? Are you still engaged there? It goes great. In fact, I want to give you guys some of our congo bars, which we have coming out. Reporter: Really? This is the eastern congo initiative. We fund a grass roots organization that works with cocoa farmers. To help them bring theit, the way they dry it out, farm it, up to international standards. Hook them up with private sector here, theo chocolates, who are great partners and now they're in business. Ben affleck. Reporter: And while he still lobbies the u.S. Government to put diplomatic pressure on congo to help their people, the democrat is not campaigning the way he did in election years past. Yeah, I got lessinterested. The more I was around it, I felt it was too much about money. If you are a surrogate, you are there to help raise money. If you are not, you watch what the campaigns are doing to raise money and I've been pt of it. I participated in it but it just depresses me. It's not interesting and I think it doesn't reflect well on our democracy. Reporter: And for now, he is content to enjoy this career sweet spot. Getting ready to direct matt damon in the story of boston crime boss whitey bull gger. I wondered if damon gave him grief for showing his six-pack abs. Might have been a two-pack. Y Reporter: You couldn't resist. Sexiest man alive. The script was like, tony gets out of the shower and walks -- it was like a whole, you know thing and -- I was like, I'm just going -- how about just put the shirt and and we keep going. Reporter: You have to service the lady fans out there. You have to give them something. Going to -- Reporter: International relations. But also the barry gibb look. That's for the ladies. The ladies love the barry gibb look. I need you to help me make a fake movie. You came to the right place. And I went for it. I am not too proud to say, the beard and the hair -- Reporter: Your hair? Oh, yeah. That was my hair. I wouldn't try to perpetrate a fraud with that. I'm surprised that I haven't gotten a lot of remarks on how
This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.