Oct. 12, 2012 -- Around these parts we call this #espanYOLO. Ben Affleck, star and director of the new dramatic thriller Argo (out today), speaks Spanish – and though it's not perfect, it's almost better than that. It's Argentine!
The film - about the real-life CIA mission to get six Americans out of Tehran safely during the Iran hostage crisis (1979 - 1981) is exceptional, and a clear contender this awards season.
Affleck (who's proven himself a skilled director in Gone Baby Gone and The Town) plays Tony Mendez, the real-life 'exfiltration' specialist who was responsible for pulling off the mission – the files for which were classified until 1997.
According to Oye Mag, Mendez, who was born in Nevada, lived in Colorado for a good chunk of his life, and now lives in Maryland, "didn't grow up speaking Spanish," so it's interesting that the non-Latino who plays him can speak it like he's from several different Latin American countries, depending on the day.
In this awesome video (a Spanish-language interview conducted by the studio for promotional purposes), Affleck talks about where he picked up the language (he lived in Mexico for one year as a teen), what his favorite Spanish word is ("sacapuntas" or pencil sharpener, obviously), and what it was like collaborating with the prolific Mexican cinematographer Rodrigo Prieto, who's worked with everyone from Pedro Almodovar to Oliver Stone.
Can you catch the Argentine accent? Just two years ago, while speaking with a Univision reporter during a press junket for The Town, he was speaking in more of a Mexican one, and it's kind of adorable.
What accent will he do next? One can only hope for the Spanish lisp.