Ben Affleck Gives Back with an 'Argo' Special Screening

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Ben Affleck Gives Back with an 'Argo' Special Screening
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Ben Affleck enjoys chatting about his new film "Argo" at a special screening in Beverly Hills on October …

If you haven't heard, Ben Affleck is flying high with "Argo," his terrific new film. He's the director, producer and star of the tensely exciting drama set during the 1980 Iran hostage crisis; and the movie just may be good enough to win him some Oscars in February. Ask the audience who joined him at the Writers' Guild Theater in Beverly Hills on Thursday October 11 for a special charity screening of the flick; they loved it so much that the applause and cheering was deafening as the credits rolled.

It isn't easy to wow an insider Hollywood crowd, one that included Marisa Tomei, Patricia Heaton, Paul Dooley, "True Blood" star Sam Trammell, Lindsay Price, Tom Sizemore and chef Curtis Stone, but the film is truly exceptional.

Exceptional, too, was the reason for the special screening and cocktail party beforehand. Sponsored by Samsung Galaxy S III, the bash benefited two charities: Affleck's Eastern Congo Initiative and Children Mending Hearts, the organization devoted to helping disadvantaged kids founded by Lysa Heslov. Grant Heslov, who also produced the film (along with George Clooney), enjoyed the packed party with Lysa (his wife) and joined Affleck onstage for a quick Q&A after the film.

Jimmy Kimmel led the lively conversation with Affleck, Heslov and "Argo" stars Bryan Cranston, Clea DuVall and Scoot McNairy, even offering up some questions tweeted by Samsung users.

"Yeah, I'll do this with the phone," Kimmel joked as he read them off the big-screened smartphone, "since it's for such great charities."

Affleck admitted that they revved up the action in the final act of the movie that's all about a daring American escape via a flight out of Tehran Airport in the midst of the crisis. "We externalized the tension that they all felt in their chests, as they waited to get onto the plane," he admitted. "We made it a bit more exciting than them sitting in the airport during a flight delay!"

It was a wise choice, for audiences watching "Argo" are swept up into the exciting story as it moves from Tehran to CIA Headquarters in Virginia to Hollywood and back again, deftly blending incredibly taut action sequences with some very funny comedic moments.

Take it from Jimmy Kimmel: "This movie is fantastic!" he cheered.

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