Dominique Charriau/WireImage, PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty, JC Olivera/WireImage, Sean Zanni/Patrick McMullan via Getty Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Jason Bateman and Bradley Cooper are part of a celebrity Wordle group
Ben Affleck has written — and read — plenty of words during his Hollywood career. But unbeknownst to fans, he’s been using that love of words to take on some friendly competition.
In a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Affleck revealed that he has a “celebrity Wordle group” with a few close friends in the industry: Matt Damon, Jason Bateman and Bradley Cooper.
The starry Wordle crew wasn’t one that he founded, Affleck revealed, but rather one he joined after spending time playing web-based word game Octordle — which he had to temporarily put aside during the pandemic.
Angela Weiss/Getty Matt Damon (right) and Ben Affleck (left)
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“I’d had it a couple of times and been asymptomatic, and so I got kind of cavalier and a little bit like, ‘Wow, COVID doesn’t really actually affect me. I’m one of those people.’ And then I just got annihilated,” Affleck said of the pandemic. “I had the no-energy COVID, where it was too much work to pick up the phone to play Octordle.”
His love for Octordle — which Affleck describes as “Wordle with more words” — has led him to be invited to a “cool little red velvet rope celebrity Wordle group” consisting of his fellow stars.
“Actually, the first rule of Wordle is don’t talk about Wordle. Unless you get it in three guesses. I used to do the crossword compulsively in the mornings and think I was good at word games,” Affleck said. “And let’s face it, going up against actors, it’s not a high bar. I expected to do fairly well, so I was seriously humbled.”
“You have to do the Wordle, the Quordle and the Octordle, and add up your score, and then whoever gets the lowest score wins for the day. It’s fiercely competitive, and there’s a lot of mockery and derision,” he continued. “So I’m in training.”
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STEFANI REYNOLDS/AFP/Getty Wordle
The word game, owned by the New York Times, has taken on a few different forms outside of those mentioned by Affleck — including a version just for Swifties. A Taylor Swift version of the game, appropriately titled Taylordle, launched in 2022, courtesy of the Holy Swift podcast.
Additionally, fans of Wordle can take on Airportle, another variation of the game that Scott’s Cheap Flights put together for airport-loving users. The game gives players five guesses, but the hidden word each day is a three-letter IATA airport code, like LAX for Los Angeles or ORD for Chicago O’Hare.
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As for Affleck’s longtime friendship with his Wordle buddy Damon, the star revealed that “the reason it works is that I trust him and love him.”
“And I know that this is somebody with integrity,” he told The Hollywood Reporter. “In this business, failure is hard, and success is confusing and can make you lose your bearings. Having that friendship as a touchstone over the years was really meaningful.”
“One of the things we reflected on when we did The Last Duel that caused us to want to do this company together was the fact that we wished we’d kept working together more over the years,” he continued. “We fell prey to this idea that, ‘Well, if you don’t individuate your careers and do your own things, people will always associate you together. That will be limiting.'”
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