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Way Back When: Ben Affleck

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With ‘Argo‘ hitting theaters today, we thought it would be fun to take a look at Ben Affleck way back when — before he was a leading man and before he was Matt Damon‘s writing partner and the world knew them as those ‘Good Will Hunting’ guys. We’re talking all the way back to the days of television and after school specials.

Back in 1986 a very young Ben Affleck played a precocious boy who places a personal ad to help his lonely mom find the perfect guy in the ABC after school special ‘Wanted: The Perfect Guy.’ Affleck co-starred with Madeline Khan in the hour-long movie when he was just a wee teenager and stole our hearts as a doting son on a mission to make his mom’s life a little more fulfilled. It was sweet and everything, but that hair. What is that? It’s like early concept art for Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine look.

ABC

In 1994, Ben Affleck moved away from cute after school special territory and into something much darker with HBO’s ‘Lifestories: Families in Crisis.’ He starred in the episode “Aaron Henry: A Body to Die For,” where he played a jock with a liking for steroids who goes bonkers with ‘roid rage all over his girlfriend when she threatens to tattle on him. This video has made the rounds on the ‘net before, but it’s absolutely delightful to watch Affleck try to act like a big tough guy. And how many layers of clothing is he wearing to look like he has muscles? This clip also proves why Affleck was probably never chosen to play the Hulk because seeing him rage-out isn’t scary — it’s hilarious. The look on his face when he guzzles the pills and some of them fall from his mouth is one of the best worst things we’ve ever seen. It’s a good thing he only got better as an actor from here.

And finally, from 1993 to 1994 Ben Affleck starred on the original ‘Friday Night Lights,’ titled ‘Against the Grain.’ Also based on the Buzz Bissinger book that would eventually inspire the ‘Friday Night Lights’ movie and the beloved television series, this short-lived NBC drama followed an insurance salesman and former football player who returns to his town to coach their struggling football team to victory. It’s incredibly difficult to find images or even video from the series, so enjoy this teen heartthrob pin-up photo from a magazine that touts Affleck as the star of ‘Against the Grain’:

Way Back When: Ryan Gosling

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