Weather Updates

‘Argo’ lightens up when John Goodman, Alan Arkin appear

(L-r) JOHN GOODMAN as John Chambers ALAN ARKIN as Lester Siegel BEN AFFLECK as Tony Mendez “ARGO” presentatiWarner Bros. Pictures

(L-r) JOHN GOODMAN as John Chambers, ALAN ARKIN as Lester Siegel and BEN AFFLECK as Tony Mendez in “ARGO,” a presentation of Warner Bros. Pictures in association with GK Films, to be distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures.

storyidforme: 37964508
tmspicid: 13922241
fileheaderid: 6405389

Updated: November 8, 2012 11:41AM

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. — John Goodman and Alan Arkin have their act together.

“I found them doing a soft shoe on Broadway,” jokes Ben Affleck, director of their upcoming film “Argo.”

“He’s being very kind about Broadway. We were working in a dinner theater doing ‘Hellzapoppin,’ ” says Arkin.

Chimes in Goodman, “We were doing ‘The Sunshine Boys.’ ”

In “Argo” (opening Friday), Goodman plays movie monster-making guru John Chambers and Arkin plays uber producer Lester Siegel.

In a story of how Hollywood helps get six hostages out of Iran during the 1979 crisis, they are the forces from La La Land.

“We have the comedy part of the movie, which is a nice contrast to the other parts of ‘Argo’ set in Washington and Iran,” says Arkin, a 78-year-old Second City alum. “It’s a nice contrast because in Washington during the hostage crisis, careers were at stake. In Iran, there were lives at stake. But in Hollywood, we were just going about our lives. There wasn’t a pressure.”

Their “Argo” co-star Bryan Cranston, who plays a CIA boss, says, “Ben sets a tone on the set that’s relaxed and comfortable. It allows you to take chances without being judged or ridiculed.

“I was ridiculed. I want that on the record,” Arkin says, adding, “Ben is as meticulous as any director I’ve ever worked with and he’s darling.”

At that moment, Affleck overhears his words and kisses Arkin on the cheek. It’s a mushy kiss that has his elder blushing.

“Good thing he shaved,” Arkin quips.

Big Picture News Inc.

© 2014 Sun-Times Media, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied or distributed without permission. For more information about reprints and permissions, visit To order a reprint of this article, click here.