Remember when we mentioned that Cole Hauser met a couple of important rising stars on the set of School Ties in 1992? Those up-and-comers were none other than Matt Damon and Ben Affleck. It seems the trio hit it off, because when Damon and Affleck were putting together the cast for the feature film they’d co-written, Hauser was one of the first names on the list of actors they wanted on board. Hauser wisely signed on to his friends’ low-budget feature — which went on to win Damon and Affleck a screenwriting Oscar, and net their famous co-star Robin Williams his one and only Academy Award.
Directed by the great Gus Van Sant, that film was 1997’s Good Will Hunting, which essentially served as a breakout for everyone involved not named Robin Williams, who obviously didn’t need a breakout at that point in his career. Still, the likes of Matt Damon, Ben and Casey Affleck, Minnie Driver, and Stellan Skarsgård sort of did — and Cole Hauser did as well. In the film, Hauser played Billy McBride, a close friend of Damon’s self-taught genius character Will Hunting.
While Good Will Hunting didn’t quite land Hauser on the A-list like it did some of his co-stars, his work as the “quiet one” in Damon and Affleck’s tough-as-nails Southie crew bolstered his growing rep as an actor with powerful screen presence.