Matt Damon credits Sylvester Stallone with kickstarting his Hollywood career - because the ageing action star inspired him and best friend Ben Affleck to fight for starring roles in Good Will Hunting, which they wrote. An unknown Stallone infamously refused to sell his script for 1976 Oscar winner Rocky unless movie bosses cast him in the lead role - a strategy Damon and Affleck successfully copied for their own 1998 Academy Award winner. Damon says, "Stallone's what gave us the guts to say, 'We're attached to the movie.' What he did with Rocky set a precedent. It's a great movie. "But what he did - I mean, all those stories about him having $103 in his bank account and the pregnant wife, and them offering him thirty grand if they can blow him out and put Ryan O'Neal in. "And he says, 'No, I'm not gonna do that, this is my movie.' That's what gave us the courage."