Matt Damon and Ben Affleck struggled to work through shifts at a cinema showing Dead Poets Society after losing out on roles in the film.

The Bourne Identity star and his pal boosted their cashflow while struggling to make it as working actors by serving up popcorn and taking tickets at a small movie theatre in their native Boston, Massachusetts - and they had to endure career heartache as they listened to patrons rave about the 1989 movie.

Damon recalls, "The painful part was that Dead Poets Society was the only movie that they played the entire summer and we both auditioned for it.

"Every night you would see 400 people walking out of the theatre with tears streaming down their faces going, 'That was the greatest movie ever', and, 'Robin Williams was amazing', and we just kind of had to sit there getting kicked in the teeth three times a day, everyday as the crowd came out."

He continues, "I think we were convinced that we got a lot closer than we probably actually did. I met the director years later, Peter Weir, and he didn't have any idea who I was; 'Oh you auditioned for that?' 'Yeah I thought I was pretty close, I thought it was between me and Ethan Hawke, no?'"