Ben Affleck: ‘YouTube and the Mafia inspired ‘The Town”

Actor/director aims to give audiences a 'real' experience of robberies in new heist film

Ben Affleck has explained that crime scenes in his new film The Town were partly inspired by YouTube in an attempt to make them as real as possible.

The actor directs and stars in the movie, which premieres at the current Venice Film Festival.

“I wanted to show [the robberies] as we see them in real life,” he told PA. “[We] are accustomed to seeing robberies and violence in 15 frames-per-second, black-and-white material we see on YouTube or the nightly news of someone breaking in, with no sound, and breaking some glass and even maybe shooting.

“The social realism aspect of it was really important to me. I don’t think you can like a movie like this or believe a movie like this unless you have a strong sense of place and really believe that the characters are from there and what you see is really happening.”

The plot involves a gang of bank robbers from the Boston neighbourhood of Charleston, which is notorious for nurturing more bank and armoured car robbers than anywhere else in America. The film also stars Mad Men‘s Jon Hamm, Rebecca Hall, Jeremy Renner and Pete Postlethwaite.

Affleck went on to cite classic gangster films, as well as the more recent Italian film Gomorrah, about the Neapolitan Camorra crime gang, as further inspiration for The Town.

Gomorrah was a big influence on me in that sense you felt that it was real. I had never been there before but you felt like they really got it right,” he said.