Throwback!: Matt Damon Says it was "Painful" to be Ben Affleck's Friend When He was Dating Jennifer Lopez

Getty Images

Ben Affleck is sure lucky to have a friend like Matt Damon!

In a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Matt, 44, defended his "misunderstood" pal Ben, 43, and asserted the actor is much different in person than he's perceived by the public.

Ben and Jennifer in July 2003. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

"There’s nobody who’s more misunderstood," The Martian star said of Ben. “Ten years ago, the public image of him could not have been farther apart from who he actually is. It was like he was being cast in a role, that he was a talentless kind of meathead, with his whole relationship with Jennifer Lopez."

RELATED: Matt Damon Opens Up About His 10-Year Marriage — and Sounds Off on Friend Ben Affleck's Divorce!

Matt was, of course, referring to Ben's much-publicized courtship and subsequent engagement to Jennifer, 46, in the early 2000s. The former couple — known to the masses as "Bennifer" — were together for 18 months from 2002 until 2004.

Ben and Jennifer (left) and Jennifer and Marc (right). (Photo Credits: Getty Images)

"He just got cast as this person that he wasn’t," Matt added of Ben's relationship with the "Booty" singer. "It was just really painful. It was painful to be his friend, because it wasn’t fair, you know? To my mind, nobody really got him at all."

RELATED: Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner Spotted Leaving Marriage Counseling Center Following Divorce Announcement

After Ben and Jen split, the actor began dating Jennifer Garner, 43, and the two later married in 2005. The couple — who are parents to three kids, Violet, 9, Seraphina, 6, and Samuel, 3 — recently announced they are divorcing after 10 years of marriage. Jennifer similarly tied the knot with Marc Anthony, 47, in 2004 and welcomed twins Max and Emme, 7, in 2008. They too split after 10 years of marriage in 2014.