Affleck: Kerry's office too fancy for Hollywood

Secretary of State John Kerry's Washington office was too fancy even for Hollywood to replicate, Argo director and Africa advocate Ben Affleck revealed Wednesday.

The director and star of the $45 million diplomatic caper “Argo” is in Washington to testify before the Senate Foreign Relations panel about the crisis in the Congo on behalf of the Eastern Congo Initiative, which he founded four years ago. He met with Kerry and his special envoy to the Great Lakes region, former Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.), before heading to Capitol Hill.

ADVERTISEMENT
“This part’s much better,” he told reporters assembled in Kerry's outer office. “In fact, this was – this area was too fancy to try to recreate so we just recreated white hallways with colored stripes.”

Affleck has testified on the issue previously, when Kerry was still the panel's chairman. 

He urged lawmakers to stay focused on Congo after a brutal rebel faction surrendered late last year.

“This is a region that’s suffered enormous damage and trauma. And this fire is now abating a little bit, and we have a window where engagement on the part of secretary, the president, the Congress all collectively can make a real difference,” Affleck said. “And I think historically, there’s an instinct to sort of put out one fire and go to the next fire. And this is a point where we can act to prevent the fire from igniting again.”

The Hollywood star is close to Democrats and campaigned for Elizabeth Warren's successful run against Scott Brown.

Affleck also attracted interest as a possible replacement for Kerry when the longtime senator got the nod to become secretary of State at the end of 2012. He said at the time he wasn't interested.

Please send tips and comments to Julian Pecquet: jpecquet@thehill.com

Follow us on Twitter: @TheHillGlobal and @JPecquetTheHill