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Do you like apples? Well, I got her number. HOW DO YA LIKE THEM APPLES?
~ Will Hunting taunting an arrogant college student about getting Skylar's phone number

Will Hunting is the protagonist of the 1997 drama film, Good Will Hunting. He is a troubled math prodigy who undergoes court-mandated therapy with Dr. Sean Maguire and faces long-repressed traumas while he decides what to do with his life.

He was portrayed by Matt Damon, who also portrayed Cale Tucker in Titan A.E., Mark Watney in The Martian, Spirit in Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron, Max Da Costa in Elysium, and Jason Bourne in the Bourne series.

Damon received a Best Actor nomination for his performance and won for Best Original Screenplay alongside Ben Affleck, who played Will's best friend Chuckie Sullivan.

Background

Will is an orphan who was born and raised in South Boston, and suffered severe physical abuse at the hands of his foster father, who finally stabbed him, nearly killing him. Will bounced around a series of other, dysfunctional foster homes before finally living on his own at age 18.

Will is a genius, with an eidetic memory, a peerless ability at higher mathematics and physics, and an encyclopedic knowledge of subjects such as history, literature, science, and art, gained from voracious reading. He writes PH.D.-level mathematical equations for fun, and gets a job as a janitor for Harvard University so he can eavesdrop on classes.

For all his intellectual ability, however, he is emotionally stunted; he is so traumatized by the abuse he suffered as a child that he cannot lower his defenses enough to trust or have genuine relationships with anyone; the one person he will let himself care for is his best friend Chuckie, whom he has known since childhood.

In Good Will Hunting

Will solves a higher-level equation that Harvard mathematics professor Jerry Lambeaux assigned to his students, anonymously writing it on Lambeaux's blackboard. That night, he intervenes on Chuckie's behalf when Clark, an arrogant Harvard history major, tries to embarrass Chuckie by questioning him about the course textbook in front of a young woman named Skylar. The self-educated Will demonstrates a far greater knowledge of history than Clark, whose parents have paid hundreds of thousands of dollars for his education. Impressed, Skylar gives Will her phone number, and Will taunts Clark as he leaves the bar.

The next day, Will gets into a fistfight with a man who used to bully him in grade school, and is arrested. At the same time, Lambeaux finds out that Will solved the equation, and bails him out of jail in hopes of making him his protégé and groom him for a prestigious, high-paying job. The court sentences Will to therapy in lieu of jail time, but he refuses to cooperate and resists the efforts of several psychiatrists. Lambeaux finally sends him to his old friend Sean Maguire, a therapist who specializing in counseling child abuse victims. At their first session, Will acts out by insulting Sean's wife, who unbeknownst to him died of cancer three years earlier. Sean meets with him the next day at a park and bluntly tells Will that he he knows nothing about real relationships because he is too afraid to let anyone in. For once at a loss for words, Will comes back in to Sean's office and begins genuinely participating in the therapy.

During their sessions together, Will tells Sean about Skylar, and confesses that he is hesitant to pursue a relationship with her. Sean tells Will about meeting and falling in love with his wife, and says that they loved each other for their imperfections rather than in spite of them. Sean also confronts Will about his inability to let people in, and tells him he need to allow himself to be vulnerable if he ever wants to have real love in his life.

Meanwhile, Will begins dating Skylar and finds that he has feelings for her, but refuses to tell her anything about his past. When she presses him, Will loses his temper and accuses her of slumming with him so she could have a story to tell her rich friends. Hurt, Skylar replies that her money is an inheritance from her late father that she would happily give up if she could have him back; she then says she loves him and wants to give their relationship a chance. Will is terrified of showing his emotions, however, and breaks up with her.

At Lambeaux's instigation, Will interviews for several high-paying jobs, but rejects them all because he doesn't want to be tied down; he even sends Chuckie to impersonate him at an interview for a law firm. When Sean confronts him, Will angrily accuses him of hiding from life since his wife's death, and storms out. While working construction with Chuckie, he tells his friend that he does not want his life to change, and would be happy to be living the way he currently is when he is 50. Chuckie replies that Will is simply afraid of using his gifts, and that he has always secretly hoped that he would simply disappear one day and live a better life.

Will goes to his final session with Sean and walks in on Sean and Lambeaux arguing about his future. After Lambeaux leaves, Sean shows Will police reports concerning the abuse that his foster father put him through, and admits that he himself was abused as a child. Sean then tells Will, "It's not your fault," repeating it until Will finally bursts into tears and crumbles into Sean's arms.

On Will's 21st birthday, his friends buy him a car, and they go out on the town one last time. The next day, Will leaves Boston without saying a word to Chuckie, fulfilling his friend's wish that he would just leave to go on to something better. He then drives away to California to reunite with Skylar, leaving a note on Sean's door that reads, "I had to go see about a girl".

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