NEW YORK – Rumors have been flying that Hollywood hunk Ben Affleck (search) might be interested in becoming a "Benator." Is it true?
"I'm interested in politics and like to be involved with them, and this is all I'm doing right now," he told The Associated Press by phone Thursday, referring to his efforts regarding Hurricane Katrina (search). "But if you want to be my campaign manager, you come over here and we'll talk about it."
Affleck, 33, has shown political interest in the past, including an appearance at last year's Democratic National Convention.
Six weeks after Katrina struck the Gulf Coast, Affleck is urging continued contributions to the relief effort. The actor has donated several items — including a "Good Will Hunting" script he and Matt Damon signed — to an online charity auction by Charity Folks and Citizens Helping Heroes.
"I think one of the dangers of great tragedies like this is, once they fall away from the 24-hour news cycle, there's a tendency to think, 'Well that's dealt with,'" Affleck told The Associated Press by phone Thursday.
"It's not something that can be ameliorated with the one telethon we did the month afterward. It's a continuing process."
Affleck said he got involved with the auction, which began Wednesday and ends Oct. 27, after he received a call from former President Clinton's office. Proceeds will benefit the Bush-Clinton Katrina Fund and the National Guard Family Program.
"One of the ways that I could contribute was to shill some memorabilia, and the other was to talk to you and try to get people to pay attention to this auction," Affleck said.
The auction also includes items from Jessica Simpson, Al Pacino, The Rolling Stones, Sting, Maroon 5, Derek Jeter and others.
Affleck was to begin filming "Smokin' Aces" in Lake Tahoe, Nev., on Friday. The movie, about a mob informant, also stars Jeremy Piven, Andy Garcia and Ray Liotta.
Damon and Affleck won a screenwriting Oscar for 1997's "Good Will Hunting."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.