Ben Affleck joined by George Clooney and Jennifer Garner at Argo premiere

George Clooney, Jennifer Garner and some real-life former spies joined Ben Affleck at the Los Angeles premiere of his new CIA thriller Argo.

Stacy Keibler was arm-in-arm with boyfriend Clooney, who is a producer of the film and gave the script to Affleck.

Meanwhile Affleck's wife Garner walked the red carpet and posed for photographs separately from her husband.

Argo is based on the true story of a bold rescue during the Iran hostage crisis. It's won early Oscar buzz after warm receptions at festival screenings.

But the already-long promotional tour has been taking its toll on the director and star.

He said: "I've talked myself hoarse. I got a little sick. But don't worry I'm not contagious any more.

"That's what they always say, right? 'Oh you're not contagious?' My wife tells me that all the time. Three days later I'm like throwing up six hours straight. But yes, I'm home now."

The movie chronicles a joint effort by the CIA and the Canadian government to rescue six Americans from Tehran after the U.S. embassy was taken over by Islamist militants in 1979.

Affleck plays real-life CIA operative Tony Mendez, who teams up with a Hollywood producer to dream up a phony Canadian science-fiction flick they want to shoot in Iran, intending to smuggle the six Americans out as part of the film crew.

Mendez was on hand for the LA premiere, and Affleck said about him: "Tony spent his career fooling people.

“He did it with his life when other peoples' lives were on the line. And he did it in a complicated way. Here we do it in a bit of lighthearted way.

"At the root of it these things are so similar that Hollywood could work with the CIA to make this story, which is now a movie that's tense and funny and a complicated spy story all wrapped up in the truth."

Alan Arkin plays a Hollywood producer who is brought in on the CIA plot to make a fake movie seem real. He compares Affleck's second Hollywood career to another famed actor-director, John Huston.

"He's a master at what he does. It's like he's been doing it for 25 years. He's a brilliant, brilliant director," Arkin said. "I think there are similarities. I think he's got more heart. I think Huston had heart in a couple of things and then he got a little bit cynical. So far, his stuff has a lot of heart."

  • Argo is released in the UK on November 7.