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If You Take One Thing Away from This Playboy Interview with Ben Affleck, It's that the Man Profoundly Loves His Wife

By Dustin Rowles | Celebrities Are Better than You | January 28, 2014 | Comments ()


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Playboy has posted a lengthy and fantastic interview with Ben Affleck, where he talks about his role in Batman vs. Superman, his career trajectory, his experiences on several of his movies, his political ambitions, and even the dangers that the paparazzi pose to his children. Echoing the sentiments of Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard, he says “it’s wrong and disgusting to follow children around and take their picture and sell it for money,” and talks about Jennifer Garner’s role in helping to get a law passed prohibiting the paparazzi from harassing celebrity children in California. It’s definitely worth a read, but going through it, the thing that stood out most to me is just how profoundly the man adores his wife and how instrumental she was in helping him to resurrect his career.

Here’s a few choice quotes from the piece pertaining to Garner:

On how he dug himself out of a hole after a series of flops:

I thought, Okay, I want to get out of this. My wife was definitely around then. Getting to know her, falling in love with her and being connected with her gave me a foundation to reach out and say, Okay, I’m going to do Hollywoodland; I’m going to direct Gone Baby Gone. Those were the steps forward I needed to put positive stuff on the board. She is by leaps and bounds the most important person to me in that respect. Over the past 10 years she has allowed me to have a stable home life while accomplishing my professional goals

On how Jennifer Garner helped to give him the confidence to dig himself out of that hole:

I was frustrated. A lot of smart people out there made choices they thought would work on some of these movies. Some of it is luck. Everybody has movies that don’t work; I just had a run of them. But I also looked at it and said, “I didn’t work hard enough. I wasn’t diligent enough. I wasn’t dedicated enough.” I made that realization. But once I’d made it, the most critical thing was that she said, “If you’re going to work 24 hours a day, that’s cool. I’m going to be here.” That allowed me to think, Okay, that’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to kill myself over this next period of time.

On why he and Jennifer Garner don’t make any more movies together:

Well, my wife and I made Pearl Harbor and Daredevil. With our track record, I don’t know if anyone’s looking for a three-quel … [We’re not exactly Spencer Tracy and Katherine Hepburn] .. I think it doesn’t work. It’s already hard to get people to suspend disbelief, and then you have married couples in the same movie. People know about the marriage, and they’re not willing to acknowledge the couple as anything else. And marriage is boring to people. They say, “I’m married 20 years. I love my wife, but I have that at home.” People want to see the kindling of new romance in movies. It’s exciting, but not when it’s a couple they know has been together for 10 years.

On Pearl Harbor, where he met his wife:

Pearl Harbor was a wonderful experience. I got to know my wife, and there were a lot of people I liked. It was a disappointment because I thought we were making an iconic movie that could have been made before the war, a Titanic kind of movie. It ultimately ended up being like Armageddon in World War II. You can make Armageddon about oil drillers on an asteroid. You can’t make Armageddon about the Doolittle Raid because that’s history and people take that seriously. You talked about being picky over historical accuracy. Michael Bay, the director, wanted a more commercial tone, and it was commercial, a big hit. People say Pearl Harbor was a bomb. It was absolutely not. It did half a billion dollars, but it became a light piece of entertainment.

On Daredevil:

That’s where I found my wife. We met on Pearl Harbor, which people hate, but we fell in love on Daredevil. By the way, she won most of the fights in the movie, which was a pretty good predictor of what would happen down the road—my wife, holding swords and beating the living shit out of me.

On his fears going into directing Gone Baby Gone:

I was terrified. Everybody said, “This is going to suck. Ben Affleck is directing. This movie’s going to be shit.” I was very discouraged by it and didn’t have a lot of support from anybody really, except my wife. And Matt [Damon].

Source: Playboy





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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not


  • PDamian

    I remember a brief interview Affleck gave Vanity Fair some time after The Town came out, in which he was quoted as saying, "I've been down, and now I'm up, and I'll be down again." He strikes me as someone who understands that fame is transitory, and that good things last and should be respected.

  • I just wish Ben had started with "A Drink Before the War" rather than "Gone Baby Gone" and given us a whole series of Kenzie/Generro adaptations. Maybe he could produce a series on HBO or FX. How the hell has no one optioned the series yet?

  • meadowdancer

    That would be an awesome movie. I wish FX or HBO would do a series based on Kenzie/Generro.

  • emmalita

    A Drink Before the War was amazing. I would love to see a good adaptation.

  • Am I the only one that at first glance thought the header pic was Adam Sandler? And that's terribly unfortunate.

  • John G.

    Ben Affleck could have ended up with Gwyneth Paltrow, so he should thank every lucky star and all the gods of men that he gets to be with Jennifer Garner instead.

  • BWeaves

    He also could have ended up with Jennifer Lopez.

  • grr arrgh

    My god....I had completely forgotten about the formerly omnipresent "Bennifer I"

  • Guest

    I was young little idiot when Bennifer was going on. I loved them. I thought JLo was fabulous and wanted to be just like her. I was FURIOUS when they broke up and for years always hoped they would get back together (I was a teenager, it was like your favorite couple on your favorite show that you always root to get back together). After a while I stopped caring and now I think back to that time and can't believe how ridiculous it all was. They seem happy and settled now, I'm glad for him.

  • bgarcia

    That's great, Ben. I suppose we won't see pictures of him--or his lovely wife, what'shername--parading their children around again (until he's up for another award and needs to keep his name in the game like he did with Argo).

    Julia Roberts does the same damn thing. I've never really seen pap photos of her kids until recently, when she started promoting her latest Oscar-bid pic.

    ETA: I'm not saying he's wrong. (I don't think children are fair game at all.) I'm just saying he's nipping at the hand that feeds.

  • emmalita

    He and Jennifer Garner are photographed out with their children almost every week. I don't think they parade them at awards season. Garner and some other celebrities lobbied for and were part of passing a law that prevents paparazzi in CA from harassing and getting too close to children of celebs. As long as they stay a certain distance and don't yell things the paps can take all the pics they want.

  • bgarcia

    Like I said, I don't think children are fair game; they should never be photographed (even if they aren't the children of celebrities) by strangers.

    But I do believe that celebrities and the paparazzi are often locked into some sick fame game even though there are ways celebrities could keep their children out of that situation. I've never seen (suggesting to me that they're not readily available, though those with better google-fu might dig some up to throw in my face) photos of Johnny Depp's children, for example or Daniel Day Lewis's children. What might Ben and Jen learn from those two?

  • emmalita

    Depp and Day Lewis keep their kids out of the US for the most part.

  • snrp

    Did he forget her name while doing the interview or something?

  • Slim

    My husband almost never calls me by my name, even when talking to other people. Should I be worried?

  • snrp

    Only if he's trying to dissociate before murdering you?

  • Zen

    I thought it was standard to refer to your spouse as just so when speaking of them to people they don't know personally.

  • paddydog

    My first thought also.

  • Mrs. Julien

    Is it you? IS IT YOU?

  • Bob Genghis Khan

    So, congrats on loving his wife?

  • Naye

    I see a lot of people around various blogs that think that because he doesnt say I love, love love, my wife, all gushy like, he thinks of her as a bit of a prop for him to continue to go about his life. I think people forget that support, true honest support, is a major factor in having a happy working relationship. This man had someone behind him who loved him and supported his dream and I don't think it's easy to find the words to express how much it means to have someone stand behind you so significantly, especially when nobody else believed in you. People hang him up for not being in love the way a 20 year old would be, and instead being in love the way somebody who understands the structure to a good marriage is. Seriously, ever since his Oscar speech people have been acting like he snubs his wife.

  • Scully

    “This man had someone behind him who loved him and supported his dream and I don't think it's easy to find the
    words to express how much it means…”
    It’s inadequate
    but: this. A million times this.

  • KC

    I think the way he speaks about his wife is more telling than him just saying "I love my wife" all the time. You can say something like that all the time, but it doesn't hold water if you don't back it up. I think their honesty about their marriage is really good. People who realize what marriage really is seem to be the ones who last.

  • Naye

    It was that "marriage is work" statement that made everybody get all bent out of shape. He told the truth. And that means he's working at it. Which is a whole lot to be said in the face of a 60% divorce rate.

  • BWeaves

    I think there are some couples whose chemistry translates to the screen. Spencer and Hepburn. Pryor and Wilder. Martin Freeman and Amanda Abbington come to mind today. But I don't think it's related to being married, as those couples certainly aren't married.

  • Wōđanaz Óðinn

    I don't know what your keyboard layout is but you spelled Benedict Cumberbatch completely wrong.

  • meadowdancer

    Ok that made me laugh a lot.

  • BWeaves

    (Me clapping)

  • He better love the hell out of that wonderful lady.

  • Daniel Lewis

    I never got all the hate Affleck gets his way. He seems like a really nice solid guy. When the movie he's in is well written, he's very good in it. Also, he was the bomb in Phantoms.

  • Phantoms like a motherfucker, yo.

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