Ever since the tabloids began publishing photos from the Boston set of The Town last year, I’ve been wondering if Ben Affleck and Blake Lively really did have an affair. I know that this may hurt CB’s long-standing love of Ben, but I think if Ben had his way, there would have been an affair. I’m not so sure about Blake – yes, I think she’s the kind of actress who would do ANYTHING for a good part, but it seems like she got a part in The Town without sleeping with Ben, so why have an on-set affair? But, as I said, I think Ben wanted it, and I think he was crushing hard on young Blake.
Anyway, after those rumors surfaced, percolated and clung to the gossip world like bacon grease (mm…), you’d think that Ben and Blake might try to avoid each other as The Town’s promotional duties gear up (it’s being released on September 10th). Not so much – Ben interviewed Blake for her cover profile in Interview Magazine (full piece here). Let’s see if they’re flirty in the interview, shall we?
BEN AFFLECK: Somebody told me that you’re in Paris now. Is that true?
BLAKE LIVELY: Yeah, I’m in Paris!
AFFLECK: Are you liking it?
LIVELY: Oh, my gosh, it’s so amazing here. It’s couture fashion week, so it’s been like a fairy-tale Paris experience.
AFFLECK: You don’t have to tell me . . .
AFFLECK: We met when you came to do The Town, and when you turned up, I was a little taken aback. I was like, “How did you learn this Boston accent? How did you learn all of this stuff?” Which I thought was hard to get because I had been doing readings with all of these actresses in New York and L.A., and it was just hard to find the right person. You were by far the best, and when I asked you how you got everything down, it turned out that you had tried to work with this one dialect coach, and then tried another one, and then just started doing all of this incredibly thorough, diligent, independent research on your own-seeking out people who spoke the way your character does, seeking out people whose own life experiences you could draw upon. How did you get to the point where that became your approach? Because it’s certainly nothing I ever did at any point in my twenties. Where does that instinct come from?
LIVELY: I don’t know. I think it comes from the fact that I never really thought about acting as a child. It wasn’t like, “This is the career that I want to pursue.” So when I first started acting, I was more concerned with just being on a set and all of the woes of that, and I didn’t really know it or understand it as a craft yet…. That’s been something, movie by movie, that I’ve been able to grow and learn from-that I always need to work harder to be better because it’s still a new craft for me.
AFFLECK: Did anyone help you learn that?
LIVELY: I just did it on my own. I’ve never worked with an acting coach, but my parents had acting classes and I grew up around them my whole life just because I didn’t have a babysitter. I’m actually a very shy person-that’s a big secret, so don’t tell-but being in those classes pushed me to break out of that a little bit. It’s like nature versus nurture: I’m naturally very shy, but I was brought up in a way where I had to get up and get out of that.
AFFLECK: I wouldn’t really describe you as shy. That hasn’t been my experience of you.
LIVELY: Well, I had to be bold with you! I had to be brave because this role was terrifying. But it was all smoke and mirrors because I read the script and I didn’t know how I couldn’t do it. I loved this character so much. I was a little selfish in wanting to do it because I also thought, Well, maybe I’m not the best person for this, but I really want it. I didn’t know how to do a good Boston accent, so I went and got a dialect coach, and she was really good, but it was a real proper accent I was learning, and my character is from the projects.
AFFLECK: You brought a sense of complexity and nuance to the character that I felt was really important. And then I also found it impressive that even though your schedule on Gossip Girl was really tight, you made the time to come to Boston and do some firsthand research.
LIVELY: Well, I had to come to Boston because they told me, “Ben said you have to come to Boston if you want the part.” [laughs]
AFFLECK: That’s not true. They said I wasn’t interested? Really?
LIVELY: Well, no. They just said, “Ben is not going to come to New York. You’re too young for the part, but if you feel like you want to pursue this, you can take a train to Boston.”
AFFLECK: And you did, which I thought was cool. You spent a lot of time with some of these girls from the real projects who showed you around and showed you their lives. You got into a whole world that I imagine is very different from Burbank-and probably very different from what you experienced on Traveling Pants. What was that like? Were you nervous? Were you excited?
AFFLECK: You know, before we did The Town, I wasn’t superfamiliar with everything you’d done.
LIVELY: You weren’t?
AFFLECK: Well, I was a fan of yours, but I didn’t have the full, in-depth familiarity. But then I got to see The Private Lives of Pippa Lee on DVD, and I just thought all of the acting in that film was great. It was directed by Rebecca Miller, and she’s super-heavy-duty. What was she like to work with?
LIVELY: Oh, gosh. She’s such an incredible woman. She’s one of the most interesting people I’ve ever met. The script was really wild. It was entirely hers, because she wrote the book that the film was based on, and she’d worked with the story for so many years…”
AFFLECK: See, if I were a real director, I would have said something informed and brilliant like that. I was just like, “I don’t know. Come on, let’s shoot.” So I was basically right to feel insecure.
LIVELY: [laughs] I don’t know if you should have felt insecure, but I would call Rebecca between scenes on our film and say, “Ben’s telling me to do this thing, but he’s so wrong.”
AFFLECK: Is there anyone whose career you admire?
LIVELY: People always ask me that and I always answer with men. Which is not to say that there aren’t incredible women in this business, but I feel like men are still given much better opportunities. I feel like there are so many people I admire for so many reasons that I can’t look at one person’s life and say, “I want that life.” I want to make my own history.
AFFLECK: I always have to remind myself how young you are. You were 3 when Good Will Hunting  came out.
LIVELY: [laughs] Not quite.
AFFLECK: And you’ve never even seen it. That felt good to me.
LIVELY: You were in Good Will Hunting?
AFFLECK: But you have your head on pretty straight. You and I had to do a sex scene on the first day of shooting, and you were very poised and comfortable about it-more mature than some of the crew members.
LIVELY: Well, I have a big family and no one ever treated me like a child. They always treated me like an adult, like an equal. But with acting, I think half of it is just acting confident. We stand on these red carpets and pose in these dresses, but we’re all only so confident. It doesn’t mean we think we’re great looking or anything. It’s all a façade. But the sex scene was really awkward. It was my first day, so thank you for that.
AFFLECK: You’re welcome.
LIVELY: I guess it was good to break the ice. [laughs]
AFFLECK: So before you got to Paris, you were down in New Orleans doing Green Lantern, which is a big Hollywood superhero movie. You’re playing the secretary of the Air Force or something?
LIVELY: Secretary? I own the company! I play a fighter pilot. Are you intimidated now?
AFFLECK: So you’re playing a much older character-a person with a lot of responsibility in regards to airplanes and that kind of stuff.
LIVELY: Did you see Pearl Harbor ? My character has the same kind of position as the lead character in that.
AFFLECK: [laughs] Funnily enough, that doesn’t bring anything to mind. I must have blacked that out. So who’s more attractive: Jon Hamm or Ryan Reynolds?
LIVELY: Pete Postlethwaite.
AFFLECK: See, that’s the quote that’s going to get pulled out and be in bold letters above the interview. So when people read it, they get to this part of the conversation and they say, “Well, that was just bullshit.” [Lively laughs] I do have to say though, Pete Postlethwaite is an attractive guy. He is fabulous. And Green Lantern sounds pretty good.
AFFLECK: Well, that was the last question. I didn’t get to some others I wanted to ask you, like, “Which day did you find yourself most impressed by me?”
LIVELY: Or am I happy that you don’t wear cashmere turtlenecks anymore.
AFFLECK: Oh, Jesus Christ. I don’t know what pictures you’re looking at. How about: Would you work with me again? When your price is too expensive, can I hire you for scale? I want you to say it now so it’s in a magazine.
LIVELY: Oh, gosh. You’re so tacky! I told you already that I’d never work with you again. Jason Bourne maybe.
AFFLECK: Do you remember when you and I had worked together for months and we were wandering around in Boston and at one point I just randomly pointed to a place and said, “Matt Damon lived there.” And you turned to me and were like, “What? You know Jason Bourne?” [Lively laughs]
LIVELY: Of course I’ll work with you again.
AFFLECK: I’m going to introduce you to Jason Bourne so that you’ll be grateful.
LIVELY: I’m already grateful.
AFFLECK: Now stop trolling the Internet looking for pictures of me and critiquing my wardrobe. Before I went to do this interview somebody said, “Blake is a fashion darling.” All of us can’t be fashion darlings, Blake.
LIVELY: Well, people like you make me fashionable, because if there is no wrong there can be no right.
AFFLECK: You’ve gotten so much more bitchy since we wrapped the film.
LIVELY: But I think you have to say that I’m charming at the end of the interview. I think that’s the rule.
AFFLECK: You’re very charming.
LIVELY: Actually, I think they usually like to end these interviews on a funny note.
AFFLECK: I’m not sure that I said anything funny. Maybe you did.
LIVELY: Maybe they’ll just have someone else redo the interview.
AFFLECK: Okay, then. I’m going to let you go. I can hear the Gossip Girl people banging on your trailer door because you’re holding up the whole production doing this interview. This is how you get a bad reputation: You stay on the phone doing interviews.
LIVELY: I’m actually not in a trailer. I’m in a hotel room with no air conditioning. It’s very special.
AFFLECK: That’s the charm of Europe. What can I say?
LIVELY: That’s going to be the quote right there: “Ben Affleck says things don’t work well in Europe.”
[From Interview Magazine]
Um… I totally think they were doing it. And I think it was really hot, too. Is it wrong that I’m kind of in love with Blake now too? True, she doesn’t seem like the most awesome girl in the world, but she’s a bigger, more hardcore bitch than I realized, and I respect that. Oh, and Ben was totally gushing over her. It was kind of uncomfortable. Like, if the interview went on for any longer (and this was already a seriously long piece), Ben was going to ask, “Can I touch your hair?”
Interview photos courtesy of HuffPo, additional pics at Interview online.