Ah, The Long Dimpled Campaign! Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner were out and about on Friday in LA with their kids Samuel and Seraphina. It was raining, that’s why Ben is wincing in most of these photos. Not that I’m paying too much attention, but does Ben get pap’d with his son all that much? I feel like this is a special occasion – over the past few months of Happy Family Oscar Campaigning, Ben has usually been out with his daughters. But there’s Samuel – and he looks just like his sisters!! Those Garner genes are incredibly strong, aren’t they? It’s like the Jolie-Pitt genes – all of the biological kids look really similar, like there’s only one way for those genes to combine. Anyway, Ben and Jen and Samuel were out and about for Seraphina’s karate class. I kind of like that Seraphina is enrolled in a karate class – she must be more of a tomboy, because it seems like Violet is more a girly-girl who takes ballet.
As for the neverending Oscar Campaign (less than one month to go!), Ben was honored at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival over the weekend – he received the “Modern Master” award (Matt Damon appeared to present him with the award), and Ben got to sit with Leonard Maltin for two hours (in front of an audience) and discuss his work as an actor and director. Hilariously, Gigli was noticeably absent from Ben’s oeuvre, and at least Ben had the balls to note it publicly, telling the LAT “I’m just relieved they didn’t sneak in ‘Gigli.’” Ben is now putting himself forth as the underdog for the campaign, which is a smart move (it worked for Meryl Streep!). Ben told the crowd, “We’re still a long shot…” for Best Picture. As for his snub for a Best Director nomination, Ben is playing an angle of “slightly hurt but still very proud of the film”. Here’s what he had to say:
“The analytical part of me really enjoys burrowing into the odds,” Affleck told me. “That said, one of the least appealing things in this process is its competitive aspect. That’s why I’ve gone out of my way to do things … like I emailed ['Silver Linings Playbook' distributor] Harvey [Weinstein] today and I’ve talked to ['Silver Linings' writer-director] David O. Russell and I made sure to run into Steven Spielberg at AFI … just to appreciate them and support their work too. That’s important.”
Without prompting, Affleck said not receiving an Oscar nomination for director has been “freeing,” giving him the chance to focus fully on the prospects for the movie itself and its many nominees, which include actor Alan Arkin and writer Chris Terrio.
“Of course, it was disappointing at first,” Affleck said. “But I’m over it. And I’m happy to still be out here talking about the movie. I’m having fun.” He finished the rest of his glass of Jack Daniels. “Except for watching those ‘Pearl Harbor’ clips again. I wasn’t expecting quite so much of that, especially at an awards show.”
Well played. I think if everyone is telling you “You’re going to get nominated, you’re going to win!” and you don’t even get a nomination, it’s perfectly acceptable to show your disappointment, just as long as you don’t come across as entitled or whiny. Ben just seems diplomatic and… somewhat decent (except for the drinking Jack Daniels – WTF?!). Who knows, maybe this nomination snub will HELP Argo’s Best Picture chances?
Last thing – Ben took part in W Magazine’s annual Oscar profile series, and in his video he’s asked who is his “cinematic crush”. His answer: “I think Brad Pitt is my cinematic crush. Brad Pitt to me is like the perfect man and actor. … Brad, I hope this doesn’t disturb you to hear.” Cute.
Photos courtesy of Fame/Flynet.