Ben Affleck: ‘I knew what it was to be cast in a soap opera I had no control over’


Wow, somebody at Entertainment Weekly sure loves Gone Girl. This is the second major cover EW has given the film, out this fall. EW did dual covers this week – one cover is a tribute to Robin Williams, the other is this one, a Fall Movie Preview with Gone Girl’s wedding photo. It’s a good photo, I guess, and evocative of how creepy this film will be. But I’m still worried about Ben Affleck as Nick. Sorry, y’all. I still think he was miscast. I’m judging that on the second weird trailer (which made the film look Law & Order-ish) and this cover, where it feels like the marital dynamics of Nick and Amy have been misjudged. Some highlights from the cover story:

Affleck on playing a character who becomes a tabloid bad guy: “It wasn’t something I had to do a lot of research for. I knew what it was like to have the tabloid world paying attention to me and ascribing negative motivations to whatever I might be engaging in. I knew what it was to be cast in a soap opera I had no control over.”

David Fincher on casting someone who knows “what it’s like to be hunted”: “We knew we needed somebody who was charming and could be seductive, who could be a ladies man, a guy’s guy, a frat boy. But most important, [someone] who had the wits and experience of knowing that situation. The gift of having Ben Affleck is that this is a guy who knows. He knows what a lose-lose situation is and understands what’s funny about it, however sad.”

[From Entertainment Weekly]

Fincher’s description of Ben and what he was looking for the Nick character… damn, were we reading the same book? Nick is boyish, sweet, not really a man’s man, not really the coolest guy in the room, but he’s the kind of guy everybody likes. And Ben is not that guy. I’m sorry. He’s not. An oversized frat boy? Sure. A guy’s guy? Eh. Charming and seductive? Nope. As for Affleck’s quote about his Bennifer 1.0 days… dude, nobody forced you to rub Jennifer Lopez’s butt on a yacht in her music video. For real.

Affleck also talked a bit about becoming The Batfleck in the upcoming Batman Vs. Superman movie. There were recent photos of Affleck in costume (??) as a world-weary Bruce Wayne, which you can see here. This is what Affleck had to say about the backlash against his casting:

Before I took the role, Warner Bros. gave me a bunch of past reactions to casting and said, “Are you sure you want to get into this? This is part and parcel of these movies now. There’s a lot of active fans with a lot of opinions.” To me, having been through a certain amount of that, it doesn’t really… Everyone’s entitled to their opinion. I wouldn’t have taken the part if I didn’t trust my instincts in terms of the filmmaking. I think Chris Terrio wrote a terrific script. Zack’s a great visual director. And there’s an interesting take. I wouldn’t have done it if I didn’t think I could do it. I have the benefit of a lot of that understanding. But also, everyone is entitled to their opinion. That’s a big part of this international sport. The Fifty Shades of Grey kid or whatever it is. That’s sort of become a thing… You know what? It’s great that people do care that much. They want to see the movie that much. And it is incumbent on you to honor the story. There are the Greek myths and these are the American myths. The American myths are these superheroes. People care about ‘em a lot. And it’s incumbent on you to do a good job and make it as excellent as you possibly can. At the end of the day, the movie’s all that matters.

[From Entertainment Weekly]

Or he could have just done it for the money/fame. God knows. No, I think Ben wanted to reset himself as an actor and try this whole superhero thing again. He would have loved it if Marvel had offered him something, but if somebody offered him Batman and a nice paycheck, sure!


Photos courtesy of Fame/Flynet and Entertainment Weekly.

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123 Responses to “Ben Affleck: ‘I knew what it was to be cast in a soap opera I had no control over’”

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  1. GoodNamesAllTaken says:

    His grammar is really poor.

    I couldn’t finish Gone Girl. I hated every character so much, I didn’t care what happened to them. I doubt I’ll watch the movie.

    • Frida_K says:

      Good morning, GNAT!

      Yes, I agree with you about Gone Girl. I saw a trailer for it and was repelled. It seemed really turgid and the characters, as you note, were really unlikeable.

    • Jedi says:

      I was sucked in for the first half and couldnt put it down and then hate-read the second half of the book. i agree, the characters were such terrible people it was hard to finish. i actually think the casting is good for the film because i cant stand affleck. perfect nick in my mind.

    • doofus says:

      I just finished the book and I have to say…I agree with your take on the characters (hating all of them…except maybe Boney and Go). I DID care what happened to them, but what DID happen was NOT what I wanted to happen…if that makes sense.

      Flynn also wrote the screenplay, and I’ve read that she “changed the ending”, so maybe the movie ending will be more satisfying.

      • eliza says:

        I am not happy at all that the ending has been changed. That is what made the book so good, in my opinion, was the ending because Nick and Amy got what they deserved.

      • doofus says:

        and see, I don’t think they got what they deserved at ALL…maybe Nick, but def not Amy. I think she kind of got what she WANTED (or at least what she THINKS she wanted), but not what she deserved.

        have you read any of Flynn’s other books? if so, are they any good?

      • eliza says:

        I have. I am a fan of her books, so maybe I am biased. Sharp Objects was good too, and the other book who’s name currently escapes me, was equally good.

        While Amy deserved punishment, the real punishment for her was being stuck in a loveless marriage with a man who no longer loved her or believed her to be the perfect being he once thought she was. There was no more worshipping of her and that was a worse punishment, I think than jail. Plus she was somewhere she hated being.

      • doofus says:

        yeah, I see what you’re saying. as a sociopath, Amy needs the worship and adulation, and she won’t ever get that from Nick again. but I still think jail would have been better…as Nick referred to it…”put her in one of her boxes”.

        thanks for the info on her other books. I was going to download Sharp Objects and now I think I will!

      • Jordan says:

        I know this isn’t the popular opinion but I loved the book and can’t wait for the movie. I think Ben will do great as Nick. I agree that the characters were unlikable, but that doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy the story.

        And I thought the end was brilliant! Given the nature of the characters I can’t see it ending any other way. I’ll be disappointed in the movie if they change it dramatically.

    • sigh((s)) says:

      2/3 of the way through I just hated all the characters and forced myself to the end to see if it would get any better. It didn’t.

    • Kaye says:

      I tried to read the book when it first came out, and I put it aside because I couldn’t get into it. Then there was so much press about how good it was that I thought maybe it was me, so I tried it again. Still nope.

    • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

      Oh, good, thanks everybody. Like Kaye, I’ve wondered if it was just me. I feel better now. I rarely give up on a book, but just couldn’t with this one.

    • TX Laney says:

      I got half way through and threw it on the ground because I wanted to punch almost every character in the face. I just could not get back into it.

    • outstandingworldcitizen says:

      I got 3/4 through the audio book and still have not finished. However, I do have a thing for unlikable characters. A big trend in fiction/bedroom lit these days. Amy was an ugly horrible monster and her actions compared to his were extremely over the top.

      That said, we live a world full of a multitude of real life ugly characters. Just saying. I will finish listening to it before the movies hits theaters.

  2. Charlotte says:

    Am not on board with Affleck for anything, really. But he has beautiful children. I hope he appreciates them.

    • V4Real says:

      I still adore Ben but even I wasn’t behind him playing Batman. I’m willing to give him a chance now. When it was first announced that RDJ would be playing Iron Man a lot of people couldn’t see it and look how that turned out. Then again, Ben is no RDJ.

      • Charlotte says:

        Val Kilmer and Clooney did it, and it really couldn’t be any worse than those, eh. I missed all the RDJ as Iron Man buzz because I was busy being a young single mum with no time to sleep or read or watch movies, but can easily believe people needed convincing after some of what RDJ had been up to prior.

        I just can’t with the Affleck in general. It’s probably irrational of me.

      • BOXES full of Pepe says:

        I adore Ben too and that’s why I didn’t want him to do it. DC so far has not been bringing the heat with their films. And Ben worked so hard to get to where he is now. Why roll the dice and subject yourself to so much scrutiny with Batman, DC and Zack Snyder? Like gawd, couldn’t you take babysteps Ben?

    • Bob Loblaw says:

      I agree, I find his acting wooden and predictable. Wearing the Bat man cowl will do him no favors.

  3. starrywonder says:

    I think he will make a great Nick. Book Nick was so clueless about a lot of things and didn’t seem boyish to me but just inept in general. I loved the book and heard the movie changed some things along so people won’t know the ending.

  4. Susan says:

    I believe the writer of Gone Girl, Gillian Flynn, is a former staff member of EW and that probably explains the coverage.

  5. Talie says:

    He misses every moment of being with J.Lo

    • bella says:

      i’m so sick of BA whining about his days with jlo.
      how ungentlemanly of him.
      it truly turns my stomach.
      every time i hear him slam his days with her – how he was victimized, misunderstood, embarrassed…
      how those days hurt his career…
      i remember that pic of him at a news stand drooling over a magazine cover jlo was on.
      what a hipocryt.
      a phoney, whining, bitchy poor excuse of a man.
      me thinks he doth protests too much…
      if you’r not over her, keep it private.
      and STOP talking down a former serious relationship.
      SO R.U.D.E.

  6. Sozual says:

    I like Ben Affleck and his wife Jennifer Garner!

  7. A says:

    I think Ben is charming and very smart. I think he’ll ultimately go into politics. He’s more than able to hold his own on the political discussion shows and is very informed.

  8. eliza says:

    I am very disappointed in Affleck being cast as Nick. I just don’t see it.

    I laughed when I recently read Reese Witherspoon, who is a producer on the film, was going to be Amy originally but Fincher said it would be too much for her to both produce and act and his vision of Amy was different from Witherspoon. Reese would have been awful as Amy.

    I am not sure who I would have cast as Nick but I know Affleck would not have been on my list.

    • Dawn says:

      I have to say that when I read the book I was imagining Gabriel Aubry as Nick. It’s too bad that Gabe doesn’t act. He would have been so perfect to me in that part! But I am a Ben fan too in almost everything he does. Not everything but most things!

  9. lucy2 says:

    I’m still not sure about him as Nick either, but time will tell. He surprised me by turning into a pretty great director, maybe this will end up working out too.
    I do wish he’d stop talking about/complaining about his JLo era.

  10. Rhiley says:

    The salt-n-pepper look suits him. Dude knows how to wear a pair of jeans as well.

  11. Anna says:

    I just watched Jenny from the Block and that video and Ben rubbing her butt is iconic!!! Haha that brought me back so much. I really miss Bennifer 1.0 they were so much fun. The Jennifers are such opposites it’s kind of funny, ones kind of like Trix cereal on a Saturday morning and the other is like Original Cheerios on a Monday before school, they’re just so different. I wonder how the gossip world would be today if Bennifer 1.0 stayed together and how their careers would be

    • pk says:

      Yeah they are different but I kind of think that his marriage to Garner and family life with her make sense at his age. Admittedly, I am part of the so called “midwestern demographic” but I just get a different vibe from them than I do Lopez even when she was married. (Let’s not even go there with the whole Casper Smart trainwreck) . They just seem more stable.

  12. age?? says:

    Part of the interesting dynamic of the book was the fact that the husband was seven years YOUNGER than the wife. The wife & husband used to mock older single women in bars as leftovers or something and years into the marriage the wife recalls this & it makes her feel insecure. In real life, Ben is seven years OLDER than Rosamund… Hmm. Also, the tub in the preview looks way too high end for the shabby living situation low option builders basic smallish cloying Mcmansion they are supposed to be forced to live in after things change. Ben’s adenoidal voice ALWAYS grates on me & it is hard to imagine he can pull off the Southern frat boy disaffected writer with severe daddy issues thing. That said, Fincher is a super talent, so there is hope.

    • eliza says:

      Missouri is in the Midwest, not the South. Nick was from North Carthage, Mo.

    • Kyle b says:

      I agree…the age difference was very key, but nobody would believe that Affleck would date an older woman. I suppose that is why there is all that shoe black in his hair to make him appear younger, but it looks pretty goofy here. Dream casting? That’s hard, but the guy should definitely be younger and then they could keep her or even find somebody a little older (shocking! ) for the wife.

    • age?? says:

      Eliza- no problem. Sadly, not sure Ben can pull off a “Midwestern” dude either. I actually liked him in Hollywoodland, but he was playing an older, boozy depressed dude, which is maybe the direction for the new Batman? Don’t know. Having been those Twainy areas described in book (also relatives!), I definitely feel more Southern culture than Midwest (to me more Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Neb, etc). The events in Ferguson which is hundreds of miles NORTH (but also in MO) of the book’s setting sure we’re reminiscent of the terrible events that rocked the South in the 1960s. So, so awful.

      • JennySerenity says:


        Honey, no offense…but you might want to look at a map of the U.S. All the towns you speak of are in the Midwest (central) part of the country.

      • Tiffany :) says:

        But southern Missouri seems to identify more with the south than the Midwest, culture wise. Arkansas, Tennessee, Kentucky are all borders on the southern side.

      • Esmom says:

        ITA that Missouri has a more southern sensibility. I have several friends from different parts and all of the ones outside of St. Louis have twangy drawls (pronouncing their state “Missoura”) and definitely identify more with the south, culturally and politically, than the midwest.

        One of my old co-workers was actually from the town depicted in the book and to meet and know her you’d think she was from the deep South.

      • snowflake says:

        sorry, no, midwest is not even close to the south. i am from missouri and yes, there is a similarity in the small-town attitude but the accents, words, and traditions are in no way similar. I’m from Missouri, and I didn’t know what sweet tea, fixing to, toting and mashing was until I moved to the South, north Florida.

    • Tiffany :) says:

      I have noticed in the images from the film, that despite their real life age differences, she does seem older than him. In women on camera, fine lines can be really apparent. I think she is an incredibly gorgeous woman, but it also seems that she isn’t dabbing in the botox or fillers. I think this will help the film. I don’t think their real life ages will matter so much, because she seems mature emotionally and he has the ability to be more immature (like the frat boy reference).

  13. Nikita says:

    Jason Bateman is boyish and can come across as sweet- Ben is not either of those attributes. Ditto James Marsden. Let’s play the casting game- who would’ve been better than Ben??

  14. K says:

    I don’t remember anyone pushing Affleck into a poker game or casino, or forcing him to take out a full-page ad to express his love for J-Lo. Or forcing him to allegedly cheat on his wife. He should stop with the martyr stuff.

  15. Mindy says:

    Dual covers…. SERIOSULY?!?! THIS WEEK?!?! EW will have a tribute cover for one of the most beloved performers of the last 40 years (a tragic passing that has caught everyone by surprise and people worldwide can’t come to grips with), and THIS.

    Is anyone in their right mind going to BUY the Gone Girl cover? REALLY????? Do they really think anyone cares about this film THIS WEEK?! Shame on them for this one. The Gone Girl cover should have waited.

    I’m not even going to comment about Ben or his remarks. It’s not even worth it. He’s always seemed like a total douchebag to me.

  16. The Original Mia says:

    I knew before I read the article he was going to be trotting out this same nonsense about JLo as if he was an unwilling participant in the whole thing. Douche! As usual his ego won’t let him take responsibility for his actions.

    The only reason he’s Batfleck is his ego. He’s conquered everything so why not go back to one of his biggest failures and start over. The superhero role.

    • don't kill me i'm french says:

      He was WB’s first choice for new Batman.
      After WB also met Ryan Gosling ( a WB actor) who refused because of “it’s a sequel and he wanted Refn” and Josh Brolin as last choice( he was not interested because of Snyder)

  17. Hissyfit says:

    I am excited for this! I only hope this isn’t like that last Fincher over-hyped, disappointing Dragon tattoo movie.

  18. Pamela says:

    I feel like I should read the book again. I tend to read a book and then forget so much, really fast. I remember the twists, but I barely remember the end. Certainly can’t recall details. My memory is awful.

    Anyway—the reason I feel l.ike I should read it again is that I didn’t hate Nick at all. I hated Amy, but not Nick. I remember after finishing the book I googled it and read a lot of forums, I wanted to see what people thought of the book, Universally, people hated them both. (much like this thread the sentiment was “I didn’t care about what happened to any of these jerks) Even then, when the book was fresh in my mind, I didn’t understand the hate for Nick. Maybe I just have horrible taste in men. (I kind of like Ben too–so that isn’t helping)

  19. Francis says:

    I love Ben Affleck. He’s proven himself to be a smart man in making choices in his career and life. The smart thing he did with his personal life was become more stable. I don’t think he would have been the same man he is now if he was with JLO, I love JLO but I don’t think she would have been good for Ben in the long run. Jen Garner was a much better choice for him IMO.
    P.S. I think JLO for all her boy toys & husbands, still carries a “bit” of a torch for Ben.

    (The Jenny From The Block video is still one of my favorite JLO appearances. That video was Off theHook, back in the day) :) old school

  20. Mrs. Darcy says:

    I still have to read this book. I’m a bit confused why he needs to bring up the J.Lo stuff a decade later, when he’s a married dad of three. Does it really still bug him enough to try to elicit sympathy for? I know he’s been rumoured to be a hot mess for awhile but this kind of immature man child crap would not fly with me. I don’t think he would be that unlikely of a suspected wife murderer (as an actor), I think they could have cast someone less smarmy. But that said it does look like it could be good!

  21. Christin says:

    I’d forgotten about his appearance in her video. What first comes to mind are the two of them being papped in that Bentley she bought him. And Gigli being a mega-disaster.

  22. TWINK says:

    He’s obsessed with JLo. Can you imagine being with Bland-ner after JLo? Lol

    • Francis says:

      If he was obsessed w her, her would have married her.
      Ben was the one who cancelled the wedding. She sought solace in the arms of married Mark Anthony shortly after.

      • Observer says:

        He was obsessed with her and still is, who are you trying to fool? The man cannot stop talking about her and has even complimented her whilst with Jen Bland.
        The only reason he didn’t marry her was because of his reputation in Hollywood and his mostly white female fan base at the time would have sunk his career faster than the Titanic.
        She was not only puerto rican. She’s from the bronx. A singer/dancer who mostly did ‘urban’ music and just didn’t give him the rep he needed for his career as a serious actor.

  23. Mike says:

    I just think Ben Affleck has no charisma as an actor. Same thing with Ryan Reynolds. They look like they should be movie stars but they come across so vanilla and bland on screen. I just do not have any desire to see movies in which they star

    • Dee Kay says:

      This. I wouldn’t say that Reynolds and Affleck can’t act, per se, but they’re just boring to watch. So, so bland on the screen, nothing in the voice, nothing in their bodily movements. Even when George Clooney is just sitting, he’s interesting to look at. A lot of screen stars are like that – even ones with little skill have hella presence in the visual frame. But Reynolds and Affleck just seem so white bread in every way on camera.

      I’m actually more interested in Affleck’s personal life – that’s a pretty decent soap opera!! (However, I’m not at all interested in Reynold’s personal life.)

    • Josefa says:

      Same, except I would say Ryan really is a bad actor. I don’t think Ben lacks skill, it’s just that he’s boring. He’s never among the stronger links of any movie he acts in. And he’s not even handsome to be eye candy.

      His behind the cameras work, though? Totally down for it.

  24. Andrea says:

    I like Ben, but am not feeling him as Nick at all. I pictured Nick more as a Josh Hartnett type. Someone sweet, a little dorky, and quietly handsome and charming. Even Jake Gyllenhaal would have been a better choice.

  25. BeefJerky says:

    Did you read the same book? Nick is NOT a guy everyone likes- Gillian goes to lengths in the book to make him aware that his real name and his looks make him hated by a lot of people. I think Ben can relate to that.

  26. Esmerelda says:

    “Zack’s a great visual director.”
    The qualifier -visual- sounds like sooooo much shade (from Oscar winner director Ben Affleck)

  27. pleaseicu says:

    He’s such a victim all the time. It must be exhausting to live with him. No one forced him to accept that Bentley from Jennifer and do pap strolls in it, no one forced him to be in that music video rubbing oil on her behind, no one forced him into doing those IT couple poses on red carpets in color coordinated outfits, no one forced him into inviting access hollywood and ET and whoever else into whatever home he shared with Jennifer to do cutesy interviews about their life and wuv together, no one then forced him to cheat on JLO days before he’s supposed to marry her in a passive aggressive attempt to get her to dump him and booze/gamble the nights away.

    He was making horrible decisions about his acting career before JLO ever came into his life and allegedly ruined his career. You can criticize JLO about a lot but she didn’t ruin anything for Ben, he did that all on his own. Good for him for turning his life around and I really do like his work as a director but, seriously, his insistence on bringing JLO into everything and all but blaming her for what went wrong in his life is bordering on ridiculous.

  28. Francis says:

    All I know is Ben has two Oscars, is married to the same woman for a decade.
    JLO is doing American idol, divorced for a third time and dating boy toys. I adore JLO, she seems like fun, she seems smart about a lot of things and she is stunning but I don’t think she’s great in relationships.

    • lewis says:

      We’ll actually she 3 films in post production, CEO of her own production company that produces The Fosters, part owner of Nuvo TV, owner of Viva Mobil, successful fragrance line and clothing line with Kohls, she has lot a lot going for her, and the 2 Oscars good for him, but Real talk when was the last time a Latina was nominated for an Best Actress Oscar ? has a Latina ever won an Oscar for Best Actress ?

      I respect JLo a hell lot more for her failed marriages as supposed to someone who married for a career upgrade and that’s all Jennifer Garner is an accessory for his career

      • Francis says:

        Salma Hayek -Best Actress Academy Award nomination for her performance Frida 2002
        Oscar winners .
        Penelope Cruz ,She won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in 2008
        Of course Rita Moreno won a Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in West Side Story in the 1960′s
        One other supporting actress nomination ..”maybe it was Rosie Perez? In the 90′s.

        I just think JLO is NOT great in relationships. Something definitely has gone haywire in her relationships and numerous marriages.
        3 divorces and now in her mid 40′s w a boy toy who was chasing tranny, it was like she hadn’t learned from her past dramas from two decades ago.

        She’s smart in business that’s true, but the film she and Marc Anthony starred in and produced was thought by them to be her Oscar vehicle , but it ended up being a disaster, the critics bashed it unmercifully and it lost millions for them.
        I actually liked her in the film.
        JLO is quite like able in her films ,I find her enjoyable, but Ben Affleck was smart in not marrying her and it was Ben who called it off.
        She has a AWFUL track record with marriage and relationships.

  29. Jayna says:

    I disagree that maybe he just took the Batman role for the paycheck. It took years for Ben to dig himself out of the joke he had become with bad choices and average acting on some movie roles. He took smaller parts and did fine and became respected as a director, won an Oscar. Do you really think he’s going to take the Batman role just for the paycheck unless he thought he could deliver? He’s worked too hard to become a joke again and has made smart choices. I think he is probably very focused on this role and the naysayers might just be surprised.

    • Francis says:

      He played Superman , George Reeves in the story of the controversy of his shooting death and he was excellent in the role. The film was not a hit, but he was really good in the role playing George a Reeves as Superman .
      I think he knows what he’s doing with the Batman role, he is a smart actor.

  30. AnotherDirtyMartini says:

    When I read Gone Girl , I pictured Nick as Scott Peterson (as in Scott & Lacy Peterson). The entire story reminded me of that murder case at first.

    I didn’t really think of Nick as boyish.

    I enjoyed the book, couldn’t put it down – but it is disturbing, creepy.

  31. serena says:

    Didn’t he already play a superhero once, years ago?

  32. uma says:

    I’m still mad at Ben Affleck and Robin Wright for that blind item about them having an affair. I guess that’s what broke Sean Penn and Robin Wright’s marriage. Why this guy has to bone married women?

  33. Chrissy says:

    I wonder how Jennifer Garner feels about her husband constantly talking about/ referring to his ex. It must be really
    annoying/ hurtful to her. I know I’d be pissed !

  34. pato says:

    Nick is so simple. And Affleck is perfect for that. lol

  35. Ashtau says:

    I just read that the author was, at one time, a writer for EW. That’s probably why they love her so much.

  36. Abby says:

    I read this book after I found out Affleck was cast, and I could see him as the guy “with a face people want to punch” as the book says.

    Those pics of him as Batman? No. just NO. I don’t mind him on film, other than I think he looks whiny and petulant most of the time. I liked him in Pearl Harbor (OK I was a high school girl and he was hot) and he was fine in Argo. But now that Christian Bale has been Batman… I can’t see him in that role. However, I have read zero comic books in my life and the Bale trilogy is pretty much the only comic book movies I’ve enjoyed, other than the first Ironman. And that’s only because of RDJ.