Do you guys remember when Ben Affleck responded to a story in The New Yorker a couple of years ago pointing out that he looked despondent in paparazzi photos? It was titled “The Great Sadness of Ben Affleck,” and author Naomi Fry pointed out that Ben’s career was taking second place to his tabloid fixture status after he dated the nanny and got that giant phoenix back tattoo. Ben tweeted in response that he was “doing just fine. Thick skin bolstered by garish tattoos.”
Ben has learned to tolerate the near-constant ribbing by sites like us that talk smack for a living, but he hates it when the mainstream press makes fun of him, like when he made headlines for making Finding Your Roots edit out his slave-owning ancestors. He defended his toxic white male fragility by saying it was the same as lobbying directors for changes. So how do you think he feels about The Washington Post pointing out that Ben and Ana are giving us the fast food celebrity quarantine content we need? Their near-daily pap strolls are no longer just covered by the gossip blogs, they often go viral on Twitter and the mainstream press has noticed. This is in the freaking Washington Post, the best paper of record. (F-k the NY Times.) Update: It’s written by Emily Yahr, whom Roxana Hahidi at Pajiba knows from college. I’m sorry for not crediting her earlier!
The 47-year-old actor has been a gossip staple for more than two decades, and that has continued through the covid-19 crisis — an era when people have little patience for the daily activities of wealthy celebrities while the country is in turmoil.
This time, Affleck’s ubiquitous nature is because of his relationship with Ana de Armas, 32, who just had her breakout year in Hollywood as the star of the hit movie “Knives Out.” The couple (dubbed “BenAna,” which rivals “Bennifer” in the celebrity portmanteau hall of fame) has drawn a curious amount of attention since they started dating earlier this year. Their relationship went public around the time the world started to shut down because of the novel coronavirus, and they decided to quarantine together in Los Angeles. Ever since, practically everything they do becomes a tabloid story.
They walk adorable dogs. Wear sweatpants. Drink excessive amounts of Dunkin’ coffee. (One time, Affleck carried two gigantic iced coffees that appeared to both be for him.) Lock themselves out of the house. Hang out with Affleck’s kids. Set out cardboard cutouts of Armas on the lawn, for unexplained reasons. Kiss while wearing masks. They also attended a rally to support the black community in Venice, Calif., which resulted in a much-circulated photo of Affleck holding up a Black Lives Matter sign.
As much as the mild obsession with them is understandable — two attractive, famous people in a relationship will always make news — the BenAna fascination is also startling. Even with a lack of celebrity content as most of Hollywood is still shut down, they don’t do anything that interesting except sometimes get tangled in their dogs’ leashes. And yet, they remain oddly riveting in a way that other stars in this time simply do not.
Though Affleck and de Armas’s publicists did not respond to requests for comment about why the pair has become a phenomenon, others believe that seeing photos of BenAna’s daily mundane activities has provided an unexpected source of comfort in an unsettling time.
After that they quote Lainey from Lainey Gossip and AJ from Ana de Armas updates so definitely check out the full article. The story had too positive an angle. Ben and Ana not a sense of comfort for us so much as a predictable, easy couple fo mock. WaPo made Ben-Ana’s thirstiness into a positive story, but this will still piss Ben off.
Wapo’s line “The 47-year-old actor has been a gossip staple for more than two decades” is telling. Remember Ben’s talking points during his Argo press tour? He repeatedly referenced his tabloid past and the fact that he was pigeonholed for dating Jennifer Lopez. That was in 2012, and he did it again in 2016 when he was promoting Live By Night. Referencing Gigli, he said “Angelina Jolie had a bad movie which came out that year – nobody cared, but because I was dating Jennifer Lopez that made it a big f-ing deal… It got unfairly maligned.” Gigli was a POS movie and Affleck bought Jennifer Lopez a giant pink diamond ring, rubbed her butt on a boat in a music video, got photographed out with her before paparazzi were a thing, and then cheated on her a week before their wedding. He does this to himself, and he’s doing it so obviously again that even The Washington Post is noticing. He’s going to need someone to blame for it when his mood goes inevitably south and you know who the main target will be.
Here are photos of Ben and Ana checking out new real estate in Venice. I’m assuming she’s renting her place and that they’re looking for a bigger place. Ana just keeps taking her mask off for the paparazzi. If you were doing business with a celebrity, would you ask them to kindly put their mask back on when they’re talking to you? If you’re trying to make a fat commission off them, you might not do that.
how funny is this fucking guy pic.twitter.com/njHB34ryKU
— beth mccoll (@imteddybless) July 3, 2020
Photos credit: Backgrid