Ben Affleck: ‘I hate being famous. I want to get away from all this, I can’t stand it.’

Ben Affleck pictured picking up his favorite coffee delivery!
Ben Affleck cares deeply what people think about him. He doesn’t want to be famous because that comes with criticism, but he wants our admiration and the admiration of his peers. A lot of people are like that, I am too, but not many have Ben’s self destructive streak. That’s the impression I’ve always had of him, and that was confirmed in his recent interview with Scott Feinberg on THR’s Awards Chatter podcast. Ben has two Oscars, Best Picture for Argo and Best Screenwriter for Good Will Hunting, the 1997 film that made him and Matt Damon household names. Ben talks about all that in an over hour long interview which mainly focuses on his career.

I listened to this while I was cooking and baking over the weekend. Ben loves acting and making films and it really shows. He also has the same narrative we’ve heard from him for years, that he was so downtrodden and aggrieved when the press made him into a punchline during the Bennifer years. There’s no mention of the fact that he cheated on Jennifer Lopez and left her at the altar, that he was in her music video and did interviews with her. It’s all about how he was a victim of the tabloids at the time. He has changed his stance on J.Lo though, he finally realized that she was affected too. For years she wasn’t even mentioned when he complained about his tabloid narrative and even Matt Damon was repeating those talking points.

Here are some of the highlights I heard in this interview. He didn’t mention Jennifer Garner, not that he has to, but he was promoting his role in The Way Back. I think he wants an acting nomination for that film. If Garner didn’t ask the director to wait for him when he went into rehab he never would have had that role. He also didn’t mention Ana de Armas at all, but he talked about the paparazzi in the context of Bennifer and said it’s not a pap walk if he’s just leaving his house. Come on, they were doing loved-up pap walks. Here are those excerpts.

On if he and Jennifer Lopez ‘did anything to bring about the hostility and attention’ or if they just happened ‘to be at the wrong place at the wrong time.’
I sort of had to make it in the business twice. I became so not cool and so out of it that I had to totally invent my career. Before I was just starting at the start line. Now I had to start a mile further back. People had a negative [perception of me] fostered by a really reckless and irresponsible tabloid press that would just write things that weren’t true. There’s always a story of the month. Me dating Jennifer Lopez happened to be the tabloid story at the time when that business grew exponentially.

Why in the world would I have wanted it? Why would I have sought that out? People are like ‘oh I see you out there in the paparazzi… pictures.’
‘Yes I left my house and took out the trash.’
‘No you’re taking a pap walk.’ As if [when] you leave your house you’re only doing so in the hope that you could end up the sixth item in the Daily Mail. It’s absurd.

First it was like Dick and Liz. Then there was a ton of resentment against me… and Jennifer.

People were so f-king mean about her — sexist, racist. Ugly, vicious sh-t was written about her in ways that if you wrote it now you would literally be fired for saying those things you said. Now it’s like, she’s lionized and respected for the work she did, where she came from, what she accomplished — as well she fucking should be! I would say you have a better shot, coming from the Bronx, of ending up as like [Justice Sonia] Sotomayor on the Supreme Court than you do of having Jennifer Lopez’s career and being who she is at 50 years old today.

On how someone said something mean about him
I remember this guy Rick McCallum, he was the producer of the middle three Star Wars movies. He did an interview at that time where [somebody brought up] Anakin Skywaker [murdering] Jedi children. He said ‘Ben Affleck, he killed children.’ To be so cavalier to say that about anybody you don’t know. It’s not even an indictment of him, I don’t care about him. It’s just demonstrative [that] once it becomes cool to make fun of somebody then everybody makes fun of them. I remember high school fights… all of a sudden five other guys come over and kick somebody on the ground.

I hate being famous. I don’t mind if I’m not famous. I want to get away from all this, I can’t stand it. I’d be happy to never be on another magazine again. I was actually in the very worst position you can be in in this business which is that you can sell magazines but not movie tickets.

[From The Awards Chatter Podcast]

Ben also talked about sobriety, but he didn’t say how long he’d been sober, just that he had some slips and he wasn’t drinking at work. He seemed to minimize his drinking, which is understandable since he doesn’t want people in his industry to see him as a risk. He wants recognition for The Way Back and he wants people to see his films and to admire him, frankly. He doesn’t want us to notice anything else he does and if we do it’s our fault for paying attention. As for the part about how he was in the worst position he could have been in, we’ve heard this from him for years. He started praising Jennifer Lopez last year after she had success with Hustlers.


Ben Affleck and Ana de Armas go out for lunch together at the Brentwood Country Mart


photos credit: Backgrid. These are all old photos. The newest one, of Ben getting coffee, is from last month

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70 Responses to “Ben Affleck: ‘I hate being famous. I want to get away from all this, I can’t stand it.’”

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  1. Kalana says:

    Ben seems incapable of personal accountability. The tabloid press pretty much ignored that Ben has sexually assaulted women and covered up for his brother’s behavior as well. Ben’s career should have been done several times over but he just keeps coasting along propped up by the women in his life.

    • lucy2 says:

      Perfectly said.

    • Tberg says:

      He needs to take accountability for his personal life … I will still always have a soft spot for him as his Eastern Congo initiative is an example of the BEST of best celebrity activism ever. I used to work in development and it was incredible. Sucks that people can have that level of insight in some areas and be shitty in others.

    • Snappyfish says:

      People is reporting that he & Ana broke up. Which is good. I have always liked her & thought she deserved better. I’m glad she finally came around and agreed. He is & has always been a douchebag. Damon too.

    • Poor, poor victim Ben. It’s also amazing how many many Hollywood actors who have his success don’t get papped like he does. They are able to somehow live private lives, but poor Ben is a victim. I think he likes the early romance story publicity and hates it when his romances fall apart and the paps report that as well. I just don’t see him as the victim he does. I think he’s willing until he doesn’t like something. Isn’t that “having your cake and eating it too.”

  2. janey says:

    I thought I could hear a teeny tiny violin but no, it was the dog farting.

  3. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    Boo f@cking hoo.

    • TQ says:

      Haha, exactly what I said! Nailed it!

    • Wiglet Watcher says:

      Michael Shannon and so many other actors that have the admiration of their peers without living a high profile lifestyle. You can live without your girlfriend putting a cardboard cutout on your lawn or setting up pap walks. You can still act without those things that draw attention to your personal life.

      Ben can have a seat.

      • Anna says:

        Omg Michael Shannon! Love love love him! Thanks for making what was a really s****y day so much better just by mentioning his name!

  4. Lucy says:

    I very much love *not* being famous. I love it. Sometimes I tell other people and many of them just can’t wrap their heads about it.

    • Golly Gee says:

      Same! It would be a form of hell.

    • Ann says:

      I think I would hate being famous too, to be fair. He might be a jackass but he’s not wrong about that. Of course he could have dated a non-celebrity to keep a lower profile, that might have helped?

  5. Teebee says:

    It doesn’t surprise me when people cannot take responsibility for their own actions. In fact that this happens repeatedly to so many people, in and out of a spotlight, demonstrates to me it is a human condition, not just a product of notoriety or celebrity.

    I know so many people in my daily life, just ordinary folks, who cannot stop bitching about any consequence or discomfort they experience because of their own actions. Often these people are attention-seeking by nature, but they only want preening, fawning, adoring attention, and any negativity is seen as unfair, unwarranted and they simply don’t understand where it comes from. Narcissism exists everywhere.

    But in the context of a true celebrity, one that entered the game, knew how to manipulate and contort their image to maximum benefit when it suited them, when they cry poor when it inevitably turns on them… Well. Obviously no sympathy here. In fact, this latest interview will pretty well cement in people’s minds that Ben is as narcissistic and with no self-awareness as ever. He hasn’t learned a damn thing. He’s just reaching an age and point in his life, where he has little patience and an innate grumpiness for things he once could laugh off. No matter how old you get down the line, chickens will roost. I have a feeling he’ll be like this forever. In his 70s, 80s, he’ll gripe about how unfairly he was treated and that he never asked for a second of it.


  6. Darla says:

    Well, I know I could never handle being famous. That’s it.

    • tempest prognosticator says:

      Geez, he’s embarrassing. His poor kids are probably more mature than he is.

  7. Merricat says:

    And yet there are so many actors who do good work, are recognized for their good work, and still manage to maintain privacy in their personal lives. Ben doesn’t like being famous because he makes really bad decisions when he’s drinking (the nanny wearing superbowl rings is a good example; the truly awful back tattoo is another). I think if no one was looking, he’d never stop drinking.

    • whatWHAT? says:

      “I think if no one was looking, he’d never stop drinking.”

      or if he were famous in the 50s/60s when it was easier to “get away with” things. nowadays with social media, and everyone (not just paparazzi) having a camera handy, it’s easy for someone’s foibles to be exposed.

      and yeah, I have little sympathy for celebs who court the press when needed and then complain about “privacy”. it’s easy to have privacy in your personal life. I can think of several A-list celebs that you rarely see pap pics of. and FFS, Jolie was able to get a double mastectomy AND reconstruction without anyone knowing. if SHE (who is one of the most sought after pic subjects) can do THAT, anyone can. it just takes effort.

      and you know, NOT calling the press when you take a pandemic walk with your new GF.

  8. LillyfromLillooet says:

    Pro-tip: Stop calling the paps.

    • LillyfromLillooet says:

      Pro-tip, Ben: If you want to feel less hounded by fame, then stop calling the paps.

    • MaryContrary says:


    • Golly Gee says:

      It’s the fame he gets when he doesn’t call the paps, but gets papped ( rehab anyone?) that he has a problem with. He’s fine with the this-fame-but-not-that-fame.

    • Sarah says:

      Yep. Stop calling the paps. Stop dating other famous people. Live anywhere else. Retire from the industry. You’re a multi-millionare, Ben. You’ll be fine. You can do it!

    • emu says:

      right? there’s a common denominator in all of his pap-filled romances.

  9. jbyrdku says:

    He wants to be famous without any of the negative side-effects that go along with it, such as people seeing you for the jerk that you are. I mean…I would like to be independently wealthy and publicly adored to, so I get it, but maybe he can give it a break.

    Also, I saw a post on the celeb watching/tip Instagram account, Deuxmoi, stating Ana dumped him…

    • Darla says:

      Well, the set of the Gray Man will be hot gossip central if that’s the case. I find this hard to believe, but who knows.

  10. Teresa says:

    Step 1 : Move out of LA.
    Step 2 : Don’t alert the paparazzi where you are/don’t date someone who will call the paparazzi to say where you are
    Step 3 : Don’t date anyone who wants to be in the center of all attention.

    For example see most British celebrities.

    • Mumbles says:

      Amen. He’s the worst of the pap stroll celebrities. Always with a Boston-related t-shirt because his PR team settled on a “Boston guy” brand.

  11. Jessica says:

    Super Douche.

  12. SarahCS says:

    What about all the actors who have their personal lives on absolute lockdown? The work and they go away. You know that could be you right Ben?

    Yikes, talk about a lack of accountability, nothing in his life is his responsibility or his fault.

    • Sigmund says:

      Yeah, I think that would basically be the only way to handle fame. Hard boundaries between work life and home life, and keep home life locked down and private.

      Honestly, fame would be hard, and Ben does not seem to have the best mental health anyway. (This is not meant to be an excuse for his behavior.) I think he needs to recognize that he just isn’t capable of managing fame in a healthy way and leave the business.

  13. ce says:

    He’s only come around to speaking admiringly of Jlo because she’s now very widely respected and of course rich. When she was hottie Jenny from the block he was never this nice. I see you Ben!

    • lucy2 says:

      I find it weird he keeps talking about her.

    • Susan says:

      Completely agree!! I feel like there are old interviews where he’s quite disparaging of her and blames her for the media circus of that relationship, again, with no personal accountability.

      What a douche. I even like Jennifer Garner 100 percent more (who I previously hated!) now that she freed herself of that loser.

    • Myra says:

      Yeah, I feel like he tried to erase their time together during the years following their break up. Now he wants to talk about her when she is a respected artist. I get that tabloid culture is not nice and it sucks to be the butt of all jokes but he didn’t have to behave like that with Jennifer just so he could save his career reputation.

  14. Chaine says:

    Yeah I still can’t stand him for how he treated JLo. Ya don’t hear him say anything in this interview about how he shouldn’t have turned up in the back room of a strip club with a bunch of lapdancers and Christian Slater, do ya?

    • MM2 says:

      Oh, I did not know Christian Slater had a hand in that! Who the hell would think the recipe of a strip club & Slater would end well?! I mean, anything with Christian Slater will end poorly….except Gleaming the Cube 😉

  15. ME says:

    Well would he rather be working 12 hour shifts in a factory? There are MANY celebs who keep their private lives PRIVATE. He could have chose not to live in LA from the get go.

  16. Elizabeth says:

    Wow. Leave Sonia Sotomayor out of it. The audacity to in any way diminish her success.

  17. Sandra says:

    Quitting the coffee run pap walks in Venice Beach might be a starting point, Ben.

  18. JEM says:

    He is so PAINFUL. I cringed my way through that interview. I would like him to go away, and to take Matt Damon with him.

  19. Murphy says:

    My theory is he hates the press when he isn’t sober (because they always give him away, even when they don’t explicitly say so, the pictures are always a dead give away)

    • whatWHAT? says:

      look how different (BETTER!) he looks now than when he was with Shookus. YIKES, what a difference.

  20. TheOriginalMia says:

    Pap photo-staging Ben said what? Fool, please.

  21. Leducduswaz says:

    Remember when Josh Hartnett wanted to step away from acting and just did it without whining about it but not actually changing anything? Good times.

  22. LaurenMichelle says:

    Why is Ben talking about Jen Lopez so much? Is he having regrets, years later for how shabbily he treated her? Jen was so in love with Ben, and he humiliated her,
    Then he humiliated his wife Jen too, for years. Shookas affair was a disaster as well.
    Ben is the problem, and I am tired of his elitist, privileged whining.

    • Susan says:

      Secret thought: wouldn’t it be fabulous if Ana De Armas gave HIM the Affleck/JLo breakup treatment? Talking to press about how embarrassed she was by HIS attention seeking behavior, dismissed the validity of the relationship? Wicked laugh

  23. Michelle says:

    Women in the industry are treated much worse than this guy ever had it.
    He can easily change his life, career, home, to avoid fame if he truly wanted & felt this way.
    He wants to be in the rat race otherwise would of left a long time ago.

  24. Winnie Cooper’s Mom says:

    Could he be any more arrogant? What an unlikeable douche. When celebs talk about how “hard” they have it, it only shows how out-of-touch with reality they are. Ben, do you think it would be fun to work a 36-hour shift handling patients dying from Covid? Or unable to feed your family due to poverty? This is enraging to read during these times. Any celeb should just say “I’m extremely grateful” and just move on.

  25. Jaded says:

    Another rich, white, male celebrity whining about how hard life is. Life is what you make it and you behaved atrociously, especially to the women you were involved with. Nobody but you turned you into a drunken, philandering, pap-strolling d-bag so stop sniveling.

  26. MidiKitty says:

    Wow, I hate you being famous too, Ben Affleck. You are an unattractive, untalented, overrated, entitled white male who has managed a successful ‘acting’ career based solely on mediocrity and showing up.
    Could you please take Matt Damon and Casey with you to this no-fame/no-talent Shangri-la and STFU for evermore ?!

    Sigh. Talk about a clueless arse…

  27. Coji says:

    Man, if I had money no way would I be fetching my own coffee.

  28. Peaches says:

    Rich folks problem.
    Hard to feel sorry for him when people are standing in line for hours at the food banks.

  29. ME says:

    Well he’s single again now so let’s see if he disappears for a bit…

  30. Sunny says:

    Typical narc.

    Self-loathing, attention-seeking, blame-shifting addict.

    • Muffaletta says:

      It’s been established in peer-reviewed studies that alcoholism can have a genetic basis in that if your parent(s) (his father in his case) were alcoholics, you’ll find it harder to resist overdrinking. I read about it but have forgotten the actual detail; it’s something about not being able to feel drunk or something – the opposite to the red-face syndrome where you’re quickly feeling the effects of your first drink.

  31. Jojo says:

    All the single ladies out there, Ben is available 🙂

  32. jbyrdku says:

    Yeah, TMZ is confirming, they’re donzo…

  33. Meg says:

    In a way he reminds me of taylor swift, wanting only good thing none of the bad. They act like they’re above anything bad happening

  34. J ferber says:

    Midikitty, I bow to you. Spot on.

  35. NYStateofMind says:

    I will never judge him because dealing with addiction is beyond hard. The media is awful. I bet if he had lived in the 40’s he would love Hollywood, at least for the privacy aspect. I would never want to be famous. Hopefully he finds a place where he’s comfortable in his mind and life. I don’t love or hate him but I get what he’s saying.

  36. Muffaletta says:

    His father is an recovered alcoholic so he has that (proven in peer reviewed studies) genetic predisposition towards drink. I get the sense that he’s also quite saturnian in personality, easily depressed or cynical, etc.