Ben Affleck: ‘I’m telling you, I don’t blame my ex-wife for my alcoholism’

Ben Affleck covers the latest issue of the Hollywood Reporter. This interview is SO LONG. Ben excels at these kinds of long-form interviews though – if anything, he’s better when he has unlimited space to expound, catch himself, backtrack, and smother you with his wit and humor. It’s when he’s trying to be pithy that he gets in trouble. Affleck is currently promoting Air, which he produced, directed and stars in. The film is all about Nike creating the Air Jordans, an entire shoe line based around Michael Jordan. He talks about the film at length as well as Artists Equity, the production firm he set up with Matt Damon and other artists. He talks about everything else too – his wife Jennifer Lopez, his kids, the DC franchises, Batman, Instagram, his grim appearance at the Grammys, the pandemic, the business of streaming, everything. It’s an excellent read, honestly. Go here for the full piece. Some highlights (there are too many, honestly, so I really had to trim this down):

He’s getting over Covid: “I’d had it a couple of times and been asymptomatic, and so I got kind of cavalier and a little bit like, “Wow, COVID doesn’t really actually affect me. I’m one of those people.” And then I just got annihilated. I had the no-energy COVID, where it was too much work to pick up the phone to play Octordle…It’s just Wordle with more words. Don’t be impressed, it’s not harder. I was invited to join a cool little red velvet rope celebrity Wordle group. Matt [Damon]’s one of them. Jason Bateman and Bradley [Cooper], and … Actually, the first rule of Wordle is don’t talk about Wordle.”

Why he started Artists Equity: “One of the reasons I did it was, I’m divorced. I share custody. I don’t want to go to Austin and New Orleans and Georgia anymore and not see my kids. It just doesn’t work. These years are too important. If I miss them, I’ll regret it for the rest of my life. And then I thought, “OK, well, if I’m in Los Angeles and I’m in an office and I’m doing this work, I can step out for the basketball game or the jazz performance.” So I protect those things.

The movie business is changing: “Succession is on. Ozark. Narcos. Game of Thrones. You’re not competing with [1980s crime drama] Simon & Simon on an 11-inch black-and-white TV. There’s really beautiful stuff being made. My daughter is 17. She lives her life largely in opposition to the work her parents have spent their lives dedicated to, where she’ll say things like, “I’m not sure film is really … Do you think it’s a genuine art form?” I like the fact that she has this silver rapier tongue.”

He wasn’t fulfilled on the Justice League crap: “The Justice League experience, the fact that those stories became somewhat repetitive to me and less interesting….You could teach a seminar on all the reasons why this is how not to do it. Ranging from production to bad decisions to horrible personal tragedy, and just ending with the most monstrous taste in my mouth. The genius, and the silver lining, is that Zack Snyder eventually went to AT&T and was like, “Look, I can get you four hours of content.” And it’s principally just all the slow motion that he shot in black-and-white. And one day of shooting with me and him. He was like, “Do you want to come shoot in my backyard?” I was like, “I think there are unions, Zack. I think we have to make a deal.” But I went and did it. And now [Zack Snyder’s Justice League] is my highest-rated movie on IMDb.

The mess with Joss Whedon: “I was going to direct a Batman, and [Justice League] made me go, “I’m out. I never want to do any of this again. I’m not suited.” That was the worst experience I’ve ever seen in a business which is full of some sh-tty experiences. It broke my heart. There was an idea of someone [Joss Whedon] coming in, like, “I’ll rescue you and we’ll do 60 days of shooting and I’ll write a whole thing around what you have. I’ve got the secret.” And it wasn’t the secret. That was hard. And I started to drink too much. I was back at the hotel in London, it was either that or jump out the window. And I just thought, “This isn’t the life I want. My kids aren’t here. I’m miserable.”

How he knows Michael Jordan: “I periodically play cards sometimes with Michael, and we’ve got mutual friends, and … None of it sounds good, OK? And it’s not like he’d be like, “Oh yeah, Ben’s my boy.” (Imitating Jordan’s voice.) He’d be like, “Yeah, I know him.” Jordan is — he’s a hero to me. And I know how important and meaningful a figure he is, in particular in the African American community. If you’re going to f-ck around with talking about Michael Jordan, do it respectfully. Nobody’s asking you to do a hagiography, but get it f–king right. I’ve never known anybody with that kind of charisma and power who walks into a room and it just reverberates.

He hates golf: “I don’t golf myself. Because I just feel like it eats people’s lives up. I look at golf like meth. They have better teeth, but it doesn’t seem like people ever come out of that. Once they start golfing, you just don’t ever see them again.

How he got Viola Davis to play MJ’s mom: “Begging. I’m sure it was because I said, “Michael Jordan wants you to play his mom.” It certainly wasn’t “Ben Affleck wants you to be in his movie.” She’s not comfortable with sycophancy or obsequiousness. You can tell it chafes her. I just treated her with respect, which is to say, “When you’re ready, let me know. We’ll be here.”

J.Lo’s contributions to ‘Air’: “Oh my God, she’s brilliant. She is incredibly knowledgeable about the way fashion evolves through the culture as a confluence of music, sports, entertainment and dance. She helped me in talking about the way in which a part of the reason why Jordans [the shoes] were so meaningful is because culture and style in America is 90 percent driven by Black culture. Black culture has historically pioneered music, dance, fashion, and it’s then been stolen, appropriated, remarketed as Elvis or whatever. And in this case, [Nike], a white-run corporate entity, was starting to do business with African American athletes in an identity affiliation sales thing. They were really taking value from what Michael Jordan represents and who he is. I don’t think the meaning can be overstated. They’re going to switch from “Hey, guys, we are a nice shoe,” to “If Mike has it, you want it.”

On Instagram: “My wife’s a genius at that. I don’t know if there’s anybody who understands Instagram better than her. In fact, she gave me a talk this morning before this interview. She thinks that because of experiences that I’ve had, I’ve become very guarded. And she’s right. I view these things as land mines, where if you say one wrong thing, your career might be over. I had a really painful experience where I did an interview where I was really vulnerable, and the entire pickup was something that was not only not right, it was actually the opposite of what I meant.

The Howard Stern interview where he talked about drinking & Jennifer Garner: “The idea that I was blaming my wife for my drinking. To be clear, my behavior is my responsibility entirely. The point that I was trying to make was a sad one. Anyone who’s been through divorce makes that calculus of, How much do we try? We loved each other. We care about each other. We have respect for each other. I was trying to say, “Hey, look, I was drinking too much, and the less happy you become, whether it’s your job, your marriage, it’s just that as your life becomes more difficult, if you’re doing things to fill a hole that aren’t healthy, you’re going to start doing more of those things.” I think I was pretty articulate about that. It was the New York Post who deliberately mischaracterized it in order to make it clickbait, and everyone else then picked it up, and it didn’t matter how many times I said, “I do not feel this way. I’m telling you, I don’t blame my ex-wife for my alcoholism.”

J.Lo helps him: “But anyway, so [Jennifer Lopez] tells me today, “Relax, be yourself. Have fun. You’re actually a fun guy who is real and genuine and you just seem so serious.” Do I seem serious? But as in many things, she’s really right. And she loves me. She’s looking out for me. She’s trying to help me. So it’s like, maybe I ought to f–king listen to her.

His big night at the Grammys: “I had a good time at the Grammys. My wife was going, and I thought, “Well, there’ll be good music. It might be fun.” At movie award shows, it’s speeches and, like, sound-mixing webinars. But I thought this would be fun. I saw [Grammy host Trevor Noah approach] and I was like, “Oh, God.” They were framing us in this shot, but I didn’t know they were rolling. I leaned into her and I was like, “As soon they start rolling, I’m going to slide away from you and leave you sitting next to Trevor.” She goes, “You better f–king not leave.” That’s a husband-and-wife thing. I mean, some of it is, I’m like, “All right, who is this act?” Like, I don’t keep up. My wife does, obviously. And yeah, it is your wife’s work event. And I’ve gone to events and been pissed off. I’ve gone and been bored. I’ve gone to award shows and been drunk, a bunch. Nobody ever once said I’m drunk. [But at the Grammys] they were like, “He’s drunk.” And I thought, that’s interesting. That raises a whole other thing about whether or not it’s wise to acknowledge addiction because there’s a lot of compassion, but there is still a tremendous stigma, which is often quite inhibiting. I do think it disincentivizes people from making their lives better.

[From THR]

I believe him about the Jen Garner stuff, that the context was that he was miserable for many reasons and his drinking was getting worse and his marriage situation wasn’t making it any easier. I believe him that he doesn’t “blame” Garner for his alcoholism, and I think his point is that the failure of his first marriage (generally speaking) contributed to his drinking. I also believe him about the Grammys – he went because he thought it would be a fun night out with his wife and he became a misery meme. Anyway, I love that Violet is always on his ass about his movies and I love how much he respects J.Lo. That’s all.

Cover & IG courtesy of THR.

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106 Responses to “Ben Affleck: ‘I’m telling you, I don’t blame my ex-wife for my alcoholism’”

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  1. Arizona says:

    I thought it was an extremely charming and interesting interview. I also believe him that he doesn’t blame Jen Garner for his alcoholism. that being said, Violet questioning whether film is even really an art form made me genuinely laugh out loud.

    • molly says:

      If he’s learned anything over the years, especially in his periods of health and reflection, it’s that Jennifer Garner is a better ex/co-parent than he probably deserves. She could have buried him. Do I think she’s a flawless saint, no, of course not, but she extended him far more grace than a lot of burned celebs would have.

      • Mélanie says:

        Why would she want to bury him ? Why do you want her to be revengeful towards the father of her children? I don’t understand this line of thinking…Jennifer Garner is a great mother(and a great person)and that’s why she acted the way she did cause at the end of the day,her kids and their needs are the most important not some weird projections on her and her family.Ben ,for his defaults,mostly harmed himself :he didn’t act like an ass like Brad Pitt or didn’t pull a Jason Sudeikis with his antics.He seemed to follow the lead of Jen Garner about the kids so she was also cool and it’s better for the kids.

    • MizzLizz says:

      Gotta love smart teens questioning everything -especially their parents!

    • ML says:

      THR did an excellent job interviewing Ben Affleck. He certainly comes across as more intelligent, interesting and self aware than usual. I liked him here, and that is not always the case with him. All credits to his ex and his current wife, Jennifer and Jennifer.

  2. Lucy says:

    You left of my favorite part of the Wordle part of the interview – he thought he was going to crush the group because he did crosswords and he figured actors were a low bar. I am still loling. My other favorite part was him bragging about a parallel parking job 😂

    I liked this interview, he came across as honest and aware and not miserable. He really likes J Lo, it’s cute.

    • Lens says:

      @Yvette -Easy pass is right. Everybody came down hard on Jennifer garner for seemingly forgiving him (when he was living at their house two years post separation) but a he’s wonderful guy now he’s with jlo. And saying he doesn’t blame his ex wife for his alcoholism isn’t apologizing to his ex wife and KIDS for the way he very nastily and inarticulately said what Kaiser articulately said. He just does what he always does -blames others -this time the media who just quoted what he said VERBATIM and nobody mischaracterized it, they were quoting him. Maybe in his mind because he’s never at fault.

      • A says:

        He went on Kimmel the very next day to address how those comments had been misconstrued and talked about the potential hurt to his family.

      • Lens says:

        Yes again- didn’t apologize or even say he misspoke on Kimmel. He said HIS feelings were hurt and it was never his fault just the mean media quoting his words verbatim.

      • Mel says:

        He doesn’t owe the public an apology. He owed it to Jen Garner and we don’t know what happened there because it’s none of our business.

      • Lens says:

        Proving Yvette’s point. Of course I didn’t mean the public, but he should have publicly apologized to his former wife and children because his crass and selfish comments were what made it public, hurting them.

      • Karisma says:

        Stop projecting your feelings onto them, everyone who listened to the interview entirely agree it was taken out of context, it was handled privately, he doesn’t owe you anything

      • Lens says:

        “Everyone” no, actually most didn’t at all if you read any comments on the internet afterward. There was a big effort by some on here to change what he said but his words remained. Like I said he doesn’t owe it to me or the public but the people he hurt by his words, his former wife and children. He is the one who made it public not private. He was hurt by the public fallout that’s all he’s sorry for I guess.

      • honeychild says:

        IMO, Ben did not owe JG or his kids a public apology. The NY Post and the other media outlets that ran with that headline for clicks and views actually should have been the ones to apologize publicly. But they got away with it because the actual context of the “trapped” quote was clarified in like the third or 4th paragraph of the story. Knowing most folks stop reading after the lead paragraph. It was such a shame because for years following their divorce when asked, Ben always spoke highly of JG. And just like that, one out of context statement, erased anything else he said in years of interviews speaking well of her. Fortunately, there were those who read or listened to his Stern interview and got what he meant.

      • Lens says:

        I listened to his Howard stern interview in real time as well and he wasn’t misconstrued. He said what he was quoted as saying. Nobody made up what he said. He deserves all the shit he got at the time for hurting his exwife AND children. It’s not the media’s fault for reporting on what he said using accurate quotes -it’s his fault. Hopefully it’s made him less cavalier – he says it has.

      • Mélanie says:

        Majority of ppl here are not saying that he is wonderful now that he is with Jlo:this is just projection on your part …we just don’t hate him because you hate him for what you think he did to Jennifer Garner,that’s simple.Ppl recognize that he is flawed human being but that he is also a good person(he had Effie Brown back against his best friend and another peer,he defended muslims,he works actively for his Congo initiative and do great work,Viola praises him and how he makes her feel on set…) and all of this has nothing to do with Jlo.

  3. Yvette says:

    I still don’t understand why Be Affleck gets such an easy pass from people. I’m just saying.

    • Mabs A'Mabbin says:

      Not me lol. He’s quite cringe to me, and I certainly don’t want to watch him on screen.

    • Anne Keane says:

      And I don’t understand the opposite, why people are so hard on him. I don’t get the verging on hatred attitude that’s sometimes apparent. Have I missed some heinous crime he’s committed, rather than him being an (alcohol and gambling addicted) idiot at times? I save my hatred for more worthy targets.

      • Mabs A'Mabbin says:

        I don’t hate him, that’s too much energy lol.

      • Simone says:

        I think some women(mostly white) are extremely bothered if he is happy with any woman who isn’t Jennifer Garner…and that he should continually praise her and be grateful.

      • Emily_C says:

        He blames the New York Post for what he said about his ex-wife. I didn’t see anything from the New York Post about it. I saw the actual transcript of what he actually said. And now he can’t even say “I misspoke” or “I realize I came off wrong”. Nope, it’s gotta be someone else’s fault, as usual!

        Right now he sounds like he’s absolutely worshiping JLo. That’s the m.o. of men like him. Either they worship you, or you’re trash. Also btw he slept with the nanny, which is not only cheating, but also taking advantage of an employee.

        He’s a “who do you believe, me or your lying eyes?” kind of man. I wish JLo luck, because she’s gonna need it. She deserves so much better. We all deserve so much better than men like this.

      • Lens says:

        Simone you are projecting your own feelings on to us. I guess you didn’t pay attention to him before but he was disliked way before jlo by many. Jlo has nothing to do with this other than more people are putting him up as a guy who can don I wrong because they want that for her. And like most people (even Brad hated by everyone here but liked by most everywhere else) he has good points and bad. This time he was in the wrong and still can’t own up to it and so many of you are dissembling how it went down and we didn’t hear what we heard and for what reason? To protect him for some reason? I don’t like him because:He lies, he’s an attention ho, He’s a sexual harasser, He’s selfish. His women of whatever era have nothing to do with it. I feel they’ve always been leaps and bounds above him in the very way, especially integrity.

      • Simone says:

        Why are you attacking me and where in my sentence did I talk about Jlo? All your paragraph have nothing to do what I say…this man is so bad but Jennifer Garner choose to marry him and have 3 kids with? What does that say about her? You seem really triggered by Ben. Good luck with that cause this obsession is unhealthy and I am not fighting over these 3 millionnaires or taking sides just stating my opinion.Have a nice day.

      • AnneL says:

        I don’t get why people are so hard on him either. He’s an alcoholic. Yes, he’s responsible for his own actions, but the genetic predisposition which he doubtless has makes it that much easier for him to spiral into addiction. He went through some stuff, started drinking too much (surely not for the first time), got divorced. It happens to a lot of people.

        His ex-wife is better at being a parent but that doesn’t mean he’s a bad parent or doesn’t love his children. Nor does it make him a bad person. I think he would acknowledge that Jen is better at a lot of this than he is. But he seems to be fairly close to his kids, or at least is trying to be. We saw a lot of pics of him and JLo out with their blended family not that long ago, and they all seemed to be getting along.

        Did he kill someone’s puppy or something? Maybe he rubs some people the wrong way, and that’s fair. But I just don’t get the hate. It seems outsized. I wouldn’t want to be married to the guy but I’m not going to heap contempt on him for having problems.

      • Soan says:

        @Annekeane and @AnneL completely agree, I really don’t understand the disproportionate hate:I mean he has never done the level of abuse that Brad Pitt or Johnny Depp were accused of doing and his kids seem to adore him.I also don’t think he is pulling the same weight that Jennifer Garner in parenting but from all those paps photos,he seems to be a very involved dad and even a good stepfather.

      • SADGIRL says:

        Everybody at this point know who Ben is: a very nice guy,charming but with mental and addictions problems and that runs deep in his family(some suicides)…I am baffled at women like Jennifer Garner or Jlo who decides to marry him and even have kids with him like ?? Isn’t life hard enough?Why do you want to take a project man? and do you want your kids to have those addiction/mental health genes?
        I like Jlo but why do you take back a man who left you at the altar?That’s just unforgivable in my eyes but I guess I am too petty.. and also she will always be compared to Saint Jennifer Garner,the best mom in Hollywood!! Love is not enough for me…but I wish them all hapinness cause life is hard

    • Keaton says:

      I don’t hate him but I think he’s a bit of a high maintenance schmuck
      So I find the love and adoration he gets/got from JLo/ Jen Garner a bit inexplicable.
      Garner was bananas about him and he cheated on her serially for years.
      Lopez is the same: He humiliated her, cheated on her and she still carried a torch for him for decades.
      In the end, I’m glad Garner seems happy without him and Lopez seems happy WITH him.
      So regardless of what I personally think about the guy I’m glad the ladies are happy. lol

  4. Marsh says:

    I know he’s gets tons of flack but I thought this was a good interview.
    It also makes sense that he would be more guarded. I feel like a lot of celebrities are now a days especially those who been targets of hate which can be sad for their fans.
    But he came across very well in this interview. I appreciate his honesty.

  5. Jais says:

    The golf part was funny in how you just never see that person again. I don’t know anyone who plays golf so maybe it’s just the people he knows that disappear into golf.

    • Duch says:

      You don’t know them because they’re golfing and don’t have time to make non-golf friends ! Lol

    • Mcmmom says:

      The comment about golf being like meth made me laugh outloud and I’m reading this next to my sleeping husband, so I had to stifle it.

      He comes off well in this.

      • BothSidesNow says:

        That made me laugh as well.

        My mother was a big golfer as well, though once she had kids she didn’t play after that. But she did play golf constantly, from what I hear. She kept her clubs in the coat closet as a reminder that she would escape again!!!

    • Kitten says:

      LMAO it’s so true though! There’s something about that sport..either it draws compulsive people or people become compulsive because of it.

    • molly says:

      The golf part was funny because Jason Bateman in his Wordle clique is OBSESSED with golf. He talks about it constantly on his podcast. He’s 1000% the kind of golf meth head Ben’s talking about.

    • AnneL says:

      My husband started playing golf maybe a dozen years ago. Yes, he’s obsessed. That doesn’t mean he can’t function at work or socially, but golf does consume a lot of his time and focus and energy outside of those things. It’s pretty all-consuming.

      I’m a “golf widow” but that’s OK with me. He can go off and play for hours on the weekends, or go on week-long trips with his golf buddies sometimes My kids are in their 20s now so I don’t need him here helping me. We have plenty of time to spend together. And honestly, even when the kids were younger it was still fine. He got my son into it so they would often play together, and my daughter didn’t mind that her father wasn’t around 24/7. She was busy with her own stuff as a young tween and teen.

  6. Cel2495 says:

    He came across well in this interview. He was funny, seemed honest with his answers and clear.
    I hope he continues being committed to his sobriety. Alcoholism is tough.

  7. ThatsNotOkay says:


    Anyway, I’m glad Jen schooled him about the culture. I mean, a white person making a film about Air Jordans and not knowing ahead of time what American culture is based on and whom it robs?! But at least he acknowledges this. The bar is low.

    • MadamNoir says:

      But can Jennifer Lopez really school him about black culture? She’s been accused many times of cultural appropriation, and if he really wanted to know about the culture, he should of speak to the black people who were and are behind the culture. The Black people that have to always fight for recognition for all their hard work.

      • BothSidesNow says:

        @ MadamNoir, that’s an excellent point. JLo isn’t squeaky clean in that department of appropriation either…..

      • ohrhilly says:

        That part! I was like JLo has been appropriating for a bit herself.

      • J says:

        Well, we all know he was trying hard kissing her ass. She loves this kind of overwhelming public show of affection, no matter how sometimes cringy it can be. That’s probably the most likely reason that she can’t quit romcom!

    • Karisma says:

      I don’t think he’s saying he didn’t know about cultural appropriation, Ben is an intelligent man, he also grew up with a mom who was a civil right activist. My understanding is because jlo has been in the fashion, music industry for years she had a more direct knowledge of it and he was able to learn even more about it.
      Also if you read the interview he did say the black members of the team helped him Charlese the costume designer, Viola, Chris tucker etc

      • MadamNoir says:

        But we’re not talking about fashion in general. We’re talking about the cultural impact Black fashion has had and continues to have on the industry. When Jordans first came out, I didn’t see anyone except black people wearing Jordan sneakers. I grew up in Brooklyn, and trust me when I say no one outside of me and my black friends and other black people was standing outside of the sneaker store waiting to buy the new Jordans. That impact is not something Jennifer Lopez can speak about specifically, seeing how, again, she’s been accused of culturally appropriating the black culture her whole career. It’s a sensitive topic, especially as a black person, because we never get the credit and the recognition we deserve for all we do and create, especially in the fashion industry.

      • BothSidesNow says:

        @ MadamNoir, thank you for speaking up and out. I am not African American but it’s long past due for all ethnicities to stop stealing from the African American population whether it be fashion, music or food and calling in their own. It’s NOT!! We have been stealing from African Americans for centuries and it is STILL happening without any consequences from the thieves!!

      • Karisma says:

        In the interview:

        What you expressed about white America using Black culture, as a white filmmaker telling this story, do you risk replicating that dynamic?

        I wouldn’t make a movie whose central premise is the appropriation of Black culture for profit by white Americans. That’s not my film to make. I’m telling a story that’s about a combination of things, and this is one aspect of it. I’m not going to omit it because to omit it would further compound the disrespect. What I am going to do is talk to people who understand it better than I do and who can help me contextualize it, and that was [costume designer] Charlese [Antoinette Jones], that was Viola. Chris [Tucker], he gave me monologues, he gave me scenes, and it was very organic.”

  8. Frippery says:

    He seems to be in a good place, I hope that’s true and not just PR. I do appreciate that he is trying to correct the idea that Jen G. caused him to drink.

    I like him as an actor, he has been in so many films I love. I’m glad he’s getting his life sorted.

  9. Lala11_7 says:

    Ben has always been one of my faves that NEVA triggered my Scorpio ♏️ intuition…(like his BFF)…Flawed as f–k? Yea…but also intelligent & talented…and aging…WONDERFULLY…so I’m enjoying his evolution IMMENSELY!

    • Kitten says:

      Yeah this place is mostly brutal for people who like Ben (I happen to like him too) so it’s refreshing to see some positive comments around here.

    • Ameerah M says:

      I was a Ben fan for years but the way he acted during his divorce turned me off completely. I’ve been enjoying him since he’s gotten sober and been back with JLo. He seems to have calmed down and settled. Which is good.

      • BothSidesNow says:

        @ Ameerah M, true but why do I feel like he is simply incapable of having his head on his neck instead of his arse unless he is with someone??? BA seems as needy as JLo with regards to incapable of being alone. Maybe I am reading too much into his personal life or I am transferring JLo’s inabilities onto him.

      • Ameerah M says:

        @BothSidesNow He’s no different in that regard than a lot of people. Women included. Both seem reliant on their partners – which is one of the things that make them perfect for each other. Ben is needy and JLo likes to be needed. But that’s not necessarily a giant character flaw if both parties in a relationship are getting their needs met.

    • Amber says:

      @LALA11_7 I also like his evolution.He is smart,talented and very aware but for a moment I thought he was drowning and was sad for him.I am happy to see him like this.

    • Dara says:

      Can I sit with you guys? I’ve kept my Ben affection low-key in these parts for fear of being torn to shreds in the comments. What can I say? My kryptonite is tall, smart, and messy.

      • Frippery says:

        Dara, come sit by me. We can watch Phantoms or Dogma or Chasing Amy.

      • BQM says:

        I’ll join you. I have always had a soft spot for him. Maybe because I have a number of alcoholics in my family. I was surprisingly excited when he and JLo reunited and disagreed when people were so sure it was PR. I’m looking forward to Air.

    • AnneL says:

      LOL, I’m a Sagittarius so maybe I don’t have the intuition thing. But I have always, always liked Ben more than I like Matt. They’re both funny but Ben seems smarter. I also think he’s better looking (that beard in “Argot,” loved it) and just more interesting, flawed as he may be.

      My sister is a Scorpio and prefers Matt. Go figure. But she was born on Halloween. Maybe they have a special something happening.

  10. TwinFalls says:

    Ben’s been living apart from his kids since 2015 but sure, 7 years later he starts a production company to not miss out on their lives.

    It’s nails on a chalk board, the male redemptive I do it all for my kids.

    • A says:

      He continued to live in the same house as them until 2017. Since he moved out and they finalised their divorce he has 50% physical custody.

      • TwinFalls says:

        *Ben has lived under a different roof (guest house) than his children since 2015 but in 2022 he realized that he’d like to not miss (any more) of their life events (even though he had 50% physical custody since 2017 and would presumably be with them at least 50% of the time) and therefore started his own production company…for his kids’ sake. Better?

      • A says:

        Ben last directed a movie in the fall of 2015 (Live by Night.) and it largely shot in LA. He didn’t direct since specifically because, until Air, he was unable to get studio funding to shoot in LA. I’m sure you don’t need me to explain shared custody but it means your kids are under your roof 50% of the time.

      • Lens says:

        That struck me too as, kinda late? He spent 8 months in Detroit doing Batman when they were 2, 5, and 8. Then months after that doing back to back movies away from LA. Typical of the divorced dads I know -all of a sudden they become Dad of the year when they get divorced. Better late than never I guess guys.

    • honeychild says:

      Actually, Ben has always been an active dad, even before he and JG divorced. It’s very well documented by the paps. Yes, becoming a director took him away from his kids alot when they were babies, but after those films he worked on helped to re-establish his career, by 2016 he did seem to prefer working closer to home. And, not only did he live on property when he and JG separated, once they divorced he bought a house literally up the street from her so he would be close to the kids on the days he didn’t have them. As has been stated, he has 50/50 custody of his kids and they actually live with him half the week. Unfortunately, these pickups and drop offs are also well documented by the paps. You may not like what you think did or did not happen in his marriage to JG but no need to make stuff up. He’s actually a well liked guy in the industry. I’ve seen some nice mentions of him by BTS people in the industry.

      • TwinFalls says:

        So then he didn’t need a production company to spend time with his kids. Just talk about the production company in terms of professional goals and oh and an added benefit is less travel.

      • J says:

        TwinFalls, I think he was trying to hint some nafarious things. And these are not for public consumption. but for someone else. His family got generational enemies. Both him and his Ex JGarner hinted in the past: him when he talked about his new born daughter when he just directed his first feature film Gone Baby Gone (a long long time ago); Garner subtly hinted too in 2018 when she did an interview after she was awarded a star on the Hollywood Boulevard. He hinted several times again in subsequent interviews over the years. Both are trying to keep a close eye on their children.

      • Joey says:

        I think the fact that Jennifer Lopez has primary custody of her kids and they are always with her also gives him an extra push to be present with his kids as well. A blended family is not easy and as a parent you want to make sure your kids don’t feel left out when the step kids are always around. I think Jlo’s daughter and Ben’s daughter have also built a close friendship

      • J says:

        A final thought to address, he has always been close to his children. A check of paparazzi channel on YouTube: 17online will tell you that fact. A lot of paparazzi videos of him, his ex, and children went to church together were posted on 17online, since he and his ex split. And he lived in the same neighbourhood as his ex which made custody sharing work smoothly.

  11. PrincessOfWaffles says:

    Ben affleck is charming. He talks, we fall. On pics he looks miserable and totally like a normal dude with bad shots all the time, but ben affleck talking is fun and cool.

  12. Lee says:

    Well, I didn’t watch the interview, but now I know about Octordle and just played my first game as I’d already done Wordle and Quordle. So thank you, Ben.

    • Kebbie says:

      You should add Duotrigordle to your day! It’s 32 words! I keep a browser open and go back to it when I’m bored throughout the day lol

    • The Old Chick says:

      There’s also septle. Wordle is easy, for sure. I’ve missed one word in over a year. I like quordle too. And sometimes septle

    • BQM says:

      I love octordle! I do daily, sequence and rescue. Plus WORDLE and quordle.

  13. Scurryalongnow says:

    That last section about the Grammys and people saying he was drunk: I’m a therapist and have worked in harm reduction for years and I was disgusted by the automatic knee jerk reaction to his appearance. Speculation like this only furthers stigma, the old trope of “once and addict always an addict” and absolutely can contribute to feelings of “well they’re always accusing me anyway/ nothing I do seems to show I’ve changed /why bother trying”. You can apply this to literally any type of behavior change – if you lost a ton of weight for the second time after gaining it back and people were watching every bite you took or waiting for you to gain it all back….you probably would. To me, I immediately thought he looked jet lagged, but people love to take snippets and run. So much good happens when celebrities open up about substance use, but societal behavior like this is really destructive.

    • The Old Chick says:

      Hear hear, well said! He looked tired *to me * I hate projection. He was working on his film and other stuff. He’s busy.

    • Karisma says:

      @SCURRYALONGNOW I agree with everything you said. If bad photos are taken of Ben it means is drinking again, he was seen being emotional during jlo’s birthday at Paris he’s drunk, people can’t see what jlo and him are talking about? They are arguing about him drinking. This type of projection is such a harmful and disgusting behavior. Sobriety is a very fragile and sensitive subject that should be taken with care. I understand why he advice others addicts to keep it for themselves

      • honeychild says:

        Also, the blogs and other media sites are choosing to use those bad images as well. The narrative of sad Affleck is now popular click bait in a slow news week. There were several photos of Ben smiling & chatting with other celebs at the Grammys but they were not widely shared. Happy Ben isn’t clickable, I guess.

    • Kitten says:

      ALL of this. The reaction was trashy AF.

    • Ameerah M says:

      Thank you for saying this. I thought the reaction to his Grammy appearance was over the top. He seemed to me like a man who maybe a bit bored and uncomfortable in an environment he wasn’t used to. He didn’t read drunk to me. Plus Ben has RMF. When his face is settled he has a tendency to look a bit miserable. It doesn’t mean he is!

  14. Robyn says:

    I have liked him ever since the last season of Project Greenlight when Peter Farrelly and MATT DAMON were ugly to Effie Brown, the awesome Black woman producer, and Ben had her back. Peter was like “I’m leaving the project Effie made me feel unsafe” and Ben was like “go ahead and go then, Effie is doing her job and I respect that.” He stood up for the junior Black woman over the white EP and I will always have some respect for that. (Matt did not and I will remember that too)

    • Sue E Generis says:

      Matt also said som problematic things during that season. I can’t stand Matt Damon. Ben Affleck has a lot of redeeming qualities though.

    • Karisma says:

      And Effie did an interview and she said “Ben Affleck was the cat who had my back. Ben is down. All right, good! That was surprising to me, I thought it would be Matt, who has this liberal reputation”

    • Ameerah M says:

      Matt is the weak link of the duo for sure. Everyone thought it was Ben because of his addiction issues and his public relationships. But it’s Matt.

      • Sammie says:

        I like also Ben :he is a flawed man but he is woke and a good person. As a muslim,I liked when he had our backs during that debate with Bill Maher and as a black woman, he was great with Effie.

      • Ameerah M says:

        @Sammie – I am Muslim too and I loved that interaction. Ben is an incredibly intelligent person and it’s sad that his public struggles have overshadowed that.

      • Binta says:

        And he does a great job with his Congo initiative.

  15. A says:

    He’s a fascinating celebrity with so many contradictions. Can’t think of another celebrity who gives better interviews. He’s so famous but still talks likes a real person.

    • Kitten says:

      He’s given a lot of interesting interviews but this was definitely one of his best. TBH, J Lo did right by him to get him to open up a bit because nobody would blame him for being guarded at this point. J Lo and Ben seem like a good balance together and I hope these crazy kids make it.

  16. Ameerah M says:

    I read this interview yesterday and I really enjoyed it. He’s actually quite candid and I came away actually liking him. I wish him well in his sobriety. And as much as they can be extra, I do think he and JLo are each other’s person and I hope it works out for them.

    I especially love what he says about Viola Davis. Who plays Jordan’s mother in the film. He has so much respect for her.

    • Binta says:

      And Viola also said that she has the best experience on set and that to this day,her and her team talks about it which I mean says a lot and that Ben was kind and respectful.

      • Ambrosial says:

        I think It’s one of the reasons why he was often given multiple chances, yes a huge part is because he’s a white man but I’ve seen a lot of comments from people within the industry over the years talking about how nice, clever, charming, down to earth and respectful he is.

  17. girl_ninja says:

    “I believe him about the Jen Garner stuff, that the context was that he was miserable for many reasons and his drinking was getting worse and his marriage situation wasn’t making it any easier. I believe him that he doesn’t “blame” Garner for his alcoholism, and I think his point is that the failure of his first marriage (generally speaking) contributed to his drinking. I also believe him about the Grammys – he went because he thought it would be a fun night out with his wife and he became a misery meme. Anyway, I love that Violet is always on his ass about his movies and I love how much he respects J.Lo. That’s all.”

    Same Kaiser. Same.

    As for Jen helping him understand the Jordan brand and the culture, I just hope he spoke with black people about the Jordan brand it’s influence. Jen has limitations on her knowledge as a non black person.

  18. ExtremelyBeautifulDiego says:

    Loved loved this profile, you can see how their marriage a legit one that will go the distance.
    Thanks for opening up, Ben. (As if he’d read my comment)

  19. Katie Beanstalk says:

    Ben has really good skin. He should give some tips to Brad.

  20. Jenn says:

    I’ve noticed that writers are *miserable* when they don’t get to write. (Owen Wilson, too.) Something to do with being alone with your thoughts and needing to direct them in a productive way, or else they’ll overwhelm you. I can see why he married JLo — if she sees self-pitying behavior, she’ll drag Ben by the ear to the gym with her, and I just love that for him.

  21. honeychild says:

    I loved this interview! Kudos to the journalist! She guided Ben gracefully through this interview and it is very well constructed and written. Ben came off vulnerable, smart and down-to-earth. People questioning whether Ben understands Black influence on American culture should really watch the movie he directed before Air called Live By Night. Zoe Saldana plays his love interest and the singer Miguel plays her brother. It’s based on a book and touches on race and class heavily. In it, Ben has a whole monologue about white America needing to be afraid when Blacks really realize all they are owed for building this country. Sure, JLO may have helped him better flesh out in the Air script how Jordans impacted fashion and culture but it’s clear he already had somewhat of an understanding. His costume designer for Air is a black woman who is a self professed sneakerhead ( I peeked at her Twitter) so I am sure she had even more input. He actually mentions his costume designer (by name) in the article along with Viola and Chris Tucker as people who helped him better understand appropriation. I respect that.

    • Joey says:

      Agreed, it was a good interview! I’m sure the costume designer taught him ALOT. I also think Jlo helped by encouraging him to get a better understanding how jordans impacted fashion and culture as I’m sure he also learned from his costars Viola and Chris tucker. It takes a village to create something of this magnitude.

  22. crazyoldlady says:

    I will never forget the picture of Jen in the car driving Ben (her divorced ex husband) to rehab. He owes her every happiness he has now.

    • AppleCart says:

      Ain’t that the truth. They both seem to be in good places now with their current partners. I just hope he doesn’t fall back down a bottle. He’s at his worst then. I always got the sense he has nothing but love and respect for Jennifer G. as the Mother of his children and what she has done for him. And his interview with Howard got twisted. As I had actually listened to it and understood his POV. But that didn’t stop people from jumping down his throat about it.

  23. Emily_C says:

    “The mess with Joss Whedon” — you mean that Joss Whedon is an abusive piece of crap who isn’t even talented? That “mess”?

    Ben Affleck still sounds like a self-absorbed jackass to me.

  24. Joey says:

    I thought this was a good article and he did a great job of being open but also careful with his words. I heard the howard stern interview and I never got the impression that he was blaming his ex wife personally for his drinking. He said he was unhappy in his life and when you are unhappy you look for ways to anesthetize the disappointment, if you are an alcoholic then drinking is your coping mechanism unfortunately. What he described in the “feeling trapped” is absolutely SO RELATABLE as SO MANY people feel that way in their marriage or relationship but don’t admit it. I think people jumped down his throat with the sensationalized headlines because those people have a love for Jennifer Garner because she seems relatable and non threatening. She is not drop dead gorgeous, has a curated down to earth brand and supported the father of her children. She seems like an average person but she’s not. She does her pretend cooking show in the kitchen of her $20 million house, in her lululemon leggings and $5k christian dior sweatshirts.
    So I don’t think he publicly dissed her and I think he is grump but came off well in this interview.

    • dlc says:

      Love this comment! My partner and I are having issues. We may or may not get through them. But my current coping mechanism is drinking. The deterioration of my relationship is making that worse. That does not mean my drinking is my partners fault.

  25. Bisynaptic says:

    He’s quite droll. What he is not is a talented actor.

  26. detritus says:

    His image is going to be overhauled. JLo has started.

    He is right that she is brilliant at marketing, PR and social media. It’s really nice to hear that he respects and appreciates her business acumen.

    I’m kind of excited to see what she helps him with. I hope they stay this happy.