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Ben Affleck reveals his thoughts on Daredevil, becoming a 70's director, and comparisons to Matt Damon

Sep. 17, 2012by:

Actor/Director Ben Affleck has had quite a resurgence in the last five years as he's ventured behind-the-scenes, making a second career as a filmmaker, which has nearly toppled the one as an actor.  From GONE BABY GONE to THE TOWN and now the upcoming ARGO, Affleck has come a long way from the fumbled attempt to be a Hollywood golden boy, replacing it with the stature of a respected filmmaker and an engaging actor.  In a recent interview with Details, Affleck opened up on becoming a "70's" director, his comparison's to Matt Damon, and what he really thought about DAREDEVIL.

On his attempts at becoming a franchise star:

"I made a bunch of movies that didn't work. I was ending up in the tabloids. I don't know what the lesson is, except that you just have to find your compass.  I liked SUM OF ALL FEARS.  DAREDEVIL I didn't at all. Some movies should have worked and didn't. At a certain point, it's just up to the movie gods. Anyway, this image becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. And I just said, "I don't want to do it anymore. This is horrible. I don't want to be in this spotlight, this glare, in this way. It's tawdry, it's ugly, it's oppressive, and it's inane. So I'm going to try to get away," said Affleck.

He continued, "And most of the way I did that was by not acting. I said, 'I'm going to steer myself toward directing. I'm going to do something that takes me toward a place where the work that I do is reflective of what I think is interesting dramatically.'"

"You know, putting on the uncomfortable, cheesy suit—I understood that. And I understood what it was like to feel limited by perceptions and having ambitions to do things that were more interesting.  And also, I got married, and I got older. And had kids. You know, the current of the river of life moves you downstream anyway. But I definitely reject the narrative that says, you know, Bad Guy Turned It Around. My life isn't Behind the Music. I wasn't a criminal!"

On his comparisons to Matt Damon:

"I started to realize that people conflated us, or particularly me, with the characters. People assumed that I was the amiable, dim-witted friend, right? [Laughs] Which wasn't exactly what I was going for! Matt and I have had a friendship for 25 years. We don't get wound up about that stuff. You learn to roll your eyes," said Affleck.

"When I was doing THE TOWN, I'd tour the actors around Boston. I was with Blake [Lively], and I saw Matt's childhood home. And I said, "Oh yeah, that's where Matt grew up." And she said, "Who?" And I said, "Matt Damon." And she said, "Oh my God! You know Jason Bourne?!" She really didn't know. And I thought, "There it is. The first age of people who are adults who missed the whole Matt-and-Ben propaganda campaign!" Mostly, it just made me feel old."

On being a "70's" style filmmaker:

"That's so true that it's starting to make me self-conscious. I'm sure I can make a movie that doesn't feel like a seventies movie! But the truth is, that's my favorite era in American filmmaking. To me, those were the great years.  THE FRIENDS OF EDDIE COYLE was a movie that I copied—well, copied, whatever, was inspired by—for THE TOWN, THE VERDICT was the poster I had on the wall during GONE BABY GONE."

On his perspective as an actor today:

"I'm acting a lot less. And when I have the time, I think, "It has to be a really good part, it has to be a director I want to work with." My life's different now. It's not as if when I'm not acting I'm in a club or playing video games. I have my family. I have philanthropic work that means a lot to me. So I've definitely turned down some things. Not because I suddenly have such great taste but . . . maturity, I guess. The kinds of movies that used to appeal to me don't necessarily appeal to me anymore."


I have to say that I was blindsided by the talent that Affleck has shown as a director.  It really came out of nowhere, but its a win for everyone when someone emerges with the skill to make good flicks.  Affleck has always been a good actor, but when mixed with the directing thing, it compounds his pedigree.  If you'd asked me ten years ago if I'd be excited for a Ben Affleck movie I probably would've rolled my eyes.  Nowadays, I gravitate to his work.  Crazy how that works, eh?

Ben Affleck's ARGO hits theaters on October 12, 2012 with Terrance Malick's TO THE WONDER and the offshore online gambling pic RUNNER, RUNNER also in the queue.
Extra Tidbit: Are you surprised by Affleck's career turnaround or did you always suspect he would?
Source: Details

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+0
2:13PM on 09/19/2012
his directing style reminds me of clint eastwood's...and i also liked jersey girl.
his directing style reminds me of clint eastwood's...and i also liked jersey girl.
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12:46PM on 09/18/2012
Ya felt for the guy during the whole Mat/Ben campaign. Affleck is a good actor it's generally the script that has... well... sucked. He is an even better director and I think going this route is smart on his part. I loved the town and I am pumped to watch Argo.
Ya felt for the guy during the whole Mat/Ben campaign. Affleck is a good actor it's generally the script that has... well... sucked. He is an even better director and I think going this route is smart on his part. I loved the town and I am pumped to watch Argo.
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5:39AM on 09/18/2012
More props to Affleck for even himself saying that he did not care for daredevil. I do agree he has been just as good of an actor as Matt Damon,people just use his misfires more against him. SO it's not really surprising he would become such a good filmmaker. I mean The Town is just one terrific movie as I love heist movies anyway, but it blew my mind of how well it was made & put together. Definitely should have gotten more Oscar love.
More props to Affleck for even himself saying that he did not care for daredevil. I do agree he has been just as good of an actor as Matt Damon,people just use his misfires more against him. SO it's not really surprising he would become such a good filmmaker. I mean The Town is just one terrific movie as I love heist movies anyway, but it blew my mind of how well it was made & put together. Definitely should have gotten more Oscar love.
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+8
11:36PM on 09/17/2012
2 things I take from this article:

1) Affleck is the man (and the bomb in Phantoms Yo...!)
2) Blake Lively is a fucking moron! She is nearly 3 years younger than me, no excuse to not know about Good Will Hunting!
2 things I take from this article:

1) Affleck is the man (and the bomb in Phantoms Yo...!)
2) Blake Lively is a fucking moron! She is nearly 3 years younger than me, no excuse to not know about Good Will Hunting!
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10:33PM on 09/17/2012
I never thought Affleck was bad, only that he made bad choices. But I never expected this for him. I'm dying to see Argo, it's one of my most anticipated movies all year.
I never thought Affleck was bad, only that he made bad choices. But I never expected this for him. I'm dying to see Argo, it's one of my most anticipated movies all year.
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7:43PM on 09/17/2012

The talent was always there...

He did win an Oscar for screenwriting if you recall. :) He's one of those actors I've always liked, yes, ever since Mallrats. (note: I even liked Jersey Girl.) There's just something about him I kinda dig. He has certainly turned public perception around since his sabbatical and his burgeoning directing career. The Town was amazingly good (Renner! Hamm! Postlethwaite!) and I'm really looking forward to Argo (Cranston! Goodman! Arkin! Parks!) Good on you Affleck, I wish you every success.
He did win an Oscar for screenwriting if you recall. :) He's one of those actors I've always liked, yes, ever since Mallrats. (note: I even liked Jersey Girl.) There's just something about him I kinda dig. He has certainly turned public perception around since his sabbatical and his burgeoning directing career. The Town was amazingly good (Renner! Hamm! Postlethwaite!) and I'm really looking forward to Argo (Cranston! Goodman! Arkin! Parks!) Good on you Affleck, I wish you every success.
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7:35PM on 09/17/2012
As the far as the Blake Lively part, I'm a little surprised she wouldn't know that history, but on the other hand, if you have merely a passing interest in film, cannot really expected to know every actors friendships
As the far as the Blake Lively part, I'm a little surprised she wouldn't know that history, but on the other hand, if you have merely a passing interest in film, cannot really expected to know every actors friendships
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6:47PM on 09/17/2012
He has majorly improved. Props to him.
He has majorly improved. Props to him.
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+6
6:47PM on 09/17/2012

love Affleck

he was the shit in... ah nevermind, he's just fucking awesome all around. Keep the flicks comin Ben, you're one of my favourite directors!
he was the shit in... ah nevermind, he's just fucking awesome all around. Keep the flicks comin Ben, you're one of my favourite directors!
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6:06PM on 09/17/2012

Hey, Ben?

The Verdict was released in the 1980s. Cool quotes, though.
The Verdict was released in the 1980s. Cool quotes, though.
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4:10PM on 09/17/2012

Typical

I hate when celebrities who play costumed or super hero roles always claim to love the character and every aspect of the film theyre working on then after the film under peforms or flops they talk abuot how silly or ridiculous the experience was. Affleck claimed to love Daredevil, he even wrote the foreward to Kevin Smith's Guardian Devil TPB. He always talked about how much love for the character he has and how when he was growing up Daredevil was his favoite etc. etc blah blah... Now he
I hate when celebrities who play costumed or super hero roles always claim to love the character and every aspect of the film theyre working on then after the film under peforms or flops they talk abuot how silly or ridiculous the experience was. Affleck claimed to love Daredevil, he even wrote the foreward to Kevin Smith's Guardian Devil TPB. He always talked about how much love for the character he has and how when he was growing up Daredevil was his favoite etc. etc blah blah... Now he practically disowns the entire experience. He read the script, he knew exactly what was being done with the character but yet now.... "Its Cheesy". Halle Barry did the same thing with Catwoman (which was an abomination I admit). Typical.
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4:55PM on 09/17/2012
Not to defend too much but I think he's saying that he didn't like the final product. He says in the interview that, "Some movies should have worked and didn't." Meaning that he thought Daredevil would be good but didn't end up that way. It doesn't mean that he doesn't like Daredevil the character just the adaptation. And there is a big difference between a script (which was probably rewritten multiple times during production) and the finished product. Great scripts can be made into horrible
Not to defend too much but I think he's saying that he didn't like the final product. He says in the interview that, "Some movies should have worked and didn't." Meaning that he thought Daredevil would be good but didn't end up that way. It doesn't mean that he doesn't like Daredevil the character just the adaptation. And there is a big difference between a script (which was probably rewritten multiple times during production) and the finished product. Great scripts can be made into horrible movies and vice versa. Maybe since he's proved to be a pretty good talent behind the camera he should have taken a little more control into the whole process of the making of the movie. Then however he might have been hated for being one of those difficult actors to work with.
7:30PM on 09/17/2012
I think you confuse liking the character and liking the film. Many people like Daredevil the character, not as many like the film.

Besides, the script wasn't particularly terrible. A better director could have done a much better film with just a few minor tweaks.
I think you confuse liking the character and liking the film. Many people like Daredevil the character, not as many like the film.

Besides, the script wasn't particularly terrible. A better director could have done a much better film with just a few minor tweaks.
7:44PM on 09/17/2012
I agree on your points but he did wear the costume. He saw it every day on the set, you would think if he felt the costume was cheesy he would have spoken up and offered some suggestions. Of course if I were he, I would have thrown the script out the window as soon as I read the "Blind Murdock play fights with Electra in the park surrounded by kids and witnesses as the duo engages in martial arts and acrobatics" scene.
I agree on your points but he did wear the costume. He saw it every day on the set, you would think if he felt the costume was cheesy he would have spoken up and offered some suggestions. Of course if I were he, I would have thrown the script out the window as soon as I read the "Blind Murdock play fights with Electra in the park surrounded by kids and witnesses as the duo engages in martial arts and acrobatics" scene.
4:08PM on 09/17/2012
Hey look, my first double post!
Hey look, my first double post!
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4:05PM on 09/17/2012
When did Good Will Hunting became this movie classic that everybody had to know about? It's an okay movie at best that would have been completely forgotten if it weren't the film that made Affleck and Damon famous. In fact, among people old enough to remember the film, most of them have completely forgotten that they won an Oscar for that script.
When did Good Will Hunting became this movie classic that everybody had to know about? It's an okay movie at best that would have been completely forgotten if it weren't the film that made Affleck and Damon famous. In fact, among people old enough to remember the film, most of them have completely forgotten that they won an Oscar for that script.
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3:05PM on 09/17/2012
I thought there was potential with Affleck, because there seemed a real disconnect from his earlier Kevin Smith/Good Will Hunting days and where he wound up at during the whole Bennifer debacle. But how he did it surprised the hell out of me.

I'm a couple years older than Blake. Crucial years if you think about it between 10 and 12-13. I knew about them from my sister's crush on Damon after "Good Will Hunting", and watching the Oscars (I've seen every ceremony since 1997). But yeah, it's not
I thought there was potential with Affleck, because there seemed a real disconnect from his earlier Kevin Smith/Good Will Hunting days and where he wound up at during the whole Bennifer debacle. But how he did it surprised the hell out of me.

I'm a couple years older than Blake. Crucial years if you think about it between 10 and 12-13. I knew about them from my sister's crush on Damon after "Good Will Hunting", and watching the Oscars (I've seen every ceremony since 1997). But yeah, it's not like they've been working together a lot since "Dogma," though their friendship is one of the more famous ones in Hollywood.
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1:35PM on 09/17/2012
Cool fuckin' interview.

Also about Blake Lively, she was only 10 when Good Will Hunting was released. Do you think she cared about any of that Ben and Matt shit at her age?
Cool fuckin' interview.

Also about Blake Lively, she was only 10 when Good Will Hunting was released. Do you think she cared about any of that Ben and Matt shit at her age?
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3:17PM on 09/17/2012
So? I was born before The Godfather or Apocalypse Now or A Clockwork Orange was made, that doesn't mean I'm just totally oblivious to it.
So? I was born before The Godfather or Apocalypse Now or A Clockwork Orange was made, that doesn't mean I'm just totally oblivious to it.
3:47PM on 09/17/2012
izzy2024....Are you really comparing your situation to Lively's???....She was a KID and you were an ADULT. There's a TOTAL difference there.
izzy2024....Are you really comparing your situation to Lively's???....She was a KID and you were an ADULT. There's a TOTAL difference there.
4:08PM on 09/17/2012
@izzy2024 Good Will Hunting is not The Godfather.
@izzy2024 Good Will Hunting is not The Godfather.
8:54PM on 09/17/2012
LovePump, I'm the same age as Lively. I was merely stating that just because something comes out before 'your time' isn't an excuse to be totally oblivious, particularly when the film in question is the breakthrough film of the director your working for...you'd think one would have some sense of context...

And Jimmy, of course not. That's not the point at all.
LovePump, I'm the same age as Lively. I was merely stating that just because something comes out before 'your time' isn't an excuse to be totally oblivious, particularly when the film in question is the breakthrough film of the director your working for...you'd think one would have some sense of context...

And Jimmy, of course not. That's not the point at all.
10:46PM on 09/17/2012
izzy2024....You have a horrible way of explaining things. What you explained earlier makes no sense and what you just explained doesn't make sense either.

So she should know everything about the people that work in the film industry because she does as well?...Not everyone knows everything.
izzy2024....You have a horrible way of explaining things. What you explained earlier makes no sense and what you just explained doesn't make sense either.

So she should know everything about the people that work in the film industry because she does as well?...Not everyone knows everything.
4:41PM on 09/18/2012
Ah crap, I was all ready to flame your terrible comprehension skills until I realized I accidentally typed that I was born BEFORE The Godfather/Apocalypse Now when i meant AFTER, so that explains why we each think the other sounds ridiculous.

Anyways, the point I was trying to make was that just because she was 10 when it came out, or even if she wasn't even born before it came out, she really has no excuse for not knowing the world-famous backstory of the movie star/director she's working
Ah crap, I was all ready to flame your terrible comprehension skills until I realized I accidentally typed that I was born BEFORE The Godfather/Apocalypse Now when i meant AFTER, so that explains why we each think the other sounds ridiculous.

Anyways, the point I was trying to make was that just because she was 10 when it came out, or even if she wasn't even born before it came out, she really has no excuse for not knowing the world-famous backstory of the movie star/director she's working with.
6:52PM on 09/18/2012
So you were going to do that?....How mature.

Why should she know Affleck's back-story the first time she ever meets him and works with him? Is she supposed to?....That makes no sense. Just because she's working with him, that doesn't mean she should know everything about his life....How do you not know that or get that?
So you were going to do that?....How mature.

Why should she know Affleck's back-story the first time she ever meets him and works with him? Is she supposed to?....That makes no sense. Just because she's working with him, that doesn't mean she should know everything about his life....How do you not know that or get that?
7:39PM on 09/18/2012
For the love of God.

I can't have this awful conversation anymore.

I can't explain to you why she should know SOME background information about the guy who just put her in his movie. He won an Oscar with Matt Damon. He's been in like 5 movies with Matt Damon. I feel like this is common sense/common knowledge, evident by the fact that just about every other person in this thread has also commented on how stupid Blake Lively sounds in this instance (in varying degrees). Whatever. We're
For the love of God.

I can't have this awful conversation anymore.

I can't explain to you why she should know SOME background information about the guy who just put her in his movie. He won an Oscar with Matt Damon. He's been in like 5 movies with Matt Damon. I feel like this is common sense/common knowledge, evident by the fact that just about every other person in this thread has also commented on how stupid Blake Lively sounds in this instance (in varying degrees). Whatever. We're gonna disagree on this. I think actors should have some common knowledge of the people they work with, and you don't I guess.
7:45PM on 09/18/2012
SOME background information could include some of the films he's been in and his family. It doesn't have to include his friends.

You act like a child getting so upset about this. And your first explanation made no sense, even if you meant after, and your explanation after your first one made no sense as well.
SOME background information could include some of the films he's been in and his family. It doesn't have to include his friends.

You act like a child getting so upset about this. And your first explanation made no sense, even if you meant after, and your explanation after your first one made no sense as well.
1:13PM on 09/17/2012

Generations

People, Why do i have the thought that young artists nowadays are so farkin dumb, naive & stupid? i mean i'm just 32, i have knowledge of artists from age of 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s & so on...

Do people nowadays don even read? or just too much Facebook, till they're mostly dumb?
People, Why do i have the thought that young artists nowadays are so farkin dumb, naive & stupid? i mean i'm just 32, i have knowledge of artists from age of 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s & so on...

Do people nowadays don even read? or just too much Facebook, till they're mostly dumb?
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12:41PM on 09/17/2012
I am a year older than Blake and very aware of the Matt and Ben friendship. Although I am also from Massachusetts so maybe it was a bigger deal in my neck of the woods, but still.
I am a year older than Blake and very aware of the Matt and Ben friendship. Although I am also from Massachusetts so maybe it was a bigger deal in my neck of the woods, but still.
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12:41PM on 09/17/2012
I dig Ben Affleck, but the guy plays the best parts in the movies he directs. It's not like anything in The Town or Argo is going to be a big dramatic leap for him because HE'S THE DIRECTOR. Also, yeah, I hate to say it but Blake Livley sounds like a total idiot in this Q&A session.
I dig Ben Affleck, but the guy plays the best parts in the movies he directs. It's not like anything in The Town or Argo is going to be a big dramatic leap for him because HE'S THE DIRECTOR. Also, yeah, I hate to say it but Blake Livley sounds like a total idiot in this Q&A session.
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+16
12:34PM on 09/17/2012

Ben & Blake's Conversation

Ben: "That's where Matt grew up."
Blake: "Who?"
Ben: "Matt Damon."
Blake: "Oh my God! You know Jason Bourne!"
(Ben's eyes go wide)
Ben: "Hi. I'm Earth. Have we met?"
Blake: "I don't think so!?"
Ben: "That's where Matt grew up."
Blake: "Who?"
Ben: "Matt Damon."
Blake: "Oh my God! You know Jason Bourne!"
(Ben's eyes go wide)
Ben: "Hi. I'm Earth. Have we met?"
Blake: "I don't think so!?"
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12:30PM on 09/17/2012
Your career does better when you make good movies. Hopefully Argo is as fantastic as it looks.
Your career does better when you make good movies. Hopefully Argo is as fantastic as it looks.
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12:25PM on 09/17/2012
TL;DR: Rooting for Ben, Blake is naive.

I'm the same age/born the same year as Blake, I'm sorry- but she's just naive. Anyway, I'm really glad Ben turned around his career. Not in the same sense as Robert Downey Jr, from drugs and alcohol to sobriety and success- but from a series of public misconceptions and lapses of judgement. I'm definitely rooting for him.
TL;DR: Rooting for Ben, Blake is naive.

I'm the same age/born the same year as Blake, I'm sorry- but she's just naive. Anyway, I'm really glad Ben turned around his career. Not in the same sense as Robert Downey Jr, from drugs and alcohol to sobriety and success- but from a series of public misconceptions and lapses of judgement. I'm definitely rooting for him.
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11:38AM on 09/17/2012
Man, Blake Lively is stupid.
Man, Blake Lively is stupid.
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