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

09.17.2012

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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