Ben Affleck opens up about alcoholism, feeling guarded after being mischaracterized by the media
In a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Ben Affleck discussed his battle with alcoholism and how past misrepresentations have made him guarded with the media.
The actor/writer/director also touched on his time playing Batman in “Justice League,” and how the commercial failure of the film drove him to drink.
“That was hard. And I started to drink too much,” he said in the interview, published on Thursday. “I was back at the hotel in London, it was either [drink] or jump out the window. And I just thought, ‘This isn’t the life I want. My kids aren’t here. I’m miserable.’”
Affleck talked in depth about wanting to use his remaining years wisely, and how important it is to spend time with his kids.
He shares three children with ex-wife Jennifer Garner: 17-year-old Violet Anne, 13-year-old Seraphina Rose, and 10-year-old Samuel.
Affleck also talked about becoming more guarded with the media following his divorce.
“I view these things [interviews] as land mines, where if you say one wrong thing, your career might be over,” he revealed.
He went on to talk about how he felt “mischaracterized” by the New York Post in a “clickbait” story that implied he blamed his ex-wife for his drinking.
“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 idea that I was blaming my wife for my drinking,” he explained.
“To be clear, my behavior is my responsibility entirely,” he continued. “The point that I was trying to make was a sad one. ... 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.”
Affleck said he tried to defend himself after being misrepresented but that “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.’ So, yeah. It’s hard.”
Today, Ben Affleck finds support in new wife Jennifer Lopez, who encourages him to be less guarded despite his past experiences.
“[Jennifer] 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,’” he shared.
“Do I seem serious?” he asked the interviewer. “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---ing listen to her.”