Ben Affleck says his divorce from Jennifer Garner and other 'life experience' shaped him into a better actor

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ben affleck and jennifer garner november 2014
Ben Affleck and then-wife Jennifer Garner in 2014. Evan Agostini/Invision/AP
  • Ben Affleck spoke about the impact of his divorce from Jennifer Garner, who he has three kids with.

  • Affleck told The Hollywood Reporter that his "ups and downs" have molded him into a better actor.

  • The star said he has "sufficient life experience" to bring to his roles and make them interesting.

  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

Ben Affleck said that his past experiences in his personal life, like his relationship with now-ex Jennifer Garner, helped him to become a better actor.

In a recent interview for The Hollywood Reporter's Actor Roundtable series, Affleck spoke about starring in movies that he directed himself, like the award-winning 2012 movie "Argo." When asked if it's difficult to star in other people's films after those experiences, the 48-year-old actor talked about alcoholism in his most recent movie titled "The Way Back."

Affleck acknowledged that he portrayed an alcoholic in the 2020 film while simultaneously being a recovering addict in real life.

"For me, the movie was much more about the fact that - whether it's having lived enough years, having seen enough ups and downs, having had children and divorce - I'm at a point now in my life where I have sufficient life experience to bring to a role to make it really interesting for me," he said.

Affleck was referring to his breakup with Garner, who he met while starring in the 2001 movie "Pearl Harbor." The actors reunited on screen two years later with "Daredevil," in which Affleck played the titular superhero and Garner starred as Elektra.

daredevil ben affleck jennifer garner
Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner in "Daredevil." 20th Century Fox

Affleck previously spoke to Playboy about their relationship blossoming on the set of their second film together.

"We met on 'Pearl Harbor,' which people hate, but we fell in love on 'Daredevil,'" he said. "By the way, she won most of the fights in the movie, which was a pretty good predictor of what would happen down the road - my wife, holding swords and beating the living s--- out of me."

Affleck and the "Alias" star got married in Turks and Caicos in June 2005, two years after Garner split from "Felicity" costar and husband Scott Foley.

Affleck and Garner's first child, daughter Violet, was born in December 2005. They welcomed daughter Seraphina in 2009 and son Samuel in 2012.

The couple announced their split in June 2015 after 10 years of marriage. Since then, they've continued to co-parent their three children.

jennifer garner ben affleck march 2014
Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner in 2014. Evan Agostini/Invision/AP

In 2020, "The Way Back" director Gavin O'Connor told 34th Street that Garner intervened and asked him not to "pull the plug" on the film after Affleck relapsed and went to rehab.

"His ex-wife Jennifer Garner called me up and told me that when he went to rehab, he took a basketball with him," O'Connor recalled. "She said, 'Gavin, he's asking you, please don't pull the plug on the movie, he really wants to do this.'"

Affleck went on to detox, recover, and get released the day before he began filming the movie.

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