Ben Affleck on Batman Casting Criticism and Why He Took on the Caped Crusader

Ben Affleck in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice'

“The whole lesson of my career has been that what’s really important is the work you do.” – Ben Affleck

Count me as one of the people who met the announcement that Ben Affleck was cast as Batman in Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice with a loud “Are you kidding me?” And count me as one of those people who have since been impressed with what I’ve seen and heard about the film and is willing to admit his initial reaction was wrong. In an interview with the New York Times, Affleck speaks about why he took on such an iconic role and his feelings on the criticisms he has faced throughout his career.

Affleck says that the roles that appeal to him now involve characters who have flaws but push themselves to be better people. He explains, “I think it’s interesting how we manage the best version of ourselves, despite our flaws and our weaknesses and our sometime tendencies to do the wrong thing.” Part of that comes from Affleck admitting that he still fills like the upstart kid who co-wrote the Good Will Hunting script despite now being one of the most recognizable movie stars in the world. He says, “That never goes away. All these habits that we develop, that help us at some point, they have flip sides. In this case, it’s hard to turn that feeling off. It’s O.K. to just chill for a second.”

The role also gave Affleck a break from directing his own films, which he enjoys but makes him feel “so much anxiety every day on the set.” As a director, he admits he feels much more pressure, adding, “The urge of making it good and trying to make sure that it works, that you’ve done the most interesting version that you can — it’s like a neurosis that drives me to work every day.” In contrast, being an actor in Batman v. Superman is less pressure, and Affleck points out, “If there’s clearly some problem over there, I’m just so happy to leave those people to it and be able to go home when my scene’s finished.”

Perhaps what fed many people’s initial unhappiness with Affleck’s casting (including my own) is the fact that Affleck is frequently linked by the public to the traits of the characters he portrays — for example, many felt his character in Gone Girl reflected the state of his marriage to actress Jennifer Garner. Affleck confesses that he doesn’t think he has the “likable” qualities of other actors. For example, he explains, “Denzel Washington can play almost anybody — mass murderers — and you go, ‘But he’s all right!’ There’s something so appealing about him, and I don’t think I have that. You have these qualities that you’re born with. Some of them are good, some of them people don’t like. And you just have to live with it.”

Affleck points out that ultimately his career has come down to good roles and bad roles, and at some points the bad has outweighed the good. He explains, “The whole lesson of my career has been that what’s really important is the work you do. Even in the tough spots, if your movies are good, people will see them. And if you’re not good, you can’t get away with it. Eventually it catches up to you. Both ways, good and bad.

Leave a Reply

http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/Tom-Hardy-Taboo.jpg
Tom Hardy on How He Prepared for His Role in ‘Taboo’
"I really think about acting in two different parts. There’s convincing and not convincing acting." - Tom Hardy
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/greta-gerwig.jpg
Greta Gerwig’s Advice to New Actors: “Make your own things”
"When I suddenly feel like I can't find my footing, I listen to a song or look at a photograph or read an essay, and reconnect with what I felt the essence of the character was." - Greta Gerwig
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/viggo-mortensen-captain-fantastic.jpg
Viggo Mortensen on How He Became an Actor
"It didn’t occur to me to try acting it until I was, for an actor, relatively pretty old — 22 or 23." - Viggo Mortensen
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/Michael-Fassbender.jpg
Michael Fassbender on Finding a Character: “If I can make them logical to myself, then I apply them, and that’s really it”
Fassbender talks about his parents' concern about his action aspirations and why he reject the idea that he is an "intelligent actor."
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/Felicity-Jones-Rogue-One.jpg
Felicity Jones on How She Finds Inspiration For Her Characters
"As much as possible, I'm trying to understand who the characters are and why they're making the decisions that they're making." - Felicity Jones