Gone Baby Gone is Ben Affleck’s directorial debut. I will see it. Not because early reviews have returned positive feedback and not because Casey Affleck has a certain je ne sais quoi (loved him in The Last Kiss) but because the movie is make it or break it for Ben’s career. And he acknowledges as much in a new interview with Details.

Much has been made of his comments about the Bennifer era and how that affected him professionally and personally with the following headline blared across the web: Ben Affleck says Jennifer Lopez killed his career. Some felt he was whiny bitch, Lopez fans felt he insulted her.


This is what he said:

“(The relationship) was probably bad for my career. What happens is this sort of bleed-over from the tabloids across your movie work. You go to a movie, you only go once. But the tabloids and Internet are everywhere. You can really subsume the public image of somebody. I ended up in an unfortunate crosshair position where I was in a relationship and [the media] mostly lied and inflated a bunch of salacious stuff for the sake of selling magazines. And I paid a certain price for that. Then, in concert with some movies that didn’t work . . .”

Call me Cruise…but where’s the offence? He was asked a question, he answered the question. Honestly. It DID kill his career. The ass rubbing, the public engagement, the spectacle – it totally derailed his focus, it diminished his Oscar, it turned him into a joke. Is that even disputable???

What’s left then is fairly intelligent dude who isn’t a great actor, who is a much better writer, and who is now a director with a very realistic – and maybe pessimistic - perspective on his future in Hollywood. And an ego that was badly beaten appears to have learned some humility.

Here’s Ben on his prospects after Gone Baby Gone:

“If people don’t go see it, I’m f#cked. I feel like this film is a linchpin for my life. My career. I have a lot riding on it. I want [the film] to work. Badly. I mean, a sh-tty movie comes out on 2,800 screens? I’ve been there and it’s embarrassing. That’s why there’s something really great about directing—about having authorship over something. If you don’t like this movie, I’m the guy to see. I’m the guy to criticize. I take some measure of comfort in that. It’s fair, at least.”

Fair yes.

I like the candour. He’s rather taupe these days but at least he’s not a douche. At least he’s not a raging prick who talks like he’s entitled to the world. It’s refreshing, non?

Check out the cover and image from Details and also a photo of Ben at the screening of Running the Sahara at TIFF being interviewed … by me. I was wearing 4 inch heels that day. I am just a hair under 5 ft 4. And still I had to look way, way, way up. Ben Affleck doesn’t lie about being tall. He is definitely legitimately tall. And he definitely legitimately has dry, thin lips. On Leno last night they kept sticking to his gums. It’s one of those things that makes you crazy.