George Clooney’s The Tender Bar started streaming on Prime last Friday, which is why Ben Affleck was featured in the LA Times this weekend. He was nominated for a Golden Globe for his performance in the film (he didn’t win) and he does have a shot at an Oscar nomination – but it’s looking like a longshot right now, as there are stronger candidates in films that are contending in so many categories, including Best Picture, like Kodi Smit-McPhee in The Power of the Dog, Ciaran Hinds in Belfast, and Jamie Dornan, also in Belfast, among others. The Tender Bar is not really a player in Best Picture, which significantly hurts Ben’s chances. Still, it’s certainly a possibility for his name to be called when the SAGs are announced on Wednesday.


As for his interview with the LA Times, well, it’s definitely not as controversial as his interview with Howard Stern, which took place after he spoke to the Times. And the quote that’s getting the most play is what he said about Justice League, which he called the “worst experience”. Here’s his full answer though, because even though it’s not near as controversial as what he said with Howard Stern, I’m still not sure that people are understanding it in context: 

“[Justice League] was a bad experience because of a confluence of things: my own life, my divorce, being away too much, the competing agendas and then [director] Zack [Snyder]’s personal tragedy [Snyder’s daughter Autumn died by suicide in 2017] and the reshooting. It just was the worst experience. It was awful. It was everything that I didn’t like about this. That became the moment where I said, “I’m not doing this anymore.” It’s not even about, like, “Justice League” was so bad. Because it could have been anything.


Given those circumstances, it would probably be a sh-tty experience for anyone. 

If there’s one takeaway from the interview, then, it’s Ben Affleck’s perspective on Ben Affleck. He’s counting down to turning 50 years old and he says he’s finally done caring what other people think of him – and admits that he used to care too much. That he used to allow how people felt about him to inform his choices. The caveat here is when it has an affect on his children, and here he cites the “Sad Affleck” meme, which he said he found amusing, until he thought about what his kids would think and if they would worry about him. This is consistent with why he addressed his Howard Stern comments being taken out of context

It’s also interesting what he has to say about social media and where stars are made these days. He’s not the old guy yelling at the youth on this subject: 

“Entertainment has changed and evolved, historically. Getting kids to watch a whole movie — most of them are watching stuff on YouTube. I feel like I’m 1,000 years old, because I say things to my kids like, “What does this YouTuber do? Like, is it a comedian?” They look at me like, “Are you a moron? They’re a person. They talk.” And some of these people are making a fortune. There’s enormous value.”


This is also the part of the conversation where he brings up Jennifer Lopez, unprompted: 

“Getting to experience Jennifer Lopez’s life now and seeing the degree to which a massive social media presence — how that’s valued, how that’s perceived by the people who are willing to invest a bunch of money in what you’re doing — is really striking. I’m not sure the option to have 300 million followers was ever available to me, but that ship has probably sailed now.” [laughs]

Back during the days of OG Bennifer, Ben wilted in the heat of their spotlight, as he was deeply conflicted about their combined fame and the public fascination with them. We now live in a time when celebrities use social media to keep the heat on themselves – and he’s in a relationship with someone with 191 million and counting followers on Instagram. And he seems to be comfortable with it; he’s shown up on JLo’s IG, kissing her on her birthday. And she’s posted several red carpet photos of them together. Oh and also, there was this, on her IG stories the day The Tender Bar started streaming.

We haven’t had any new Bennifer photos in 2022 yet… but this definitely counts as the weekend status update. 

To read Ben’s full interview with the LA Times, click here. Here’s Ben testing out camera equipment this weekend.