Golden Recursion Inc. logoGolden Recursion Inc. logo
Advanced Search
Ben Affleck

Ben Affleck

American film actor, director and screenwriter

Benjamin Géza Affleck-Boldt (born August 15, 1972) is an American actor and filmmaker. His accolades include two Academy Awards and three Golden Globe Awards. He began his career as a child when he starred in the PBS educational series The Voyage of the Mimi (1984, 1988). He later appeared in the independent coming-of-age comedy Dazed and Confused (1993) and various Kevin Smith films, including Mallrats (1995), Chasing Amy (1997) and Dogma (1999). Affleck gained wider recognition when he and childhood friend Matt Damon won the Golden Globe and Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for writing Good Will Hunting (1997), which they also starred in. He then established himself as a leading man in studio films, including the disaster film Armageddon (1998), the war drama Pearl Harbor (2001), and the thrillers The Sum of All Fears and Changing Lanes (both 2002).

After a career downturn, during which he appeared in Daredevil (2003) and Gigli (2003), Affleck received a Golden Globe nomination for portraying George Reeves in the noir biopic Hollywoodland (2006). His directorial debut, Gone Baby Gone (2007), which he also co-wrote, was well received. He then directed, co-wrote and starred in the crime drama The Town (2010) and directed and starred in the political thriller Argo (2012); both were critical and commercial successes. For the latter, Affleck won the Golden Globe and BAFTA Award for Best Director, and the Golden Globe, BAFTA, and Academy Award for Best Picture. He has since starred in the psychological thriller Gone Girl (2014), the thriller The Accountant (2016), the action-adventure Triple Frontier (2019), and the sports drama The Way Back (2020). In 2016, he began portraying Batman in superhero films set in the DC Extended Universe.

Affleck is the co-founder of the Eastern Congo Initiative, a grantmaking and advocacy-based nonprofit organization. He is also a stalwart supporter of the Democratic Party. Affleck and Damon are co-owners of the production company Pearl Street Films.

Early life

Benjamin Géza Affleck-Boldt was born on August 15, 1972, in Berkeley, California. His family moved to Massachusetts when he was three, living in Falmouth, where his brother Casey was born, before settling in Cambridge. His mother, Christopher Anne "Chris" Boldt, was a Harvard-educated elementary school teacher.His father, Timothy Byers Affleck, was an aspiring playwright who was "mostly unemployed." He worked sporadically as a carpenter, auto mechanic, bookie, electrician, bartender, and janitor at Harvard. In the mid-1960s, he had been an actor and stage manager with the Theater Company of Boston. During Affleck's childhood, his father had a self-described "severe, chronic problem with alcoholism", and Affleck has recalled him drinking "all day ... every day". His father was "very difficult" , and Affleck felt a sense of "relief" at the age of 11 when his parents divorced, and his father left the family home. His father continued to drink heavily and eventually became homeless, spending two years living on the streets of Cambridge. When Affleck was 16, his father entered a rehabilitation facility in Indio, California. He lived at the facility for twelve years to maintain his sobriety and worked there as an addiction counselor.

Affleck was raised in a politically active, liberal household. He and his brother, Casey, were surrounded by people who worked in the arts; the boys regularly attended theater performances with their mother and were encouraged to make their own home movies. David Wheeler, a family friend, later remembered Affleck as a "very bright and intensely curious" child. The brothers auditioned for roles in local commercials and film productions because of their mother's friendship with a Cambridge-area casting director, and Affleck first acted professionally at the age of seven. His mother saved his wages in a college trust fund and hoped her son would ultimately become a teacher, worrying that acting was an insecure and "frivolous" profession. When Affleck was 13, he filmed a children's television program in Mexico. He learned to speak Spanish during a year spent travelling around the country with his mother and brother.

As a Cambridge Rindge and Latin high school student, Affleck acted in theater productions and was inspired by drama teacher Gerry Speca. He became close friends with fellow student Matt Damon, whom he had known since the age of eight. Although Damon was two years older, the pair had "identical interests" and both wanted to pursue acting careers. They traveled to New York together for acting auditions and saved money for train and airline tickets in a joint bank account. While Affleck had high SAT scores, he was largely an unfocused student with poor attendance.He spent a few months studying Spanish at the University of Vermont, chosen because of its proximity to his then-girlfriend, but left after fracturing his hip while playing basketball. At 18, Affleck moved to Los Angeles, studying Middle Eastern affairs at Occidental College for a year and a half.

1981–1997: Child acting and Good Will Hunting

Affleck acted professionally throughout his childhood but, in his own words, "not in the sense that I had a mom that wanted to take me to Hollywood or a family that wanted to make money from me ... I kind of chanced into something." He first appeared, at the age of seven, in an independent film called The Dark End of the Street (1981), directed by Jan Egleson, a family friend. His biggest success as a child actor was as the star of the PBS children's series The Voyage of the Mimi (1984) and The Second Voyage of the Mimi (1988), produced for sixth-grade science classes. Affleck worked "sporadically" on Mimi from the age of eight to fifteen in both Massachusetts and Mexico. As a teenager, he appeared in the ABC after school special Wanted: A Perfect Man (1986), the television film Hands of a Stranger (1987), and a 1989 Burger King commercial.

After high school, Affleck moved briefly to New York in search of acting work. Later, while studying at Occidental College in Los Angeles, Affleck directed student films. As an actor, he had a series of "knock-around parts, one to the next". He played Patrick Duffy's son in the television film Daddy (1991), made an uncredited appearance as a basketball player in the Buffy the Vampire Slayer film (1992), and had a supporting role as a prep school student in School Ties (1992). He played a high school quarterback in the NBC television series Against the Grain (1993), and a steroid-abusing high school football player in Body to Die For: The Aaron Henry Story (1994). Affleck's most notable role during this period was as a high school bully in Richard Linklater's cult classic Dazed and Confused (1993). Linklater wanted a likeable actor for the villainous role, and, while Affleck was "big and imposing," he was "so smart and full of life ... I just liked him." Affleck later said Linklater was instrumental in demystifying the filmmaking process for him.

Affleck's first starring film role was as an aimless art student in the college drama Glory Daze (1995), with Stephen Holden of The New York Times remarking that his "affably mopey performance finds just the right balance between obnoxious and sad sack". He then played a bully in filmmaker Kevin Smith's comedy Mallrats (1995) and became friends with Smith during the filming. Affleck had begun to worry that he would be relegated to a career of "throwing people into their lockers", but Smith wrote him a lead role in the romantic comedy Chasing Amy (1997). The film was Affleck's breakthrough. Janet Maslin of The New York Times praised Affleck's "wonderful ease" playing the role, combining "suave good looks with cool comic timing". Owen Gleiberman of Entertainment Weekly described it as a "wholesome and quick-witted" performance. When Affleck starred as a recently returned Korean War veteran in the coming-of-age drama Going All the Way (1997), Todd McCarthy of Variety found him "excellent", while Janet Maslin of The New York Times noted that his "flair for comic self-doubt made a strong impression."

The success of 1997's Good Will Hunting, which Affleck co-wrote and acted in, marked a turning point in his career. The screenplay originated in 1992 when Damon wrote a 40-page script for a playwriting class at Harvard University. He asked Affleck to act out the scenes with him in front of the class and, when Damon later moved into Affleck's Los Angeles apartment, they began working on the script in earnest. The film, which they wrote mainly during improvisation sessions, was set partly in their hometown of Cambridge and drew from their own experiences. They sold the screenplay to Castle Rock in 1994 when Affleck was 22 years old. During the development process, they received notes from industry figures, including Rob Reiner and William Goldman. Following a lengthy dispute with Castle Rock about a suitable director, Affleck and Damon persuaded Miramax to purchase the screenplay. The two friends moved back to Boston for a year before the film finally went into production, directed by Gus Van Sant, and co-starring Damon, Affleck, Minnie Driver, and Robin Williams. On its release, Janet Maslin of The New York Times praised the "smart and touching screenplay", while Emanuel Levy of Variety found it "funny, nonchalant, moving and angry". Jay Carr of The Boston Globe wrote that Affleck brought "a beautifully nuanced tenderness" to his role as the working-class friend of Damon's mathematical prodigy character. Affleck and Damon eventually won both the Golden Globe and the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay. Affleck has described this period of his life as "dreamlike": "It was like one of those scenes in an old movie when a newspaper comes spinning out of the black on to the screen. You know, '$100 Million Box Office! Awards!' " He remains the youngest writer (at age 25) ever to win an Oscar for screenwriting.

Who is Ben Affleck?

Benjamin Geza Affleck-Boldt or more famously known as Ben Affleck is an American movie star, director, script writer and producer. He was born in California and brought up in Massachusetts. He started acting at a very young age by staring in teleseries like ‘The Voyage of the Mimi’. It was in his high school that Affleck met his best friend, co-star and co-writer Matt Damon, with whom he co-wrote the script for the biggest movie of his career ‘Good Will Hunting’. They both received an Oscar and a Golden Globe for its script writing. Affleck has acted in many movies like ‘Pearl Harbor’, ‘Armageddon’, ‘The Sum of All Fears’, ‘Changing Lanes’, ‘Smokin’ Aces’, ‘Gigli’, ‘He’s Just Not That into You’, ‘Extract’, ‘Forces of Nature’, etc. He made his directorial debut with the movie ‘Gone Baby Gone’ and directed and wrote the script for two more movies: ‘The Town’ and ‘Argo’. He recently received a Golden Globe and BAFTA for his directional skills for ‘Argo’. He is married to actress Jennifer Garner for 10 years now and has three children with her. He is being considered for the role of Batman for the ‘Batman’ series and a lot of public speculation is being going around about it as people are still attached with Christian Bale’s performance of it.

Career

After doing a series of role in 1990s like: ‘Lifestories: Families in Crisis (1990)’, ‘School Ties (1992)’, ‘Dazed and Confused (1993)’, ‘Mallrats (1995)’ and ‘Chasing Amy (1997)’, Affleck made a stint in direction with his 16 minute short comedy called ‘Killed My Lesbian Wife, Hung Her on a Meat Hook, and Now I Have a Three-Picture Deal at Disney’.

These were the early years when he made association with the director and writer Kevin Smith and starred in his movie ‘Jersey Girl’. He also made an appearance in Smith’s every ‘View Askenwniverse- Jersey’ film. Also, in the beginning of his career he appeared on several ‘Saturday Night Live’ episodes.

It was in 1997, when Affleck made a big name for himself along with his actor and close friend Matt Damon. The movie was actually a play written by Damon when he was at Harvard and he showed the play to Affleck. They both wrote it together to turn into a screen script. They both later acted in the movie which was a story about a complicated math genius who is a janitor at MIT.

The script that both Affleck and Damon wrote together was bought by Harvey Weinstein for a million US dollars and the movie was nominated for nice Oscar Awards and won two, including the category of Best Original Screenplay. The success of the movie turned Affleck into an international celebrity overnight.

In 1998, Affleck bagged the role in an action movie called ‘Armageddon’ along with known Hollywood stars like Bruce Willis and Liv Tyler. The movie received mixed reviews but it was a commercial success.

In 1999, he worked with Sandra Bullock in ‘Forces of Nature’, which was a romantic comedy.

In 2000, Affleck did a small role in ‘Shakespeare in Love’ with his on and off girlfriend Gwyneth Paltrow.

In 2001, Michael Bay, the director from ‘Armageddon’, again took up Affleck for his big feature ‘Pearl harbor’. The movie was a huge commercial hit but failed to get much credit from the critics.

In 2002, ‘The Sum of All Fears’ saw Affleck in the role of ‘Jack Ryan’. The movie is a techno-thriller that had people like Harrison Ford and Alec Baldwin feature in its older versions.

In 2003, he acted in the flick ‘Daredevil’. It was the movie version of the famous comic series and it was Affleck’s favorite since he was a little boy. The movie starred his future wife Jennifer Garner in it and did very well commercially. In the same year, he starred in ‘Gigli’ and the following year, in ‘Surviving Christmas’. Both the movies did not do very well at the box-office and were critically unapproved.

In 2006, Affleck starred in HBO series called ‘Hollywoodland’, which was a biopic on the critically acclaimed and famous artist George Reeves. He received the Best Actor award at the Venice Film Festival and was nominated for a Golden Globe.

In 2007, he did ‘Smokin’ Aces’, which was moderately acclaimed by the critics but was a commercial failure. In the same year, he directed his first movie ‘Gone Baby Gone’. It was an adaptation of a book written by Dennis Lehane, Affleck did screenwriting for the movie as well. ‘Gone Baby Gone’ was not a huge success but Affleck’s directorial skills were appreciated.

In 2009, he acted in movies like: ‘He’s Just Not That into You’, ‘State of Play’ and ‘Extract’. In ‘He’s Just Not That into You’ Affleck acted alongside many renowned actors like: Jennifer Aniston, justin Long, Bradley Cooper, Drew Barrymore, etc. The movie was a moderate hit. ‘State of Play’ was a political thriller and Affleck’s acting was critically appreciated.

In 2010, Affleck’s second directorial venture ‘The Town’ was released. He co-wrote the script of the movie, which was based on the novel ‘Price of Thieves’. The movie received moderate reviews from the critics.

In 2012, he directed another movie called ‘Argo’ starring George Clooney in the lead role. He won a Golden Globe, Directors Guild of America awards, BAFTA award for his direction in the movie.

In 2013, he hosted the sketch comedy show 'Saturday Night Live'.

In 2014, Ben Affleck starred in the David Fincher's psychological thriller 'Gone Girl'. In the movie, he portrayed the character of a husband, who is accused of murder.

In 2016, he starred as Batman in superhero film 'Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice'. In 2017, he reprised his role as Batman in 'Justice League'.

Humanitarian work

Eastern Congo Initiative

Main article: Eastern Congo Initiative

Ben Affleck, holding a pen and sitting behind a microphone, looks ahead while offering testimony

Affleck in 2011, testifying before the House Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health and Human Rights

After travelling in the region between 2007 and early 2010, Affleck and Whitney Williams co-founded the nonprofit organization Eastern Congo Initiative in 2010. ECI acts as a grant maker for Congolese-led, community-based charities. It offers training and resources to cooperatives of Congolese farmers while leveraging partnerships with companies including Theo Chocolate and Starbucks. ECI also aims to raise public awareness and drive policy change in the United States.

Affleck has written op-eds about issues facing eastern Congo for the Washington Post, Politico, the Huffington Post,Time, The New York Times and the Los Angeles Times. He has appeared as a discussion panelist at many events, including at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, the Global Philanthropy Forum, and the Clinton Global Initiative. During visits to Washington D.C., Affleck has testified before the House Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health and Human Rights, the House Armed Services Committee, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Projects.

Other charitable causes

Affleck is a supporter of the A-T Children's Project. While filming Forces of Nature in 1998, Affleck befriended ten-year-old Joe Kindregan (1988–2015), who had the rare disease ataxia-telangiectasia (A-T), and his family. He became actively involved in fundraising for A-T, and he and Kindregan testified before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health & Human Services, and Education in 2001, asking senators to support stem-cell research and to double the budget of the National Institutes of Health. In 2007, Affleck was the keynote speaker at Kindregan's high school graduation ceremony in Fairfax, Virginia. Kindregan appeared as an extra in Argo (2012). In 2013, in celebration of Kindregan's 25th birthday and "15 years of friendship with Joe and his family," Affleck and Garner matched donations made to the A-T Children's Project. Affleck appeared in CinemAbility (2013), a documentary film which explores Hollywood's portrayals of people with disabilities.

Ben Affleck speaks into a microphone

Affleck speaking at a Feeding America rally in 2009

As part of USO-sponsored tours, Affleck visited marines stationed in the Persian Gulf in 2003, and troops at Germany's Ramstein Air Base in 2017. He is a supporter of Paralyzed Veterans of America. He filmed public service announcements for the organization in both 2009 and 2014. He has also volunteered on behalf of Operation Gratitude.

Affleck is a member of Feeding America's Entertainment Council. He made an appearance at the Greater Boston Food Bank in 2007,and at a Denver food bank in 2008. Affleck spoke at a Feeding America rally in Washington D.C. in 2009, and filmed a public service announcement for the charity in 2010.Affleck and Ellen DeGeneres launched Feeding America's Small Change Campaign in 2011. Also that year, he and Howard Graham Buffett co-wrote an article for The Huffington Post, highlighting the "growing percentage of the food insecure population that is not eligible for federal nutrition programs".During the COVID-19 pandemic, Affleck organized an online celebrity poker tournament to benefit the charity, made a personal donation and urged others to support "our most vulnerable – children losing access to meals they rely on, friends and family who are facing job disruptions, the elderly, and low-income families."

Affleck is a vocal supporter of the Los Angeles-based homelessness charity Midnight Mission, describing it as a charity that "helps those in need with housing, training, development and recovery".He has volunteered at and donated to the charity. He has also volunteered at Atlanta Mission.

Politics

Political views

Affleck has described himself as "moderately liberal." He was raised in "a very strong union household".In 2000, he spoke at a rally at Harvard University in support of an increased living wage for all workers on campus; his father worked as a janitor at the university.He later narrated a documentary, Occupation (2002), about a sit-in organized by the Harvard Living Wage Campaign. Affleck and Senator Ted Kennedy held a press conference on Capitol Hill in 2004, pushing for an increase in the minimum wage.He spoke at a 2007 press conference at Boston's City Hall in support of SEIU's unionization efforts for the city's low-paid hospital workers. During the Writers' Strike in 2008, Affleck voiced support for the picketers.

Affleck is pro-choice. In a 2000 interview, he stated that he believes "very strongly in a woman's right to choose". In 2012, he supported the Draw the Line campaign, describing reproductive rights as "fundamental". Affleck was a longtime supporter of legalizing gay marriage, saying in 2004 that he hoped to look back on the marriage debate "with some degree of embarrassment for how antiquated it was".Also that year, he remarked that it was "outrageous and offensive" to suggest members of the transgender community were not entitled to equal rights.He appeared alongside his gay cousin in a 2005 Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays print advertising campaign.

Affleck appeared at a press conference with New York Senator Chuck Schumer in 2002, in support of a proposed Anti-Nuclear Terrorism Prevention Act.In 2003, he criticized the "questionable and aggressive" use of the Patriot Act and the resulting "encroachments on civil liberties". A reporter for The Washington Post overheard Affleck denouncing the Israeli invasion of Gaza at a Washington party in 2009. Steven Clemons, a participant in the conversation, said Affleck listened "to alternative takes ... What Affleck spoke about that night was reasoned, complex and made a lot of sense." Later that year, in a New York Times interview, Affleck remarked that his views were closer to those of the Israeli Labor Party than Likud.

Affleck with Russ Feingold and Secretary of State John Kerry in February 2014

Affleck criticized the Bush tax cuts on many occasions. In 2007, he filmed a public service announcement for Divided We Fail, a nonpartisan AARP campaign seeking affordable, quality healthcare for all Americans.

During the 2008 presidential campaign, Affleck expressed concern about conspiracy theories claiming Barack Obama was an Arab or a Muslim: "This prejudice that we have allowed to fester in this campaign ... the acceptance of both of those things as a legitimate slur is really a problem." In 2012, he praised Senator John McCain's leadership in defending Huma Abedin against anti-Muslim attacks.Affleck engaged in a discussion about the relationship between liberal principles and Islam during a 2014 appearance on Real Time with Bill Maher.In a 2017 Guardian interview, he said: "I strongly believe that no one should be stereotyped on the basis of their race or religion. It's one of the most fundamental tenets of liberal thought."

Affleck supports the Second Amendment, and said in 2012 that he owned several guns, both for skeet shooting and for the protection of his family. In 2020, he said trips to gun ranges as a young adult made him "uncomfortable to remember ... given the subsequent tragedies with young people and guns."

Affleck appeared alongside then-Senator Barack Obama at a 2006 rally in support of Proposition 87, which sought to reduce petroleum consumption in favor of alternative energy. He appeared in a global warming awareness video produced by the Center for American Progress Action Fund in 2007. Also that year, Affleck admitted he was not "particularly good at being green" while, in 2014, he named "a 1966 Chevelle" as his guilty pleasure. In 2016, Affleck filmed an endorsement for Respect Our Water, an online petition to stop construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline.

Timeline

June 29, 2005
Marries Jennifer Garner.
May 7, 2005
His girlfriend Jennifer Garner is rumored to be three months pregnant.
2005
Affleck was married to actress Jennifer Garner
June 2004
Wins $356,000 at the California State Poker Championships where he beats some of the best poker players in the world.
January 2004
He and Lopez break up, and citing the strain of too much media attention as the cause of their split.
February 14, 2003
Plays Matt Murdock in Daredevil with Jennifer Garner, Colin Farrell, and Michael Clarke Duncan.
November 2002
Gives Jennifer Lopez a $3.5 million dollar engagement ring.
May 31, 2002
Plays Jack Ryan in The Sum of All Fears with Morgan Freeman.
April 12, 2002
Plays Gavin Banek in Changing Lanes with Samuel L. Jackson.
August 22, 2001
Makes a cameo appearance in Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back.

Patents

Further Resources

Title
Author
Link
Type
Date

200 Cigarettes

Web

February 26, 1999

ABC Afterschool Specials (TV Series 1972-1997)

Web

October 4, 1972

Against the Grain (TV Series 1993-1994)

Web

October 1, 1993

...

News

Title
Author
Date
Publisher
Description
Bollywood Hungama
July 26, 2021
Bollywood Hungama
Dharmendra shares a flashback photo with Guddi co-star Jaya Bachchan, revealing she was his big fan Bollywood News: Latest Bollywood News, Bollywood News Today, Bollywood Celebrity News, Breaking News, Celeb News, Celebrities News, Bollywood News Hindi, Hindi Bollywood News at Bollywood Hungama.com.
July 25, 2021
Hindustan Times
Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck have made their relationship official on her 52nd birthday. The couple used to date in the early 2000s and have come back together recently. | Hollywood
Jenna Amatulli
May 12, 2021
HuffPost UK
The actor and longtime friend of Ben's revealed he hopes the Bennifer 2.0 rumours are true.
May 11, 2021
NDTV.com
Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck have been pictured together in Montana.
Grace Panetta
May 10, 2021
Business Insider
The two A-listers, now reportedly rekindling their romance, first met two redistricting cycles ago in 2001.
SHOW MORE

References

Golden logo
By using this site, you agree to our Terms & Conditions.