Ben Affleck had a dream start in Hollywood. After years of doing nondescript supporting roles as a teen, Affleck burst onto the scene with Good Will Hunting, for which the actor received an Oscar for best original screenplay and critical acclaim for his supporting role as Chucky. Things seemed to be on the rise for Affleck. But then the actor's personal life became a focal point for sleazy tabloid stories of questionable veracity. In a new interview with THR, Ben Affleck explained how his fall from grace as a Hollywood A-Lister made it much harder for him to reinvent his career.
"I sort of had to make it in the business twice, because I became so cold and so not cool and so out of it that I had to totally reinvent my career. And it was harder [the second time] because before I was just starting at the start line, but now I had to start a mile further back because people didn't have no perception of me, but [instead had] a negative one fostered by a really reckless and irresponsible tabloid press that would just write things that weren't true."
While early on in his career, Affleck was frequently in the news for his relationship with his ex-partner Jennifer Garner, later years brought with them a debilitating stint of alcohol addiction that cast a pall over his life, even as he won another Oscar for Argo. According to Affleck, it was the disappointing reception to Batman V. Superman, and subsequent troubles while making Justice League, coupled with a troubled personal life, that caused a relapse into addiction.
"I started drinking too much around the time of Justice League, and it's a hard thing to confront and face and deal with. I've been sober for a while now, and I feel really good - as healthy and good as I've ever felt. And the process of recovering from alcoholism has been really instructive. I think it's great for people who aren't alcoholics, you know? Like, 'Be honest. Have integrity. Take accountability. Help other people.' It's a good set of things that they teach you. It took me a little while to get it - I had a few slips, like most people - but I feel really good. If you knew how many actors and directors and writers were alcoholics or compulsive in some way - I mean, it's the most ordinary thing in the world in Hollywood. I've worked with actors who showed up drunk! And that was not me. I drank, like, alone in my living room and just passed out, like, with scotch. But I got sober."
The actor is in better shape now than he has been in years. Not only does he appear to be in a happy relationship with Ana de Armas, but Affleck will also be playing Batman once again in the Flash solo movie, and his recent small-budget film The Way Back has generated a strong buzz in award circles. Hopefully, the next phase of Affleck's personal and professional life will be his best one yet. The Hollywood Reporter.