What's this? This is an unbiased just-the-facts news timeline ('newsline') about Ben Affleck, created by Newslines contributors. Help it grow by finding and summarising news. Learn more

Ben Affleck

Ben Affleck53 posts

Ben Affleck is an American actor, producer, and director born in 1972 in Berkeley, California. He originally gained fame for his roles in movies such as Dazed and Confused, Chasing Amy, Mallrats, and Dogma. In 1997, Affleck won a Golden Globe and Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for Good Will Hunting. He has also appeared in Armageddon, Pearl Harbor, Hollywoodland, State of Play, Changing Lanes, Daredevil, and The Sum of All Fears. In 2013 he won an Academy Award for directing Argo. Affleck is married to actress Jennifer Garner.

13 Jan, 2017

Affleck: McGregor fighting style is seeping into movies

Makes Statement

While promoting his latest film, Live By Night, Affleck says McGregor’s impact on the world of mixed martial arts over the course of the last few years is also being felt in Hollywood. Previously, Affleck has said that his fighting in Batman vs Superman was influenced by McGregor.

MMA is taking over in terms of the style that people use stunt-wise for fighting. People now recognise that as the most pure form of combat and it’s now seeping into movies. It can be seen in all kinds of movies. I’m a big Conor McGregor fan. I think he’s very impressive. I’d love to see… someone was saying he was going to fight Mayweather. It think that would be an amazing fight. I guess they would have to work a deal out or whatever, but that would be cool.

11 Jul, 2015

Batman vs Superman: Dawn Of Justice trailer


The trailer for Batman vs Superman: Dawn Of Justice is released to a standing ovation during the film’s Comic-Con panel. The trailer shows Cavill as Superman and Affleck as Batman. Adams is Lois Lane, Eisenberg is Lex Luthor and Gadot plays Wonderwoman. The film is directed by Snyder.

Black and blue. God versus man. Day versus night.

30 Jun, 2015

Garner, Affleck divorce


Garner and Affleck divorce after 10 years of marriage. They intend to seek mediation. They have three children: Violet, nine, Seraphina, six, and Samuel, three.

After much thought and careful consideration, we have made the difficult decision to divorce. We go forward with love and friendship for one another and a commitment to co-parenting our children whose privacy we ask to be respected during this difficult time. This will be our only comment on this private, family matter. Thank you for understanding.

25 Jun, 2015

Third season cancelled

Drops Product

PBS cancels the third season of Finding Your Roots after an investigation reveals Affleck pressured producers to violate network standards by letting him have “improper influence” in leaving out details about an ancestor of his who owned slaves. PBS will not run the show’s third season until staffing changes are made, including hiring a fact checker. Gates:

I sincerely regret not discussing my editing rationale with our partners at PBS and WNET and I apologize for putting PBS and its member stations in the position of having to defend the integrity of their programming.

21 Apr, 2015

Slavery censorship apology


Affleck apologizes for trying to conceal his slave-owning ancestors from the PBS documentary Finding Your Roots.

After an exhaustive search of my ancestry for Finding Your Roots, it was discovered that one of my distant relatives was an owner of slaves. I didn’t want any television show about my family to include a guy who owned slaves. I was embarrassed. The very thought left a bad taste in my mouth. Skip [Gates] decided what went into the show. I lobbied him the same way I lobby directors about what takes of mine I think they should use. This is the collaborative creative process. Skip agreed with me on the slave owner but made other choices I disagreed with. In the end, it’s his show and I knew that going in. I’m proud to be his friend and proud to have participated…I regret my initial thoughts that the issue of slavery not be included in the story. We deserve neither credit nor blame for our ancestors and the degree of interest in this story suggests that we are, as a nation, still grappling with the terrible legacy of slavery. It is an examination well worth continuing. I am glad that my story, however indirectly, will contribute to that discussion. While I don’t like that the guy is an ancestor, I am happy that aspect of our country’s history is being talked about.

1 Jan, 2015

Loaded cover

Magazine Cover

Affleck appears on the cover of the January 2015 issue of Loaded magazine. He talks about his wife and his career getting better.

Getting to know Jennifer, falling in love with her and being connected with her gave me a foundation to reach out and say, okay, I’m going to do Hollywoodland.

5 Oct, 2014

Debate with Maher

A debate between Maher, Affleck and a panel of guests on Real Time With Bill Maher gets heated as Maher says that liberals have failed by not criticizing homophobia and sexism in Islamic countries. Affleck responds that more than a billion Muslims worldwide are mostly moderate. Maher:

Why are you so hostile about this concept?


Because it’s gross, it’s racist, it’s disgusting

4 Oct, 2014

NPR interview


Affleck gives an interview to NPR about going back in front of the camera after directing his own films. On Gone Girl:

The really liberating thing was … usually when you play a protagonist and you’re a lead in the movie there are sort of some unspoken rules. You know, you have to be a good person … And in this case, we weren’t encumbered by that at all. The whole idea of likability was sort of thrown out of the window.

Batman vs. Superman:

If I thought we were remaking Daredevil, I’d be out there picketing myself

1 Oct, 2014

Details cover

Magazine Cover

rs_634x862-140917144611-634.ben-affleck-details-magazine-cover-091714Affleck appears on the cover of the October 2014 issue of Details magazine. He talks about why he wanted to play in Gone Girl, rumours about his wife, and counting cards in casinos.

That is a true story. I mean, that took place. I took some time to learn the game and became a decent blackjack player. And once I became decent, the casinos asked me not to play blackjack. I mean, the fact that being good at the game is against the rules at the casinos should tell you something about casinos. There’s a lot of hospitality, backslapping, when they think you’re gonna come in and dump money, and if they think you might leave with some money, it’s like, ‘You know what? Why don’t you try craps or roulette?’

26 Sep, 2014

Gone Girl

Film Appearance

In the thriller based on the novel written by Gillian Flynn and directed by David Fincher, Affleck plays the role of Nick Dunne, a man with questionable morals accused of murdering his wife.  Co-starring Rosamund Pike and Neil Patrick Harris.

There’s nothing really about this guy or character that I feel connected to personally, except that I have definitely felt as though I was looking at a version of my life that I didn’t recognize through the prism of the media.

12 Aug, 2014

‘He made my dreams come true’


Affleck thanks Williams for his friendship and his role in Goodwill Hunting, which won Affleck and Matt Damon the Academy Award for Best Writing and launched their film careers:

Heartbroken. Thanks chief—for your friendship and for what you gave the world. Robin had a ton of love in him. He personally did so much for so many people. He made Matt and my dreams come true.

What do you owe a guy who does that? Everything.

May you find peace my friend. #RobinWilliams

5 Aug, 2014

Expecting fourth child

Affleck and Garner are expecting baby number four. The pregnancy comes as a shock to both parents. Garner is four months along.

Ben has been going above and beyond lately. He’s checking up on Jen all the time and surprising her with flowers. Jen thinks this baby could be the key to making her marriage strong again.

24 Feb, 2013

Wins Oscar


Producers Grant Heslov, Ben Affleck and George Clooney win the Academy Award for Best Picture of 2012 for Argo. Jack Nicholson, and Michelle Obama, via satellite link from Washington, D.C., present the award. Affleck:

You can’t hold grudges. It’s hard but you can’t hold grudges. And it doesn’t matter how you get knocked down in life, because that’s gonna happen. All that matters is that you gotta get up. Violet, Sam and Sera, I love you; this is for you.

29 Jan, 2013

Vanity Fair cover

Magazine Cover

1359496570_emma-stone-ben-affleck-bradley-cooper-lgStone, Affleck, and Cooper appear on the cover of the March 2013 issue of Vanity Fair magazine. They were chosen for the cover because of their accomplishments over the past year. Vanity Fair says:

[The photos are taken in] the house where Robert Duvall, the consigliere to the Corleone family, arranges to have the recalcitrant movie producer who lives there wake up with his prize horse’s head in his bed.

12 Oct, 2012


Ben Afflec directs this movie and plays Mendez. He chronicles the life or death covert operation to rescue six Americans which unfolds behind the scenes of the Iran hostage crisis, the truth of which was unknown to the public for decades. Co-starring Allan Arkin, Victor Garber, Taylor Schilling, Bryan Cranston and John Goodman. About the movie:

Well, the movie is about kind of a sub-story in the larger drama of all the hostages and the whole takeover—Argo is just one small piece of that. The story itself was in Time magazine and is actually pretty well documented, but overall, it got kind of upstaged by the larger issue of the hostages. This incident in Argo happened on, like, Day 78 (The diplomats ultimately left Iran on Day 86), but it was on Day 444 that the hostages were released, so the events that we focus on in the movie were like this glimmer of hope that quickly subsided into the general malaise and depression about the fact that we had these people stuck over there and we couldn’t do anything about it

Oct 2012

Interview magazine

Affleck talks with Gus Van Sant for the October/November issue of Interview about working with a network of Persian filmmakers, taking the plot of Argo from a Wired magazine article and a book about the hostage crisis, and being advised by the State Department to stay out of Iran:

I wanted to go—just for research—very badly. I really wanted to be accurate. The studio, however, said, “This is a bad idea,” to which I responded, “Well, I’m just going to go as a private person, without any association with the movie or the studio—just as a tourist.” Then I talked to the State Department about it, and they said, “Look, you could go, but there’s a likelihood that people from the government will show up with a camera, shake your hand, take pictures, and say, ‘See, this American supports what we’re doing.’

17 Sep, 2010

The Town

Affleck directs and stars in the crime thriller based on Chuck Hogan’s novel. Bank robber Doug MacRay and his gang from the Charlestown neighbourhood of Boston take Claire Keesey, played by Rebecca Hall, as a hostage during a bank hit, and the two begin a romance. Doug reveals why he began a life of crime, and tries to protect Claire from his gang, while she protects him from the authorities. Co-starring Jeremy Renner, Slaine, Owen Burke, and Jon Hamm.

A huge part of this was wanting to play the role. I hadn’t had the chance to play a character as interesting as the one Chuck wrote in the book in a long time.

Aug 2010

Interview magazine

Affleck interviews Lively for the August edition, discussing her Gossip Girl role and The Town. Affleck:

We met when you came to do The Town, and when you turned up, I was a little taken aback. I was like, “How did you learn this Boston accent? How did you learn all of this stuff?


I think it comes from the fact that I never really thought about acting as a child. It wasn’t like, “This is the career that I want to pursue.” So when I first started acting, I was more concerned with just being on a set and all of the woes of that, and I didn’t really know it or understand it as a craft yet. When I saw my first movie, I was fine, but I thought, “Oh, my heavens. It’s not about just standing there on my mark and saying these lines. I need to actually act.”

Apr 2009

State Of Play

Affleck stars as Congressman Stephen Collins in Kevin MacDonald-directed political thriller. Two seemingly unconnected shootings and an apparent suicide draw attention to Collins’s involvement with a private military contractor. Co-stars Russell Crowe, Rachel MacAdams, and Helen Mirren. Affleck modeled the character on Anthony Weiner:

[It] goes to show you how sharp my dramatic instincts were. I was tuned in.

12 Jan, 2007

Smokin’ Aces

Affleck plays bail bondsman Jack Dupree in the crime comedy directed by Joe Carnahan. A group of bail bondsmen trying to hunt down a crooked Las Vegas Strip magician collide with a group of assassins looking to collect a bounty placed on him by a mob boss. Jeremy Piven, Ryan Reynolds, Alicia Keys, Common, Jason Bateman, Andy García, and Ray Liotta co-star.

The whole week that I shot, I smoked, like, five packs a day. By the time the movie was over, I was so sick of smoking, I just didn’t want to do it anymore, and I quit. I have this celluloid record of the last time I smoked.

8 Sep, 2006


Affleck plays actor George Reeves in the drama-biopic directed by Allen Coulter. Shown through the perspective of a private detective investigating his death, Reeves begins an affair with the wife of a studio executive and lands the starring role in the TV series Superman, but becomes dissatisfied with his career and love life. Co-starring Adrien Brody, Diane Lane and Bob Hoskins. On studying for the role:

When George Reeves was Super-man you had three TV channels, and that show was iconic.

23 May, 2005

Affleck, Garner engaged

Jennifer+Garner+Engagement RingAffleck and Garner are engaged after nine months of dating, according to a close friend. Affleck buys Garner a $500,000, 4.5-carat Harry Winston engagement ring and proposes on her 33rd birthday.

Nov 2004

Affleck, Garner dating

Affleck and Garner are dating. The couple met on the set of the movie Daredevil. They didn’t begin dating until seven months after Affleck and Lopez ended their engagement.

22 Oct, 2004

Surviving Christmas

Affleck plays advertising executive Drew Latham in the comedy directed by Mike Mitchell. Latham pays a family to let him stay in his childhood home with them for Christmas, causing friction but eventually reuniting them. Co-starring James Gandolfini, Christina Applegate and Catherine O’Hara.

To me, meeting James Gandolfini and getting to know him at such an interesting and important period in both our lives, and the degree to which we bonded and became friends, is something I wouldn’t trade for anything. He was a lovely man, and so tough on himself. Most of the good things in my life have come out of movies that didn’t work very well. That made that movie a great experience, despite what people said about it.

6 Mar, 2004

Jersey Girl

Affleck stars in Kevin Smith’s sixth film as Ollie Trinkie. After his wife dies during childbirth, he suffers a breakdown and loses his career as a Manhattan music publicist, moving to New Jersey to live with his father. As his prospects revive, he is forced to choose between work and family. Co-starring Liv Tyler, Raquel Castro, George Carlin, Jason Biggs, Jennifer Lopez and Will Smith.

The movie is about a guy who finds out how important family is, and what that means. It sounds like an unusual contextual line for a Kevin Smith movie, an unusual theme, and maybe it is, but it’s a very traditional, classic theme and it’s a story that never gets tired of being told, if you tell it well.

9 Feb, 2004

Lopez, Affleck break up


Lopez breaks up with Affleck after 18 months of dating. The couple call off their $2 million dollar wedding months before they were set to get married. The break up was caused by Affleck hanging around strippers and his friends, activities that Lopez couldn’t handle. Affleck did not like the media attention by being in a relationship with Lopez. Source:

When you love someone, the media circus does not get in the way. You say, ‘Okay, we’ll figure it out. Let’s do it.’ Jennifer didn’t realize it at that moment, but when he called it off, the relationship was over. He got out of the trap and he wasn’t going to get back in. He was looking for a graceful way to let it die.

25 Dec, 2003


Affleck stars as reverse engineer Michael Jennings in the John Woo adaptation of the Philip K. Dick short story. Jennings takes a high-paying job engineering a secret machine and, after his memory is wiped, discovers that he has given himself the ability to control future events. Co-starring Ben Affleck, Uma Thurman and Aaron Eckhart.

[Paycheck] asks thought-provoking questions like ‘What is the nature of existence?’, ‘Are we just a sum of a collection of memories, or is the whole greater than the sum of the parts, in the sense that we have a soul?’, ‘Why do we want to know the future so badly?…Does it mean that we’re just trying to calm our own fears, and does it mean that we’re not enjoying our lives as they happen?’ [These are] the kind of questions that don’t get asked in your typical Hollywood thriller blockbuster movie.

1 Aug, 2003


Affleck plays L.A. mobster Larry Gigli in the crime comedy directed by Martin Brest. Gigli kidnaps the mentally challenged brother of a New York prosecutor, and becomes romantically involved with a gay woman. Co-starring Jennifer Lopez, Al Pacino, Christopher Walken, and Lainie Kazan.

Gigli’s where I learned to direct. Martin Brest, the guy who did Beverly Hills Cop, Midnight Run and Scent of a Woman, is a great director who understands how to help an actor. The love he had for what he was doing, the care he took with the performances and the way he made it about the story and the actors rather than imposing some sort of artifice or style on top of it—all that rubbed off on me

14 Feb, 2003


Affleck plays lawyer Matt Murdock and his superhero secret identity Daredevil in Mark Steven Johnson’s adaptation of the Stan Lee Marvel comics. Blinded by toxic waste when he was a child, Murdock runs a Hell Kitchen law firm for the poor by day and fights crime as Daredevil by night. Jennifer Garner, Jon Favreau, Michael Clarke Duncan, and Colin Farrell co-star. His relationship with Garner develops on set:

[…] she won most of the fights in the movie, which was a pretty good predictor of what would happen down the road—my wife, holding swords and beating the living shit out of me.

11 Nov, 2002

Lopez, Affleck engaged


Jennifer Lopez RingLopez and Affleck are engaged. Lopez tells Diane Sawyer in an interview that Affleck proposed in a very traditional way, with a Harry Winson six-carat pink diamond on a platinum band.

I am such a kind of artist in that way, you know, just such a flutter bug in that way. Where it’s just like, you know, the idea of love and fairy tales and romance and all that.

29 May, 2002

The Sum Of All Fears

Affleck plays CIA agent Jack Ryan in director Phil Alden Robinson’s adaptation of the Tom Clancy thriller. Ryan is called in to investigate the death of the Russian president and uncovers a plan by a white supremacist group to start a nuclear war with a stolen Israeli atomic bomb. Co-starring Morgan Freeman, James Cromwell, Liev Schreiber, and Alan Bates.

We shot The Sum of All Fears in Montreal, and it almost killed me. That town never closes. The food is amazing, the drink is amazing, the girls are gorgeous. It’s not a place to focus on your work.

12 Apr, 2002

Changing Lanes

Affleck plays New York City attorney Gavin Banek in the dramatic thriller directed by Roger Michell. Banek leaves insurance salesman Doyle Gipson (Samuel L. Jackson) at the scene of a car collision, causing him to miss an important court date, but leaves a vital paper at the scene, allowing Gipson to seek revenge. Co-starring William Hurt.

I liked working with Sam Jackson a lot. My memory is of Roger taking what could have easily been a 1970s genre action film and turning it into a rumination on anger and morality.

15 May, 2001

Pearl Harbor

Affleck stars as Rafe McCawley in the Michael Bay-directed war epic. As World War II breaks out, Rafe and his childhood friend Danny Walker (Josh Hartnett) enlist in the U.S. Army Air Corps, and Rafe volunteers to fight with the Royal Air Force. Rafe promises his lover, nurse Evelyn Johnson (Kate Beckinsale), that he will return, but is shot down over the English Channel. In Pearl Harbor, Evelyn and Danny comfort each other when Rafe is reported killed in action, and begin a relationship. Rafe returns on the night of Dec. 6, 1941, having survived the crash, and confronts Danny. The next morning, they are forced to reconcile as they defend against the attack on Pearl Harbor.  Co-starring Cuba Gooding Jr., Alec Baldwin, William C. Scott, Jennifer Garner, and Jon Voight.

It’s about what a terrible cost it is for people to have to go to war and what a terrible thing it is.

25 Feb, 2000

Reindeer Games

Affleck plays the convict Rudy in the thriller directed by John Frankenheimer. After his release from prison, Rudy impersonates his cellmate to sleep with his girlfriend, but is dragged into a bizarre crime spree. Co-starring Charlize Theron, Gary Sinise, James Frain, Donal Logue, and Danny Trejo. Theron:

Everywhere I’m going I see this headline: Charlize is method, Ben a very giving actor

18 Feb, 2000

Boiler Room

Affleck plays Jim Young in the Ben Younger-directed crime drama. A senior broker at the firm J. T. Marlin, Young coaches new recruits to make millions in a cold-calling scheme that sells pump-and-dump stocks to investors. Comparing the film with Glengarry Glenn Ross:

Glengarry is the all-time epic greatest. But that was fun. Yeah, Ben Younger directed it. I had a really great time. I work now with Jennifer Todd, who was a producer on that movie … And you know, it was just, like really fun.

12 Nov, 1999


Affleck co-stars in the comedy written and directed by Kevin Smith, playing the angel Bartleby alongside Matt Damon as Loki. A drunken Loki resigns as the angel of death, and the two are exiled to Wisconsin. Their attempts to reenter heaven are thwarted by God, played by Alanis Morrissette. The ensemble cast includes Linda Fiorentino, Alan Rickman, Bud Cort, Salma Hayek, Chris Rock, Jason Lee, George Carlin, Janeane Garofalo, and Jason Mewes. Smith says the film helped Affleck’s career:

I’m not saying I made Ben Affleck who he is today … but I made Mallrats with him, Chasing Amy, Dogma.

3 Dec, 1998

Shakespeare In Love

Affleck plays Ned Alleyn in the John Madden romantic comedy, accepting the role of Mercutio in a Shakespeare play, only to find that the character dies. Co-starring Gwyneth Paltrow, Joseph Fiennes, Geoffrey Rush, Colin Firth, and Judi Dench.

[Alleyn] is sort of the Tom Cruise of his day. In terms of Shakespeare’s theater, you have to have Ned in your play.

1 Jul, 1998


Affleck stars in the Michael Bay-directed disaster epic as A. J. Frost, a member of a team of oil drillers sent into space to prevent an asteroid striking earth. After proving himself in space, A. J. is saved from a suicide mission by Harry Stamper, played by Bruce Willis, and marries Stamper’s daughter Grace, Liv Tyler. Billy Bob Thornton, Will Patton and Steve Buscemi co-star. On shooting an emotional scene with Willis:

People always shy away from showing all that much emotion. They’re afraid that if you get really upset that somehow that means you’re not cool or you’re not sufficiently heroic, but I thought Bruce is the hero, really, so I could have the opportunity to do that, and I thought why not.

Dec 1997

Interview magazine

Affleck and Damon talk to Interview about Good Will Hunting, growing up together, and their relationship:

Matt and I had identical interests, so whether we ended up successful or making hot dogs at Dodgers games, we knew we’d end up doing the same sort of thing.

5 Oct, 1997

Good Will Hunting

ben-affleck-good-will-hunting-poster-hdAffleck co-stars as Chuckie Sullivan in the Gus Van Sant-directed Boston location drama, based on a screenplay he wrote with Matt Damon, who plays Will Hunting. As Will attempts to find himself, Chuckie encourages him to use his intellectual talents and mathematical ability to seek a better life. He tells Will that it is an insult to waste his intelligence as a university janitor and says that although they are best friends, he hopes one day he will stop by Will’s apartment for a beer and he will no longer be there. Also starring Robin Williams, Minnie Driver, Stellen Skarsgard, Cole Hauser, and Casey Affleck. On shooting in Boston:

It was enormously satisfying, particularly — even this context to the screenplay, it was really satisfying to write locations that you know, places that you know, people that you know. And then to go back and shoot there was really rewarding. We were able to get people to work there, family and friends would stop by the set, it was a really nice experience, it was really just — it was kinda, the local boys made good.

4 Apr, 1997

Chasing Amy

Affleck stars as comic book artist Holden McNeil in the romantic comedy directed by Kevin Smith. Holden begins a relationship with a gay girl, but his feelings for her place his love life, friendship and comic books career at risk. Co-starring Jason Lee, Joey Lauren Adams, Jason Mewes and Kevin Smith.

One of the best experiences I’ve had. We all lived in Kevin Smith’s house. We rehearsed it like a play. We shot on 16 millimeter. I got the chance to do the kind of acting I had never done before. Not knowing if anyone would ever see this cheap movie was freeing. It didn’t seem like a movie, more like people running around with a video camera.

Oct 1995


Affleck plays Shannon, the manager of the mall’s Fashionable Male outlet in Mallrats. Throughout the Kevin Smith-directed comedy, he frequently clashes with Brody (Jason Lee) and TS Quint (Jeremy London) over their lifestyle as mallrats, and eventually beats Brodie in a fight. Shannon also attempts to take advantage of Brody’s ex-girlfriend, Rene (Shannon Doherty) after their breakup. Co-starring Joey Lauren Adams, Jason Mewes, Kevin Smith, Clare Forlani and Stan Lee. On playing an alpha-male villain:

I really liked Clerks and the screenplay of Mallrats, believe it or not, depending on what you think of the movie. It was actually uproariously funny. I really wanted to do it.

24 Sep, 1993

Dazed and Confused

In the comedy written and directed by Richard Linklater, Affleck plays high school senior Fred O’Bannion, who is repeating a year after failing to graduate. After hazing freshmen, O’Bannion is humiliated in front of the rest of the school. Co-starring Matthew McConaughey, Milla Jovovich, Jason London, and Cole Hauser.

That’s where I learned that an actor could contribute to a movie beyond reading lines. Richard Linklater sent a note to all the actors that said, “If this movie is produced as written, it’ll be a massive underachievement.” We were all 19 and 20 and down in Austin, and all the actors started to write their own ideas and their own little scenes. It demystified the process for me in an important way. And I was in Austin with all those young people that summer, and I was the only person who didn’t have sex.

What's this? This is an unbiased just-the-facts news timeline ('newsline') about Ben Affleck, created by Newslines contributors. Make it grow it by finding and summarising news. Learn more