Benjamin Geza Affleck-Boldt is born in Berkeley, the first son of Christine Anne, nee Boldt, and Timothy Affleck. His middle name is the name of a Holocaust survivor that his parents admire. The family moves to Cambridge where he grows up with his brother Casey, who is three years younger. His mother is a Freedom Rider who traveled into America’s Deep South in the 1960s. His father works as a theater actor and stage manager as well as doing manual jobs.
My mother taught public school, went to Harvard and then got her master’s there and taught fifth and sixth grade in a public school. My dad had a more working-class lifestyle. He didn’t go to college. He was an auto mechanic and a bartender and a janitor at Harvard.
He attends Cambridge Rindge and Latin School. His father has alcoholism, and his parents divorce. The domestic problems affect his schooling:
I was a bit of a f–up. I got really good grades until the last two years, and then I didn’t. I was having issues around my dad and my mom, and things just weren’t that stable — though that puts the responsibility on them, when really I just lost focus and stopped caring.
To escape problems at home he begins acting at Cambridge Rindge, appearing in Friedrich Durrenmatt’s play The Visit. He also appears in the PBS production The Life of Mimi, a Burger King commercial, and as an extra in Field of Dreams.