Ben Affleck Covers Esquire

The 36-year-old Pearl Harbor star explains the rental:

“The thing about the car is this,” he says. “I drive you in the car and you describe it. You notice something I haven’t — you pick up on something, some inelegant little smear, or get a glimpse of my daughter’s art from school, some little forgotten whatever. And maybe it hurts someone in my family, somewhere, somehow, and then it’s like, ‘F*ck it, the next guy doesn’t get in the car.’ Then the question is, ‘Why don’t you let me see your car?'”

Ben, who is described by Esquire as “A Smart, Talented Man Trapped in Lindsay Lohan’s Life,” and his wife Jennifer Garner attract a lot of attention when they’re out, with paparazzi clamoring for a shot of the couple with their daughters Violet, 3, and Seraphina, 3 months.

The notoriously private Ben does eventually let his guard down to Esquire just a bit, sending the journalist an email that gives a tiny glimpse into his life with Jen and the girls…

The car has two car seats in the back. On the floor is a lightweight screen which, when raised, blocks a view of the rear seats. Photographers and video paparazzi will cut me and my wife off in traffic trying to look through the front window (the only one without a tint) to see if the kids are in back. The idea is, if they have no hope of seeing anything, they won’t drive recklessly trying to look in.

The rest of what is in my car is neither private nor interesting. I’ve been listening to Tell Tale Signs by Bob Dylan, so that was on the iPod the day of the interview. I quit smoking, so there is only change in the ashtrays — but after three and a half years, I still think about it quite a bit, from time to time. The car is powered by an internal combustion engine — don’t suppose it makes any difference that I feel badly about that. My wife drives a hybrid, and my other car, as they say, is a motorcycle. So if you amortize the mpg over all the vehicles, it’s pretty good. Except, if I’m being honest, mostly the motorcycle sits in the driveway these days, like a specter from a past life. Hard to justify a Hayabusa with two kids, but I still feel the phantom pains some days. The tips of the index and middle finger on my left hand, feeling for the clutch, a faint brush across the tops of my toes, and the pull of a throttle rolling open. The memory of shifting gears gathers dust on the drive as I walk up, past the relic of an old life and into the next one.

Filed under: Ben Affleck

  • melanie

    he’s like a poet! lol and sooo fine! and good for him not giving in!

  • ME

    All the jokes about him not really writing his oscar winning Good Will Hunting probably should have been directed towards Matt instead. He is obviously a gifted writer.

  • Vanessa

    Yeah, I was just gonna say, Wow! His writing is amazing. He almost makes me want a motorcycle and a cigarette… lol

  • Lol! Vanessa, I felt the same way when I read it. 🙂

  • Becky

    You just give him a few more years, when he’s got two teenage girls and has hit mid-life…he’ll rip that motorcycle out again, and my guess is, he’ll still look FIIIIIINE doing it!

  • Me

    He’s a brilliant writer, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, but I am. Besides writing movie scripts, he should also venture into books.

  • Meg

    boo hoo, ben and jen annoy me when it comes to this because they complain about it so much: if you don’t want people following you around, don’t live in LA or new york. it’s that easy. i have no idea what sean penn’s kids look like, or Johnny Depp’s. because they don’t live in LA, it’s that easy.

  • Amanda

    exactly I agree with meg, i wish the two of them would quit complaining about the paparazzi, get over yourselves. you moved to brentwood to get away from the paps and guess what? it did’t work. so get over it. if you don’t dont want to be photographed then don’t be a famous actress or actor. honestly I don’t see the fascination with them or their kids. They are kids they look like kids, big deal.

  • Amanda

    don’t see why he needed a rental, if he is going in a building to be interviewed its not like the interviewer is going to see the car. Ben comes off as a real a$$ to me and he acts like he is god or something ‘oh I’m so important people will stalk my car so I need to rent one just for an interview’ yeah whatever.

  • Hannah

    I find him so annoying! I don’t find his writing brilliant or engaging, he just sounds pompous and full of himself. I hate when people complain about the paparazzi. There are a lot of famous people who keep their children out of the spotlight, I’m sure it can’t be too difficult. If they don’t like it then don’t parade your children around places that you know the paparazzi will be, that’s the price of fame unfortunately. I feel like Ben and Jen love the attention they get through their kids since neither have them have a viable career anymore.

  • melanie

    wow hannah that was pretty harsh and incorrect considering they both are great actors w.movies coming out this year. not to mention writers and producers.

  • Rosy J

    I agree with you Melanie. Also, I hardly think a child’s preschool would be considered a place for parading your child. Only place they take their kids for the most part and it seems like the paps camp out there everyday. I guess they are not allowed to take them out because they live in and work in LA area. A bit unrealistic perhaps?

  • shirilicious

    Wether you like it or not, without Violet nobody would give a damn what Ben and (especially) Jennifer are up to these days. Elektra, The Kingdom, Catch and Release, who has seen these films? Nobody, they flopped. I don’t even remember what the last film was Ben acted in, he directed a minor indie success, but would anybody know if it wasn’t for their daughter? Please!

  • Lucia

    Ben Affleck’s “minor indie” that he not only directed but wrote as well was nominated for 27 awards, including an oscar and a golden globe. That is not minor. As for Jen, good for her, taking time off of making a lot of movies to be a mother.

    I’m sorry, but celebrities don’t deserve the extremeness of the paparazzi, though I do agree that they should expect it to an extent. They are public figures, but they should not have to worry about the safety of their children. Also, their children did not choose to be in the public eye, so there should be a law about taking photos of them.

    They cannot let the paps rule their lives or determine where they live or where Violet goes to preschool.

  • shirilicious

    Yes, Amy Ryan snagged an Oscar and GG nomination, not Ben Affleck. Jennifer hasn’t taken any time off, it’s just that nobody watches her movies.

  • Lucia

    doesn’t matter how good the acting is if the writing and directing is bad. She could not have gotten nominated without him.

  • melanie

    i agree lucia
    shirilicious, just because U don’t watch her movies doesn’t mean EVERYONE doesn’t…they’re still great actors w.out their kids though violet does seem to make things cuter 🙂

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