Academy Award-winner Ben Affleck opens up to The Guardian about fame, mistakes, and family life with estranged wife Jennifer Garner and their three children: daughters Violet, 11, and Seraphina, nearly 8, and 4-year-old son Samuel.
On his parents’ separation when he was 12: “I guess contemporary helicopter parents would be aghast at our level of supervision, but it wasn’t bad. There were scary kids and people that you’d want to stay away from, but I tried to make people laugh and make friends.”
On moving to Los Angeles with Matt Damon and his brother Casey Affleck to “live the dream”: “It was me, Matt, my brother Casey and a bunch of friends from Boston – all of them were trying to make it in some capacity or other. It was a time to experiment, to go to auditions and try stuff. And part of what we revelled in was the absurd level of frustration that we went through and the ridiculous hoops we had to jump through. Those years were wonderful – they were great, formative, blissful, fun, free years.”
On how fame affected him: “I’d always had a strong idea about my values and the direction I wanted to be headed in, then I ran into getting famous and it totally spun me around and I flailed around for a few years. When you’re a young man in your 20s, part of that is making mistakes and learning from them. I just made those in front of everybody, rather than privately. There’s stuff I look back on and kind of cringe at but I always tried to treat other people well. My parents imbued that in me and the mistakes I made were mostly just of the embarrassing kind.”
On fatherhood: “I think becoming a father makes you see the world differently and it’s good…You become a public figure and it changes all the rules. The press can become invasive and dishonest, and you have to put up with inconvenient stuff like that. I’m at peace with paying my own price, what I’m not at peace with is when it invades on my kids’ space and time. They didn’t make any bargains. I try to shelter them as best I can. That’s my only real gripe.”
On the greatest benefit of portraying Batman: “Sam thinks his dad is Batman. That’s an incredible feeling.”
For more from Ben, go to The Guardian…