Ben Affleck, who’s spoken about his Justice League difficulties before (including quite recently), credited his friend and collaborator Matt Damon as a “principal influence” on his decision to no longer participate in such projects in the future.
Speaking with Damon as part of a new Entertainment Weekly feature, the actor—who can currently be seen in Ridley Scott’s The Last Duel and George Clooney’s The Tender Bar—noted how “deceptively difficult” it can be to play a leading role, explaining that—with age—an actor has a greater opportunity to really “know” their feelings.
“I had a really nadir experience around Justice League for a lot of different reasons,” Affleck, who is credited as a co-writer on the aforementioned Last Duel with Damon and Nicole Holofcener, said. “Not blaming anybody, there’s a lot of things that happened. But really what it was is that I wasn’t happy. I didn’t like being there. I didn’t think it was interesting. And then some really shitty things, awful things happened. But, that’s when I was like, I’m not going to do that anymore.”
From there, Affleck told Damon he was influential in the decision that came next.
“In fact, I talked to you about it and you were a principal influence on that decision,” he said. “I want to do the things that would bring me joy. Then we went and did Last Duel and I had fun every day on this movie. I wasn’t the star, I wasn’t likable. I was a villain. I wasn’t all the things I thought I was supposed to be when I started out and yet it was a wonderful experience. And it was all just stuff that came along that I wasn’t chasing.”
Previously, Affleck mentioned his Batman era when clearing the air on Jimmy Kimmel Live about how comments he made during a Howard Stern interview were being spun to misrepresent him. “I know people do this, I get it,” he said at the time. “I’m happy to be sad Batman, I’m happy to be Dunkin Donuts and the memes. I understand. … But if it’s about my kids, I gotta just draw a line.”
Elsewhere in Tuesday’s EW feature, Affleck—whose Jennifer Lopez reunion has spawned a slew of recent headlines—also spoke on the oft-mocked 2003 film Gigli. According to Affleck, there was a “perfect storm” of issues surrounding the film’s release, though Affleck now sounds thankful for the overall experience.
While the reaction to the film “was depressing” and made him “question things,” Affleck pointed out that it ultimately inspired him to pursue what has now become what he touted as the “real love of my professional life,” i.e. directing.
To read the full piece, head here. And below, revisit the trailer for the Clooney-helmed Tender Bar, which is an adaptation of J.R. Moehringer’s memoir of the same name.