Ben Affleck has been a media darling since he won his first Oscar for Good Will Hunting. Since then he has gone on to star in great movies like Argo, Dogma, and The Town. He also chose to star in Pearl Harbor, Gigli, and Jersey Girl. He’s pretty much batting .500 in terms of good films. However, back in his heyday, the tabloids could not get enough of him. Between the high profile relationships with the like of Gwyneth Paltrow and Jennifer Lopez, and his stint in rehab, everyone in the world was watching what Affleck was doing.
Since the mid-2000’s, news on Ben Affleck quieted significantly, until his more recent marital woes. People were shocked when they learned that Ben, the playboy actor from years back, never truly gave up that lifestyle. It just goes to show that we as fans never truly know these celebrities. With Ben starring in movies like Batman vs Supeman, he’s become almost as famous as he was at his height, so it won’t be long before the media picks up his secrets again. Here are 13 things that you may not have known about Ben Affleck.
13. Longtime Friends With Kevin Smith And Matt Damon
His partnership with Matt Damon from the movie Good Will Hunting is well known as the two buddies co-wrote the screenplay and garnered an Oscar for it. But did you know that the two boys grew up 10 blocks from each other in Boston? They were even on the same little league team. Perhaps more surprising is that the Affleck became close with writer/director Kevin Smith, who chose to write many roles for Affleck and Damon in his movies. Smith even convinced film company Miramax to buy the script for Good Will Hunting which launched both men into stardom.
12. Ancestors Owned Slaves
Ben Affleck once had an episode on the PBS show Finding Your Roots. The show was a genealogy show where celebrities would learn about their family from olden times. Ben’s episode featured no mention of his relations to Benjamin L. Cole and Samuel L. Speissegger, because he wanted to cover it up. During the Sony email hack, the cover up came to light and the world found out about Ben’s relation to these slave owners. He eventually apologized for the cover up stating, “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.”
11. His Mother Was A Freedom Rider
Though he may be related to some long-dead racists, Ben Affleck’s mother was noted for working to help race relations in 1961 as a member of the Freedom Riders. These Freedom Riders protested in states like Mississippi to protest the segregation of black citizens. Groups like the KKK often attacked these men and women during their 7-month protest. Some of the attacks were very brutal, specifically in Montgomery, Alabama when KKK members lit a bus full of riders on fire and locked them in, attempting to burn them to death.
10. He was On Voyage Of The Mimi
In 1984 PBS created a show for middle schoolers, attempting to teach them science in a fun and interactive way. This show was titled Voyage of the Mimi. The show centers around a crew of scientists attempting to explore the ocean while cataloguing humpback whales. For whatever reason, the captain of the crew decided to bring his young grandson on the journey. Nothing says safe for children like a 6 month long journey on a small boat at sea. It was none other than a pre-pubescent Ben Affleck playing this child. For being an educational soap opera, Voyage of the Mimi was widely successful and is still shown in some schools today.
9. He was In Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Go ahead and watch all 7 seasons of the hit show from the ‘90s, we’ll give you a minute. Ok done? Did you see Affleck? Well of course not. While the show is known for having many guest appearances of stars before they hit the big time (Amy Adams, Kal Penn, Rachel Bilson), Ben never made it onto set. However he did land the role of Basketball Player #10 in the often forgotten 1992 movie Buffy The Vampire Slayer on which the TV show was based. He’s not the only superstar from this movie as Seth Green and Ricki Lake both had roles in the film, as did Oscar winner Hillary Swank. Green even went on to play a leading role in the TV show, but Affleck went on to different projects.
8. He Was In Field of Dreams
While his role in the film was as an uncredited extra, Ben Affleck was featured in the classic baseball movie Field of Dreams. Being huge baseball fans, Ben and Matt Damon attempted to sign onto the Kevin Costner film, but ultimately had to settle for the roles as two young men watching baseball. They can be found in the scene, when Costner and James Earl Jones are at Fenway, right before the creepy voice tells Costner to “go the distance.” It may be an uncredited role, but Matt and Ben got paid to go watch a baseball game, sounds pretty awesome to us.
7. Daredevil Is His Favorite Comic
He may be putting on the cowl in the upcoming Batman vs Superman, but Batman is not his favorite comic book hero. His favorite is Daredevil, you know from that terrible movie he starred in back in 2004. When first approached to play The Man Without Fear, Ben was a bit hesitant, but that didn’t last long. He agreed to play the role saying that, “[he] didn’t want someone else to do it, because I was afraid that they would go out and do it different from the comic and screw it up.” We agree; we’re very glad that Ben ruined the role instead of other rumored stars like Vin Diesel.
6. He Went To The University Of Vermont
Ben was described as “an unfocused high school student with poor attendance” during his youth. However his natural intelligence helped him get into the University of Virginia, a school he chose not to attend. Instead he followed his girl friend to the University of Vermont where he intended on majoring in Spanish. After a rough break up, and a broken hip, Ben dropped out of the school with no credits to his name. It’s almost as if he never went. He tried to go to school in Los Angeles, but eventually dropped that too, focusing on Good Will Hunting instead. Whoever that girl was surely must feel very silly now seeing how widely successful Affleck has become.
5. His Father Was Once A Janitor At Harvard
Ben’s father was a troubled man. Ben says that his father was a severe alcoholic and was not around often for his sons. However he was always noted as a “very smart man” even though he held menial jobs. One job specifically shaped Ben’s life. His father was working as a janitor at Harvard for a time and claimed to be smarter than some of the teachers he met. That gave Ben and his best friend a great idea for a movie. What if the janitor at Harvard was actually a genius in disguise? Sounds like the plot of a very famous movie…
4. His Relationship With Charlie Sheen
We all know about Charlie Sheen’s infamous drug bender that basically destroyed his life, though he kept claiming he was “winning.” It’s really too bad he never took his own advice, the advice that may have saved Ben Affleck’s life. The two movie stars became close friends after working in the industry together for some time. After a described “deadly bender” it was Charlie that got Ben the help he needed, taking him to a rehab facility in 2001. The incident was a paparazzi gold mine and the entire country focused on Ben and his drug and alcohol issue (which is a huge problem when trying to fight addiction). Maybe watching his close friend go through all that was a factor in Sheen refusing to seek help, but he may have been better off if he had followed his past advice.
3. He Was Born In California
While he may be a proud supporter of the city of Boston and a die hard fan of their sports, Ben is actually a California native. Benjamin Geza Affleck-Boldt (Ben’s full name) was born in Berkley, California to Chris and Timothy Affleck, who were both from the North-East (New York and Rhode Island respectively). The family moved to Boston when Ben was only 2 years old, so his time in California was short. However his brother Casey was born in Boston.
2. His Dolphin Tattoo
Ben Affleck has a dolphin tattooed on his hip. We’ll let that sink in for a second. There are not a lot of men who can pull off this tattoo, so kudos to Mr. Affleck for sporting one. It seems like an odd choice for a man who plays so many tough guys, kinda like if Bruce Willis were to get a butterfly tramp stamp… However, as silly as the dolphin tat is, it was once worse. The dolphin was inked on to cover up a different tattoo, his ex-girlfriends name. Note to all; take his advice never get a significant other’s name tattooed on you, or else you have to get a dolphin to cover it up.
1. He’s The Only Actor To Play Batman and Superman
We know he’s going to be staring along side Superman as Batman, and we know that The Bat isn’t his first superhero role. Did you know that Affleck is the only man who will don both the red and black cape? That’s right Ben was once the Man of Steel. Back in 2006 there was a little known, Hollywoodland, starring Adrian Brody and Ben. In the movie Ben plays actor George Reeves who is playing Superman, until he’s murdered. The movie was not good, though Affleck was a convincing Superman. Mark Ruffalo and Hugh Jackman were originally rumored to portray the actor, but the role ultimately went to Ben, leading to the second time he starred as a super hero in a movie that flopped. We can only hope that it won’t happen a third time.