Ben Affleck posed with a hobby (motorcycle) and a passion (baseball = Red Sox, heh) for his Parade Magazine photoshoot. He's been making the rounds for Gone Baby Gone and though he is as chiseled and handsome as ever, it's obvious that this project has been a bit draining. Reading and hearing his recent interviews sort of just makes me want to give him a hug. Not only is he looking a bit skinny, but his interviews have been pretty heavy. Here's highlights:
- On Growing Up: “I grew up in a home environment where I wasn’t getting esteem for anything I did,” he says. “ I played sports, but I wasn’t great at them, so it wasn’t like I was super-athletic and getting a huge amount of praise for that. There was alcoholism at home because of my father. I changed schools [at 8 years old], and I didn’t really know the kids at the new school. I felt alone.”
- On Matt's Role In His Acting Career: “Matt gave acting a framework, an integration into the social hierarchy at school,” he states. “As a teenager, the natural thing is to have friends who have common interests and so you fit together seamlessly. Before Matt, I was by myself. Acting was a solo activity where I’d just go off and do something, act in a little TV show or something, and no one understood it. None of the other kids knew what it was I did, how it worked, or anything. All of a sudden I had this friend, Matt, and he gets it and wants to do it and thinks it’s interesting and wants to talk about it. Soon both of us are doing it.”
To see more pictures and quotes from Ben on what it was like to get sudden success, what he wants for his future and (yay) Violet just
- On Success: "It was a dreamlike time for me from December 1997 to March of ’98. Before that, I was basically unknown. Then, bang! The starting gun fired, and everybody just started running. It was learn-on-the-job. And there were more opportunities for work than I had time to do them. Life was filling up very fast, and I was kind of off and running without even the ability to think about it. No time to reflect. I didn’t even have time to feel overwhelmed it was so radical a shift in my life. I was on my own, trying to figure out how to have this relationship with Matt, but he was off doing his own thing making his movies.”
- On The Future: “I’m looking forward to directing,” he says. “I love it. I do have a better sense of myself than I did before. In 1998 [after the success of Good Will Hunting], everything was so new. I was trying to figure it out as I went along. It was trial and error. Eventually you go through this stuff and you figure some things out. A lot of it you learn by mistakes, some of it by success. I feel good, and maybe a little bit smarter. I have a strong sense of where I want to go. Life is very good. Am I a happy man? I am when I'm around my daughter [Violet, 21 months]. Then I’m a very happy man.”
Ben's life with his beautiful family is obviously what makes him happier than anything, but he seems to definitely feel like he's taking a risk and hoping for the best for his career with his directorial debut. The good news is that GBG is getting great reviews, which will hopefully help Ben take some of the pressure off himself. He looks like he certainly deserves some days of relaxation at the park or on the beach with his two biggest fans, adorable Violet and Jen.