Benjamin Geza Affleck-Boldt (born August 15, 1972), better known as Ben Affleck, is an American actor and filmmaker. He began his career as a child actor, starring in the PBS educational series The Voyage of the Mimi (1984, 1988). He later appeared in the coming-of-age comedy Dazed and Confused (1993) and various Kevin Smith films including Chasing Amy (1997) and Dogma (1999). Affleck gained fame when he and childhood friend Matt Damon won the Golden Globe and Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for Good Will Hunting (1997). He then starred in high-profile films including Armageddon (1998), Shakespeare in Love (1998), Pearl Harbor (2001), Changing Lanes (2002), and The Sum of All Fears (2002). After a career downturn, during which he appeared in Daredevil and Gigli (both 2003), Affleck received a Golden Globe nomination for his performance in Hollywoodland (2006).
Affleck’s directorial debut, Gone Baby Gone (2007), which he also co-wrote, was well received. He then directed, co-wrote, and starred in the crime drama The Town (2010). For the political thriller Argo (2012), which he directed and starred in, Affleck won the Golden Globe and BAFTA Award for Best Director, and the Golden Globe, BAFTA, and Academy Award for Best Picture. In 2014, he starred in the psychological thriller Gone Girl. Affleck portrays the superhero Batman in the DC Extended Universe, starting with the films Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad (both 2016). The gangster drama Live by Night, which Affleck directed, wrote, produced, and acted in, will be released in late 2016.
Affleck is the co-founder of the Eastern Congo Initiative, a grantmaking and advocacy-based nonprofit organization. He is also a stalwart member of the Democratic Party. His younger brother is actor Casey Affleck, with whom he has worked on several films including Good Will Hunting and Gone Baby Gone. Following high-profile relationships with Gwyneth Paltrow and Jennifer Lopez, Affleck married Jennifer Garner in 2005. He has two daughters and a son with Garner, from whom he separated in 2015.
He and Damon’s Project Greenlight was resurrected by HBO to take advantage of the new forms of technology available to entrants. The fourth season was plagued with controversy surrounding the issue of diversity and the treatment of African-American producer Effie T. Brown. Brown later said, “Ben Affleck was the cat who had my back . Ben is down. That was surprising to me. I thought it would be Matt, who has this liberal reputation.” However, she noted that Affleck mistakenly referred to her as the film’s line producer rather than producer.
Affleck played Batman in the 2016 superhero film Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. While the announcement of his casting was met with intense fan backlash, his performance ultimately met with a positive reception. Richard Roeper of the Chicago Sun-Times remarked: “All the Internet resistance to Affleck being cast as Batman seems silly when you see him … There’s not a moment when we don’t believe Affleck as Bruce Wayne or as Batman.” Andrew Barker of Variety found him “a winningly cranky, charismatic presence” while Brian Truitt of USA Today enjoyed his “strong take” on the character: “Affleck’s Batman is a surprisingly emotional one. [He] seamlessly moves between Batman and Bruce Wayne.” Kenneth Turan of the Los Angeles Times said the character was “convincingly played by a committed Affleck”, Joe Morgenstern of The Wall Street Journal found him “impressive, within the script’s limits” while Ann Hornaday of The Washington Post praised a “terrific” performance. Affleck reprised his role as Batman in Suicide Squad in August 2016, and will again star as the character in Justice League films in both 2017 and 2019. Following a viral video interview in which he appeared unamused by Batman v Superman’s poor reviews, he was made an executive producer of the Justice League films. He will have some input in script and post-production decisions.
He’s starred as an autistic accountant in Gavin O’Connor’s action thriller The Accountant in October 2016. David Edelstein of New York Magazine remarked that Affleck “seemed less a lug in his last two films [but] he doesn’t rise to the occasion here … A more imaginative actor might have found eccentric ways to let you glimpse the character’s chaotic insides.” Stephen Holden of The New York Times wondered “why Mr. Affleck, looking appropriately dead-eyed and miserable, committed himself” to the film. However, Kenneth Turan of the Los Angeles Times said the film was improved by Affleck’s “pleasure in playing the part” while Peter Debruge of Variety felt He’s “boy-next-door” demeanour – “so normal and non-actorly that most of his performances feel like watching one of your buddies up on screen” – was a “a terrific fit” for the role. He’s fourth directorial project, Live by Night, is in post-production, and is scheduled for release in December 2016. The Prohibition-era gangster drama, adapted by he from the Dennis Lehane novel, co-stars , Chris Messina, Zoe Saldana, Sienna Miller, Chris Cooper, Elle Fanning and Brendan Gleeson.
He has a number of projects in development at Warner Bros., with Sue Kroll, president for worldwide marketing and distribution, describing him as “an important part of the Warner Bros. family. We look forward to making great movies with him for years to come.” He is expected to direct and star in the Untitled Batman reboot, and is co-writing a script with Geoff Johns. Warner Bros. acquired the rights to Nathaniel Philbrick’s Bunker Hill: A City, A Siege, A Revolution in 2013 as a potential directing vehicle for Affleck and, in 2016, it was announced that Aaron Stockard is writing an adapted screenplay for the project. He is also expected to direct and star in Fox’s adaptation of Agatha Christie’s “The Witness for the Prosecution”