Ben Affleck’s out there making the rounds for his new, super inspirational sports movie The Way Back. It’s about an alcoholic basketball coach whose drinking blows up his marriage and sends him to rehab. Yes, yes. Art imitating life, I see. And Ben is aware of the similarities. And he talked about that and more in an interview with The New York Times, entitled “Ben Affleck Tried To Drink Away the Pain. Now He’s Trying Honesty” (aka “Now His Publicists Are Trying the Honesty Tactic”).
Ben opened up about his addictions:
“People with compulsive behavior, and I am one, have this kind of basic discomfort all the time that they’re trying to make go away,” he said a couple of Sundays ago during a two-hour interview at a beachside spot in Los Angeles. “You’re trying to make yourself feel better with eating or drinking or sex or gambling or shopping or whatever. But that ends up making your life worse. Then you do more of it to make that discomfort go away. Then the real pain starts. It becomes a vicious cycle you can’t break. That’s at least what happened to me.”
He cleared his throat. “I drank relatively normally for a long time. What happened was that I started drinking more and more when my marriage was falling apart. This was 2015, 2016. My drinking, of course, created more marital problems.”
Ben went on to say:
“The biggest regret of my life is this divorce,” he continued, noticeably using the present tense. “Shame is really toxic. There is no positive byproduct of shame. It’s just stewing in a toxic, hideous feeling of low self-worth and self-loathing.”
Later, the article dives into all the addiction and mental health issues in Ben’s family, and it’s pretty sad. Yes, he’s a super-powerful rich white dude who was besties with Harvey Weinstein, grabbed a VJ’s boobs, and banged the nanny, but it’s clear he’s a mess. However, if I’m Jennifer Garner, I’m sitting in my perfect Nancy Meyers kitchen (homemade English muffins baking away in the oven), reading this article on my iPad, and screaming, “You bet your bloated back tattoo you regret losing this hot piece of Alias ass!”
Speaking of, Ben addressed why he originally lied about his stunning Ed Hardy-inspired back art:
“I resented that somebody got a picture of it by spying on me,” Affleck said, shifting on the sofa where he was sitting. “It felt invasive. But you’re right. I could have said, ‘That’s none of your business.’ I guess I got a kick out of messing with ‘Extra.’ Is your tattoo real or not real? Of course, it’s real! No, I put a fake tattoo on my back and then hid it.”
For the record, it’s not nearly as garish in person.
OK, interviewer. This is where I draw the line. What is this, a thirsty male-penned Esquire profile of a barely legal actress? No, it’s the New York Goddamn Times. Calm your boner.