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What do audiences think of Ben Affleck?


#1

Affleck fascinates me as he seems to have the world at his feet and then make really odd decisions. Daredevil was a curve-ball after winning an early Oscar and this compounded with his relationship with JLo seemed to have the world turn against him awfully quickly. He spent ten years climbing out of that pit and built a rep as an excellent writer and director, bagging his second Oscar along the way. Then he did Batman and a billion memes were born.

I think the moral here is pretty clear.

What’s interesting about Affleck is that he’s very smart and likeable, but somehow audiences just don’t warm to him in front of the camera. He’s so much better being himself in an interview than he is playing a character on-screen and I feel it’s because - when he’s acting - he looks like a guy who’d be slapping around Marty McFly. His actual screen presence seems quite at odds with Affleck as a person, who’s very charming and funny, and I wonder if this is what audiences are bumping against. Take a look at this clip of him in Hollywood Kryptonite. There’s something very Jock about him when he’s acting, which doesn’t seem like Affleck as a person.


#2

#4

i think he is a brilliant actor, writer and director!
I’d watch him in anything…even if he is just behind the camera directing.


#5

But mass audiences generally don’t connect with him. That’s my point. When he’s in something mainstream there seems to be a backlash and I think it’s because he looks like a classic Hollywood jock in a way leading men tend not to. I think he’s brilliant, but there’s something holding him back as an actor. Watch that clip.

MM


#6

forgive me for saying this, but i don’t think mass audiences connect with him because his films are intelligent.

Many moons ago…i worked in a cinema while i was at uni and “the masses” watch popcorn films…which is fine…we all go to the cinema to escape and want to be entertained…but the majority of audiences don’t want to “think” about what they are watching…they want fast and furious 95 or whatever it is up to, not Gone baby gone…
The critics and cinephiles will watch the latter, appreciate it…and award it.
I’m guilty of it myself, there are some great films (i’ve been told) that i want to watch and i will gte to them.
But i am not always in the mood for that kind of movie on a regular basis, so i end up putting on Big Trouble in Little Chine on again for the millionth time…
:smiley:


#7

I totally agree with this - there’s kind of an element that he’s too Alpha to like - I mean, the guy is over 6 foot, built like a linebacker, looks like an underwear model, writes, directs and sleeps with models.

Guys like Tatum, Cruise, Gosling, Clooney, DiCaprio, Damon and so forth are more likeable because they seem more realistic, for lack of a better term -Tatum is kind of Goofy, Cruise is weird and short, Gosling is a big kid, Clooney is a bit smarmy and old, DiCaprio is a bit of a loose cannon, Damon is very humble and self-reverential.

In comparison - how would you describe Affleck? : He’s confident but not arrogant - basically the perfect man but lacks one of those additional little personality tics that makes him interesting. So when he falls we’re like “Man! See he is a real person! He can fail like everyone else!” and when he succeeds we go “Well, congratulations I guess, Ben.”

I think it’s kind of the opposite of Sly Stallone - there’s a guy that’s for all intents and purposes “just” an action star, but he’s also a writer and director. Sometimes, maybe, we like Sly because he doesn’t realise his writing is a bit goofy, and also he talks a bit strange and there’s kind of a cognitive dissonance at play because he sounds like he shouldn’t be articulate but evidently could talk rings around anyone here. You respect a guy like that.

Affleck is the guy you know can talk rings around you. He’s the guy you know your wife would leave you for, you know he would be better at your job, your dog would like him more, and all your friends would love him way more than they like you AND he’d never laugh at your jokes. That’s not a guy you respect; that’s a guy you hate. and you love it when he fails.

Affleck was just born in the wrong era - in the 80s, he would have been Harrison Ford. In the 60s he would have been Clint Eastwood. In the 40s he would have been John Wayne. These days we’re ready to hate him like they hated Hepburn in the 30s.


#9

Re Intelligence of audiences relative it his work: When I say mass audiences I mean his blockbuster work and specifically DD and Batman Vs Superman :slight_smile:

MM


#10

This is fascinating and I think might be what the people see with him. It’s a shame because I met him once and he was really nice. I don’t think it’s his personality at all, but on some gut level it’s precisely what audiences feel. That’s an excellent overview.

MM


#12

maybe, everyone knows the rumors Kevin Smith spreads that he has a HUGE manhood…that can’t help! :wink:


#13

I thought he was a very good Batman, a little sulky but that’s changing in Justice League, was an interesting character arc. The criticism wasn’t really directed at his performance.

I think with the larger films it’s possibly to do with charisma. In smaller productions such as ‘The Town’ I think he’s great, he’s playing someone from the Boston area so he doesn’t have to do much to make us believe him. And you don’t need a lot of charisma in a smaller movie with interesting characters.

But in larger ones perhaps he loses that. Same with Henry Cavill, I still think he’s a great Superman but in interviews he has so much charm and charisma, he’s already Superman but with an English accent, and he smiles.

With something like Live By Night, which I also enjoyed, there’s not a lot I don’t like, he surrounded himself with great character actors (Brendan Gleeson, Chris Cooper) and as a character Affleck was the least magnetic. He was trying to be cool, like Eastwood or Cagney but it just wasn’t there, if the character had a bigger and more interesting arc then it maybe wouldn’t matter. But it was fairly similar, a cool guy who wasn’t all bad but gets drawn into the gangster life.


#14

Sounds like we need to get Mallrats 2 made so Affleck can return to the role he was born to play!


#15

No matter what he is like in person, Affleck is so good at playing douchebags, that it’s hard to think that the charming, nice guy off-camera isn’t the actual act.

He dosen’t seem like a man who has any real close friends, almost like a Wall Street banker.

None of that is probably the case but we never have much to go on, he doesn’t really ingratiate himself with the public the way other actors have - you rarely get the feeling he gives a shit about the public… In fact you rarely get the feeling he even enjoys his chosen career or being Ben Affleck at all.


#16

He’s not been in a film of that style where his presence is what killed it. He’s either done great little films (like the ones he directed), or quite bad big films. Armageddon isn’t bad because he’s in it. It’d be bad anyway. BvS isn’t bad because he’s in it - if anything he saved it.

He’s had bad luck - he could’ve been cast in a Marvel film, since they’ve all done well, and been fine.

(He does though have this weird quality where it seems he has more male fans than female fans - I think he’s a good actor and a clever, funny, charming guy and very attractive specimen but most women I know find him repulsive.)


#17

I’ve loved Ben Affleck ever since Chasing Amy. I’ve always thought he was a guy that came up from indie work and paid his dues. I actually really liked him as Daredevil. Plus like you said, he seems like a genuinely nice guy. I’ve never really gotten the hate for him.

That’s a great clip from Hollywoodland. I’m happy to have his as Batman but would have loved a Ben Affleck Superman.


#18

I have never found Ben Affleck to be a warm actor. For me, his performances have always seemed to be missing an emotional element when he does the quiet scenes. I feel the same way about Leonardo DiCaprio.


#19

Whenever I think of Affleck, I think of him how he is in Mallrats. Which probably isn’t what he’s really like at all - I’ve seen him on chat shows and he seems fairly normal (well, as normal as Hollywood actor can be) - but I just can’t shake the image of him as the guy who likes to have sex with women in some place very uncomfortable.


#20

I can’t say you’re wrong if that’s how you see it but that’s a funny thing to say since his friendship with Matt Damon is in some ways still weirdly the thing that he and Damon are both most famous for.

Do audiences not like him? He had a midcareer slump but doesn’t seem to be doing worse than a lot of people we think of as very successful and widely loved.


#21

Hmmmm, are they still friends? They haven’t seemed close in a long time.


#22

What, like the back of a Volkswagen?


#23

I think first impressions matter as an actor. Who they are in that first role that makes them famous almost defines them throughout their lives. Tom Hanks is the big affible dork from Big and The Money Pit. Harrison Ford remains Han Solo and Indiana Jones. Clint Eastwood will always be Dirty Harry and the Man with No Name.

Matt Damon will always be Will Hunting. You’ll think he’s quiet, smart, reserved and loyal. It’s just his thing. And Afflick will always be that douchy friend who hopped onto his buddy’s coattails and rode along. He doubled down on being douchy with every other role - Mallrats, Chasing Amy, Reindeer Games, Dogma, Boiler Room - even Armageddon and Peral Harbour he’s a character you kind of root against.

In any other era he’d have a nice career as a punchable villain. He’s Dougray Scott or Rufus Sewell. Trouble is Hollywood is so starved for leading men that they’ll take Afflick and put him as a lead when he’s not really right for that kind of role. He’s a bit of a villain, rather than a straight up hero.

I think it’s an evolutionary thing that we judge people by first impressions and rarely move away from them. Our brain isn’t so good at admitting what it’s watching isn’t real.

Edit: It doesn’t help that we know all about his girlfriends and have no doubt he’s a bit of a creep, whereas for most actors you’d have no idea who they’re dating. I wonder if this has impacted Brad Pitt too, as he should be a Redford-esque leading man but instead he’s never quite played that role. He’s always had to throw some fundamental flaw into his characters.