You might not have realized this when you woke up this morning, but today is a truly special day for you. Why? Because we’re going to serve up some facts about Ben Affleck that will change your life forever. Or at least provide a few minutes of entertainment.
1. He got his start as a child on a PBS show
While Affleck didn’t really start to become a big deal until Good Will Hunting came out in 1997, he had actually been acting since the early 1980s. His first big break came in 1984 at the age of 12 when he started in the PBS education show The Voyage of Mimi. Whoa. Isn’t that also the name of a Mariah Carey album? Turns out no, but you can’t deny that it’s kind of close.
2. He has starred in some of the worst movies ever
Affleck is a mighty fine actor and an accomplished director, but he’s made his share of baffling choices. First, there’s Gigli, the dumpster fire of a movie that he starred in alongside then-fiancée Jennifer Lopez and Al Pacino (!). It had the double whammy of being both an awful movie and a huge box office bomb that grossed less than 10% of its $75 million budget. Then there’s Reindeer Games, unquestionably the worst movie that this author has ever had the privilege of sitting through. Simply put, it is a cluster fluff. You will laugh. You will cry. Then you will chuck your HDTV or computer monitor out your window.
3. At one time his father worked as a janitor at Harvard
Old Man Affleck was sort of a jack of all trades, supporting himself as a carpenter, mechanic, bookie, bartender, electrician, homeless guy (if you want to consider that job description), and even a janitor at one of the top universities in all the land. If being a janitor at a highly selective academic institution sounds familiar to you, then congratulations, you’ve obviously seen Good Will Hunting. Matt Damon’s role as a janitor at MIT was indeed inspired by Affleck’s dad’s stint.
4. He’s the youngest person to win an Academy Award for screenwriting
Remember in the previous paragraph when it referenced Good Will Hunting? Those were good times. Let’s do it again. Affleck won an Oscar at the age of 25 for best screenwriting, and to this day he remains the youngest to do so. To put things in perspective, when this author was 25, his greatest achievement at that point was having learned to ride a bicycle. Today it’s writing for Brainberries, of course.
5. He once sported a dolphin tattoo, and yes it served a practical purpose
Back when Affleck was in high school, he had a girlfriend whom he was so certain that he would love for all eternity that he had her name tattooed on his lower back. But, alas, people change. The flame of passion is extinguished and oops, you’re stuck with that tattoo. Your solution: remove it. Ben’s solution: cover it up with a dolphin. So for a while, that’s how he rolled. But eventually, he must have decided that was silly because it’s gone entirely.
6. He bought JLo a $2.5 million engagement ring
Back in 2002, Affleck had a girlfriend whom he was so certain that he would love for all eternity that he bought her a $2.5 million engagement ring featuring pink diamonds and whatnot. But, alas, Bennifer came to a crashing end in 2004 without those wedding bells. To Lopez’s credit, she did give him the ring back once their engagement was broken off.
7. He has a history of alcohol abuse
Unfortunately, alcoholism is a problem that runs in his family. As a child, he attended a support group to deal with his father’s alcohol addiction. At the age of 15, Affleck’s own drinking become such an issue that his mom sent him to a wilderness camp for at-risk teenagers. He spent his mid-20s sober but checked into a rehab center in 2001. Subsequently, he has gone into rehab several times since, with Charlie Sheen (of all people) actually driving him to the Promises Rehabilitation Center in Malibu in 2018. In late 2019, he was spotted drunk outside of a hotel and admitted to having a relapse. Thus the saga continues.
8. He is the only actor to play both Batman and Superman (sort of)
When it was announced in 2016 that Affleck had been chosen to be the next Batman, it lead to a whole lot of head-scratching. Ultimately, critics felt he had done a decent job in Batman v Superman: Both of Our Moms Are Named Martha, although the movie itself was a pile of trash, especially the silly but critical plot point in which both of their mothers happen to be named Martha. Funny enough, in the 2006 biopic Hollywoodland, for which Affleck would receive a Golden Globe nomination for best supporting actor, he portrayed George Reeves, the actor who starred as Superman in the 1950s television series.