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Yes, Ben Affleck Plays Dolls! He Opens Up About Happy, ‘Exhausting’ Life as a Dad

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Like most doting dads, Ben Affleck is happiest when spending time with his kids — daughters Violet, 11, and Seraphina, 7, and son Samuel, 4 — but he also admits he finds certain kid-friendly activities to be more exhausting than they seem.

“Sometimes it feels like work and only looks happy in retrospect,” Affleck admits to PEOPLE. “You’re like, ‘That was exhausting,’ and then later you’re like, ‘That was so great, I was playing with all three of them.’ But at the time you’re like, ‘When will this end, Lord? I can’t play dolls anymore!’ ”

The Live By Night actor/director says that his favorite part of his day is taking his kids to school.

“I like dropping them off and having that be part of the routine and having them be used to that and know that their dad is there and takes them to school and that feels good,” Affleck says. 

When it comes to Dad’s film career, Affleck says his kids aren’t much impressed, mainly because they’re too young to have seen any of his films.

“My daughter is 11, she could probably watch Argo in a year or two, maybe a few more years for Live By Night,” he deadpans. “My son has already seen pieces of Batman v. Superman and I’m sure I’ll show him some of Justice League — he’s more into the superhero stuff.”

Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic)

Speaking of superhero stuff, has Affleck ever been in his Batman costume in front of his kids? 

“I was. They were sort of impressed and sort of terrified at the same time,” he says.

And what do his three children think is the most impressive thing about him?

“I don’t think they think anything is impressive about me, to be honest,” he says with a laugh. “All I get is criticism.”

For much more on Affleck, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday.