The 44-year-old actor appeared at the AutFest International Film Festival in Orange, 10 days after he and Garner, 45, filed their divorce documents together. The stars initially announced their split in in June 2015.
Affleck and Garner are both seeking joint legal and physical custody of their three children: Violet, 11, Seraphina, 8 and 5-year-old Samuel.
The star chatted about his kids during a Q&A portion of the event, which honored him for his performance in last fall’s thriller The Accountant as an action hero with autism. Affleck noted that he’s unsure whether he’d want his little ones to take up acting.
“I think it’s a hard thing. I love being an actor, I got into it as a child and I wouldn’t change that. But I also wouldn’t want to take my kids and push them out there before they were 18,” Affleck said. “If they are 18 and they want to make those choices and do that kind of thing, that’s fine. But being a child actor, I just know too much of the downside of what that can be like.”
He added: “I had some great rewards, and I probably wouldn’t have made it as an adult had I not built up that body of work as a kid, so it’s a strange thing. My kids would be good in the school play. If they can handle that, they’re in good shape.”
As for how he’s survived so long in the movie industry, Affleck credited his “thick skin.”
“You know you have to have a certain thickness of skin in this business because success and failure, as a performer, are really two sides of the same coin,” he said.
“You’re putting yourself out there and being evaluated, and it doesn’t go one way, all the way, every time.”
Affleck appeared upbeat at the event, and a source previously told PEOPLE that both he and Garner seemed “happy” about spending Easter Sunday together as a family recently.
Despite their split, the couple continue to live together in the L.A. area — Affleck has been living in a guest house on the couple’s property.
“They are figuring out what to do about their future living arrangements,” a source previously said. “For now, they are all living together. One thing they agree on — the kids will stay at the family house. Jen and Ben will focus on making things go as smoothly as possible for the kids. It’s all about what’s best for them.”