Ben Affleck: I Don't Want to Embarrass My Daughter

Violet has "my last name," Affleck says. "I don't want her to mutter it over a drink"

Ben Affleck, whose 2004 split from Jennifer Lopez made international headlines, has changed his ways since settling down and becoming a dad, he says.

“I’ve never been very judicious about my own behavior or choices until they had an impact on people other than me,” Affleck, 34, tells USA Today.

“Obviously, my wife. And my daughter, who’s going to have my last name – I don’t want her to mutter it over a drink. I want her to be proud of her old man.”

Affleck and his wife, Jennifer Garner, never released photos of 1-year-old Violet. “We just didn’t sell them – that was the thing,” says Affleck, whose directorial debut, Gone, Baby, Gone, is due in 2007.

“I’m extraordinarily lucky and privileged,” he says, “and I’ve tried not to be bitter, but I have developed a reactionary defensiveness.”

He adds, “But for my child, she didn’t make the bargain I did. She didn’t make that choice. And I don’t want her to have to pay for the parents’ sins. I try to protect her privacy. I’ll end up in the magazines, and that’s life, and I can live with it, but I try to shield my daughter.”

And Affleck is a hands-on – and happy – dad. “Yes, I’ve changed diapers,” he told PEOPLE Wednesday at a New York City screening of his movie Hollywoodland. “Parenthood, the whole thing is wonderful. All the clichés that all the people bore you with are, in fact, true.”

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