Ben Affleck Went Up to 245 Lbs. for His Role in 'The Way Back' : 'I Totally Indulged in a Very Alcoholic Way with Food'

Affleck ate late-night ice cream and plenty of carbs, because to play a "guy that drinks a case of beer a day, you got to look like it"

To play a former basketball star battling addiction in his new movie The Way Back, Ben Affleck “just let it go” and packed on the pounds.

Affleck said that to fit the part of “a guy who drinks a case of beer a day, you got to look like it,” and he went up to 245 lbs.

“I just let it go, like totally let it go, like a gallon of ice cream at midnight watching like, headline news or Unsolved Murders or something,” the actor, 47, said during a Q&A for the film in Atlanta on Wednesday.

Affleck, who has been open about his struggles with alcohol addiction, said since he couldn’t mimic the drinking habits of his character with alcohol, he used food.

“I wasn’t drinking myself at the time so I couldn’t actually drink…and I’m not still. I’m not drinking, I’m sober, but I totally indulged in a very alcoholic way with food,” he said. “… It was about just eating as much junk and food and carbs. And I am a carb guy, like pizzas, breads.”

And the dad of three said it didn’t take long to add on pounds.

“Listen, it’s a lot easier to put on weight as you get older,” he said, though he’s now back down to 210 lbs.

<a href="https://people.com/tag/ben-affleck/" data-inlink="true">Ben Affleck</a> &ldquo;THE WAY BACK&rdquo;
Richard Foreman/Warner Bros.; Alexander Tamargo/Getty

Affleck also said it was “interesting” to play a character who “dealt with an addiction to alcohol, and that’s something that I have dealt with.”

He also pointed out that addiction comes in more forms than just alcoholism.

“One thing that I’ve noticed, it’s not really that there’s one thing that has to trigger the pleasure center of your brain,” he continued. “It’s the fact that you need to do something to soothe your pain. And for a lot of people that is food. There is an obesity epidemic. These people are not physically hungry. They are eating because it stimulates the serotonin and dopamine and gives them a certain feeling.”

“It’s the same thing with shopping online or sex addicts or whatever it is,” he continued. “You know that there are 70,000 people who died this year from opiate overdose alone. That’s more people in a single year then have ever died from HIV or AIDS or guns. I mean, the issue of addiction is a real and serious problem in our society and I was glad to kind of take that on and address it but not in a way that was sermonizing and lecturing and all that because nobody wants to see that.”

Affleck said the role “was the most satisfying performance experience of my life.”

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