Ben Affleck Shares How His Divorce from Jennifer Garner Has Helped Him Become a Better Actor
Ben Affleck is opening up about the life experiences that he says made him a better actor.
In a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter for their Actor Roundtable series, the 48-year-old actor spoke candidly about the real-life experiences that shaped his career, including having children and his divorce from his ex-wife, Jennifer Garner.
Speaking about his 2020 film, The Way Back, Affleck said, "For me, the movie was much more about the fact that — whether it's having lived enough years, having seen enough ups and downs, having had children and divorce — I'm at a point now in my life where I have sufficient life experience to bring to a role to make it really interesting for me."
Those experiences, Affleck noted, helped to shape him into a better actor, while also making his chosen career path a more captivating one.
"Growing older and having had more intense and meaningful personal experiences has made acting much more interesting for me and in turn made me drawn to the kinds of movies that are about people who are flawed," he added.
After showing the pre-recorded interview with Affleck, Sawyer, 75, read aloud a public thank you that he made about his ex-wife. "What I want to say publicly and privately is, 'Thank you. Thank you for being thoughtful, considerate, responsible, and a great mom and person,'" Sawyer read.
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During the interview, Affleck admitted that he never thought his battle with addiction would result in his and Garner's divorce.
"I didn't want to get divorced, I didn't want to be a divorced person, I really didn't want to be a split family with my children," he shared at the time. "It upset me because it meant I wasn't who I thought I was and that was so painful and so disappointing. In myself."
Affleck and Garner announced their separation in June 2015 and settled their divorce in October 2018.
The two first started dating in 2004 and married the next year, later welcoming three kids: daughters Violet, 15, and Seraphina, 12, and son Samuel, 8.
Affleck has previously been open about his addiction and split from Garner. In a 2020 interview with The New York Times, the actor admitted, "The biggest regret of my life is this divorce."
"Shame is really toxic," he continued. "There is no positive byproduct of shame. It's just stewing in a toxic, hideous feeling of low self-worth and self-loathing."
"I drank relatively normally for a long time," he told the outlet. "What happened was that I started drinking more and more when my marriage was falling apart. This was 2015, 2016. My drinking, of course, created more marital problems."