"It’s a name I first gave the kids during Jersey Girl pre-production, before the world found out they were dating," Kevin Smith tweeted of Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez on Monday

By Jen Juneau
May 11, 2021 04:12 PM
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Jennifer Lopez, ben affleck, kevin smith
From L to R: Jennifer Lopez, Kevin Smith and Ben Affleck
| Credit: Alexander Tamargo/Getty Images; Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images; Rodin Eckenroth/FilmMagic

According to Kevin Smith, the world has him to thank for Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck's "Bennifer" couple nickname.

The actor and director, 50, addressed the current buzz about the formerly engaged couple's recent meetups on Twitter Monday, writing that he noticed "'Bennifer' is trending."

"It's a name I first gave the kids during Jersey Girl pre-production, before the world found out they were dating," he said of Affleck, 48, and Lopez, 51, who both starred in his 2004 film.

"I'd later drop the name in an interview with the @nytimes. Shortly thereafter, it appeared in the article and then entered the vernacular," added Smith.

Lopez and Affleck were engaged in 2002 and costarred in the films Jersey Girl and Gigli. They postponed their 2003 wedding days before they were set to walk down the aisle, then officially split by January 2004.

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The duo have been seen together multiple times over the last week and a half, first outside her Los Angeles home in late April and, more recently, during a days-long trip to Montana.

On Monday, sources told PEOPLE the pair were spotted riding in a car together near a resort in Big Sky, where Affleck has a home. He was seen behind the wheel, with Lopez in the passenger seat.

"They both had last week off and wanted to spend time away from L.A.," a source tells PEOPLE in this week's issue, on newsstands Friday. "Ben suggested Montana since he has a place there."

Listen below to the episode of our daily podcast PEOPLE Every Day for more on Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck's vacation in Montana.

The trip "was a nice break for Jennifer," added the insider of the singer, who announced the end of her engagement with Alex Rodriguez in a joint statement on April 15. (Affleck, meanwhile, split from actress Ana de Armas in January, after the two were first romantically linked in early 2020.)

ben afflecka ndjenniferlopez
Ben Affleck (L); Jennifer Lopez
| Credit: Christopher Smith/invision/AP/shutterstock; emma mcyntire/getty

RELATED VIDEO: Jennifer Lopez "Had a Great Time" with Ben Affleck in Montana: "She Is Happy with Him"

Affleck and Smith have collaborated on plenty of films over the years, including Mallrats, Dogma and Chasing Amy. The two later went through "nearly a decade" of estrangement — something Smith has taken the blame for — before reuniting for 2019's Jay and Silent Bob Reboot.

To Smith, having Affleck appear in the sequel was like getting "his friend back," he told Variety in fall 2019, admitting that he "was a blubbery mess" when Affleck agreed to star in the movie.

Another of Affleck's close friends and longtime collaborators who has commented on the possible rekindled romance between him and Lopez? Matt Damon, who has also appeared in multiple Smith films with Affleck.

"There's not enough liquor in the world for you to get me to say something about [Ben and Jennifer's relationship]," joked Damon, 50, on the Today show Tuesday, before going on to admit, "I love them both. I hope it's true. That would be awesome."