Ben Affleck has been relatively tight-lipped over the years when it comes to his romance with Jennifer Lopez.
The pair met in 2002 on the set of their box-office bomb “Gigli”, and went on to make one more movie together, “Jersey Girl”, before parting ways in 2004.
In a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter‘s “Awards Chatter” podcast, Affleck became uncharacteristically chatty about being half of the celeb couple dubbed “Bennifer.”
“You know, there’s always a story of the month, and me dating Jennifer Lopez happened to be that tabloid story at the time when that business grew exponentially,” Affleck explained, shooting down any notion that he was deliberately courting the intense tabloid scrutiny that their coupling generated.
“Still, to this day, [some] will go, ‘I see you out there in the paparazzi and the pictures!’ It’s like, ‘Yes, I left my house and took out the trash. It’s not like I’m trying to—’ And it’s still like, ‘You were taking a pap walk!’ As if, if you leave your house, you’re only doing so in the hope that you could be so lucky that you could end up as the sixth item in the Daily Mail. It’s absurd!”
He and Lopez have remained on good terms since their 2004 split, and he’s still angered over the nasty tone of the tabloid reporting at the time.
“People were so f**king mean about her — sexist, racist. Ugly, vicious s**t was written about her in ways that if you wrote it now you would literally be fired for saying those things you said,” Affleck continued. “Now it’s like, she’s lionized and respected for the work she did, where she came from, what she accomplished — as well she f**king should be! I would say you have a better shot, coming from the Bronx, of ending up as like [Justice Sonia] Sotomayor on the Supreme Court than you do of having Jennifer Lopez’s career and being who she is at 50 years old today.”
Meanwhile, the failure of Gigli, which received some of the most scathing reviews ever written and earned a measly $6 million at the domestic box office, had pretty much cratered his career.
“I was actually in the very worst position you can be in in this business, which is you can sell magazines but not movie tickets,” he recalled.
“People were just saying, ‘You’re worthless. You’re talentless. You’re a hack. You’re a cad. You’re a nobody. You’re s**t.’ And I guess I function well when I have something to prove,” he added. “I never thought to myself, ‘I have no talent. I really am an asshole. I really am some jerkoff shallow frat guy.’ I’ve never even been inside a fraternity, not that I have anything against it.'”