Ben Affleck sat down with “Good Morning America” to open up about how his own struggles with alcoholism informed his role in the new George Clooney-directed drama “The Tender Bar”.
In the film, Affleck plays Uncle Charlie, a tavern owner who becomes a father figure to his nephew JR in the absence of his father, a hard-drinking radio deejay.
Speaking with “GMA”, Affleck addressed the film’s theme of breaking the familial cycle of addiction. “We all want to pass on the best of ourselves to our children, I don’t care who you are, I’m quite sure you feel at some point in your life you’ve taken missteps, nobody wants to transfer that to our children and that is a real task that everybody faces whatever those issues are,” he explained.
Addressing his own issues with addiction, Affleck said, “I have been perfectly open and comfortable, I don’t think there is anything that special or interesting about being a recovering alcoholic. It’s compulsive behaviour and there is some shame associated with it, but also a rewarding enriching process of overcoming that. But it’s also like that’s part of my life, it’s not the most interesting thing, I think, about my life.”
Affleck also emphasized the importance of being able to learn from mistakes and move forward. ” I feel like at the end of the day everybody needs second chances,” Affleck said. “I don’t know anybody who does everything right. We all fail. That’s the truth. There aren’t enough movies, there isn’t enough success, not enough likes on Instagram. Those things will never fill you up or make you happy.”
According to Affleck, he’s at his happiest when he’s surrounded by his three children, whom he shares with ex-wife Jennifer Garner.
“My life is better and I am happier the more I am around my kids,” he admitted. “The only biography that needs anything is written on the hearts of your kids. I will be long dead and someone will ask my kids what was your dad like and that is when I will know what my life was worth.”
More of Affleck’s interview will air on Friday night’s edition of ABC’s “Nightline”.