The Stunning Transformation Of Ben Affleck

If you've been watching movies since the 1990s, you know who Ben Affleck is. Most of us have seen his career blossom over the years, from his breakout roles in 1993's "Dazed and Confused," 1997's "Chasing Amy," and of course, 1997's "Good Will Hunting" (via IMDb) to his more recent projects. He both co-starred in and co-wrote "Good Will Hunting" with his real life best friend, Matt Damon. Affleck was enormously popular throughout the late 1990s and early 2000s, and has enjoyed a career reboot in recent years.

Affleck's personal life has also been varied and, at times, pretty wild. He and Jennifer Lopez were in a relationship from 2002 to 2004, sparking the nickname Bennifer, and nearly walked down the aisle before their relationship ended due to intense media scrutiny. He almost immediately jumped into a relationship with Jennifer Garner after that, who he was married to from June 2005 to October 2018. He's dated plenty of other actresses and stars in the years before and after these relationships, including Gwyneth Paltrow and Ana de Armas (via Page Six). In 2021, Affleck and Lopez rekindled their old flame and announced their second engagement (per People).

Good Will Hunting really put Ben Affleck on the map

The release of "Good Will Hunting" was truly a landmark moment for Matt Damon and Ben Affleck. The pair poured their blood, sweat, and tears into the script, and that work is evident in their acting in the film as well. Damon told Boston Magazine that the script was originally for a school project at Harvard, and he ended up asking Affleck to help him fine-tune the tale.

Affleck immediately jumped on board, telling the magazine that the experience was once-in-a-lifetime. "We came up with this idea of the brilliant kid and his townie friends, where he was special and the government wanted to get their mitts on him. And it had a very 'Beverly Hills Cop,' 'Midnight Run' sensibility, where the kids from Boston were giving the NSA the slip all the time."

Affleck added that there was definitely an amateur vibe throughout the experience as well. "We would improvise and drink like six or 12 beers or whatever and record it with a tape recorder. At the time we imagined the professor and the shrink would be Morgan Freeman and [Robert] De Niro, so we'd do our imitations of Freeman and De Niro." He said it felt embarrassing and naive in retrospect, but it was something the pair had enjoyed doing at the time.

Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez were polished

Ben Affleck's time with Jennifer Lopez was relatively short in the grand scheme of things, but the two really seemed to love one another. They did, in fact, go on to reboot their romance in 2021 (via Vulture). Before they reunited, the pair only ever had nice things to say about each other in the years following their decision to end their initial engagement. While Affleck was with Lopez the first time around, he definitely adopted a more polished look, which even extended to the work he produced from 2002 to 2004 (the original length of their relationship). During this period, he appeared in the films "The Sum of All Fears," and "Changing Lanes," which were more dramatic roles (via IMDb).

Affleck previously explained in a 2008 interview that he believes he and Lopez simply gave the world too much of themselves in the early 2000s, and they didn't realize that in doing so, it would only make the public demand even more from them. Speaking on the British television show "Live," Affleck said, "I think Jen and I made a mistake in that we fell in love, we were excited and maybe too accessible. I don't think either of us anticipated the degree to which it would take on a world of its own" (via the Irish Examiner).

Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner have three children together

Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner first met in 2000 while working together on "Pearl Harbor," but they didn't reconnect until four years later (per Insider). They began dating not too long after Affleck's breakup with Lopez, and he and Garner got married in 2005. The pair share three children: Violet, Seraphina, and Samuel (via InTouch Weekly).

News of their separation and divorce in 2018 surprised many, not least of all Affleck himself. He accepted much of the blame for the split, and has been candid about his experience with addiction and how this impacted his marriage. In 2020, Affleck told The New York Times that his shame over their separation still haunts him. "The biggest regret of my life is this divorce," he said. Affleck went on to say, "Shame is really toxic. There is no positive byproduct of shame. It's just stewing in a toxic, hideous feeling of low self-worth and self-loathing."

While Garner was less open about what happened between the two of them, a friend told InTouch that Affleck's admissions meant a lot to her. "She's impressed he's taken ownership of his mistakes and sees it as a sign that he's made huge progress," the source revealed.

If you or anyone you know is struggling with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

Ben Affleck became Batman in 2013

In 2013, Ben Affleck took on a mega role: That of Batman, one of the most famous superheroes in the world. Previously, Affleck had starred in "Daredevil" as the titular character, a role that he apparently hated. He began filming "Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice" in 2014, and the movie premiered in 2016 (via IMDb). This marked Affleck's debut as the caped crusader. However, he soon realized that playing Batman in his own standalone film wasn't as appealing as he originally thought. He explained this revelation in an interview with GQ in 2020.

Affleck said, "I had my fill of that. They said, 'Would you like to direct and star in a solo Batman movie?' And I found that, at some point, I had lost my enthusiasm or passion for it. And I thought this should really be made by someone for whom it's their wildest dream come true. It was clear to me it was time to move on," (via YouTube). Of course, Affleck ultimately did end up playing Batman in "Justice League," and will reportedly be playing the character again in 2023's "The Flash" (per Variety).

Ben Affleck is part of the Justice League franchise

"Justice League" was released in October 2017 to mixed reviews, and several actors from the film have commented on the confusing and sometimes upsetting experiences on set. Gal Gadot's career was reportedly threatened by the director of the film, Joss Whedon, after he took over for the original director, Zack Snyder. Ben Affleck explained to GQ that apparently, there were problems from the start. "Justice League was unfortunately touched by some personal tragedy — a death in (director) Zack [Synder]'s family. And like I say, sometimes things sort of work and gel and sometimes you seem to be having one problem after another," he said (via YouTube).

After the movie failed to live up to the hype at the box office, Affleck wasn't sure if he would continue to play Batman. He even voiced his support for a separate Batman film, starring Robert Pattinson as Bruce Wayne/Batman. The "Argo" star posted on Twitter, saying, "Excited for #TheBatman in Summer 2021 and to see @MattReevesLA vision come to life."

Despite facing numerous obstacles and challenges, many of which were his own doing, Ben Affleck has risen above and continues to enjoy a successful career in Hollywood. We can only hope he keeps doing so for many, many years to come.