Ben Affleck has had his fair share of success in life. The 50-year-old has had a stunning career in Hollywood, boasting of having acted in projects such as the DCEU’s Justice League as the Batman, Triple Frontier, Pearl Harbor, and Gone Girl, and has carved out a name for himself in the industry.
But there was a time when none of it seemed to be going smoothly for him. And it is only usual, after all, people do struggle in Hollywood. But the struggles Affleck had to deal with were not just professional. He was going through a lot personally, whilst first dating his now wife, Jennifer Lopez.
Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez at the receiving end of media scrutiny in 2003
Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck first started seeing each other in 2002. And they were the talk of the town back then. The couple was deemed to be one of the cutest in the industry. But the media attention that followed was something that could drive anyone crazy. The paparazzi couldn’t get enough of the two of them. They would be chased wherever they went. Every little detail of their personal life was a topic of discussion for the media.
And this attention had negative consequences. They were the victims of the tabloid culture. And this meant they were at the receiving end of a lot of negativity from the media. And most of it was directed toward none other than Affleck.
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The toxicity of the tabloid culture
For the Good Will Hunting actor, that phase was the worst phase of his life. Ironically, even as his relationship with JLo was at its peak at this moment, his personal and professional life couldn’t be any more dismal.
An entity that had to take the blame for that was the tabloids. In an interview with GQ, he said, “The amount of venom—I must have touched some specific little place in the consciousness. I don’t believe I didn’t deserve any negative judgment for anything, but it was just way out of whack.”
But the media had no idea about the impact they had on his health.
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Ben Affleck discloses that 2003 was the “a**us horribilis” of his life
One thing he hated about this culture in particular was the practice of short-handing people. He said,
“In our culture, we get very much into short-handing people. And I got shorthanded as That Guy: Jennifer Lopez, movies bombed, therefore he must be a sort of thoughtless dilettante, solipsistic consumer blah blah blah.”
He continued, “It’s hard to shake those sort of narratives. You were looking at that one-liner on me in 2003, which was definitely the a**us horribilis of my life.”
It’s because of these that he is not particularly fond of the year 2003. He said, “People bring up 2003, and I get it. Jennifer Lopez …Gigli, and all this s*** just kind of blew up.”
It was with great difficulty that the Daredevil actor saw his way through this difficult phase. He literally had to run away from it all. He said,
“I think I just ran away. You can only handle so much. I moved for a while to this place in Georgia that I have, was able to get away, by and large, from stuff. Come up with a plan for how to do something with my life that doesn’t put me in the crosshairs of this sort of thing.”
Confessions like this only bring to the fore the negative impacts of excessive media attention and how troubling it is to cope with it. Clearly, being a celebrity comes with its own set of issues.
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Source: Cheat Sheet