Ben Affleck had the world at his feet when he rocketed to the upper echelons of the Hollywood A-list at the age of just 26 by winning an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay after co-writing Good Will Hunting with Matt Damon. While his childhood friend sought out more challenging roles in the likes of Saving Private Ryan, Rounders and The Talented Mr. Ripley in the immediate aftermath of their overnight success, Affleck decided to become a movie star.
His next major project after Good Will Hunting was Armageddon, which went on to become the highest-grossing title of 1998 after hauling in over $553 million at the box office. Five months later, he appeared as Ned Alleyn in Shakespeare in Love, which made almost $290 million on a $25 million budget and scooped seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture. And just like that, he was one of the hottest talents in the business.
Affleck has always been underrated as an actor, but it didn’t help that his big budget efforts were so painfully formulaic. Pearl Harbor, The Sum of All Fears, Daredevil and Paycheck were all effects-heavy blockbusters that did decent business from a commercial standpoint, but hardly left critics buzzing. But now that he’s entered the latest stage of his career, the 48 year-old has admitted that his days of signing on to studio tentpole releases are over.
“I think my Armageddon days are behind me. People with whom you can identify are more interesting to me because I no longer have the ability to do something when I’m bored halfway through it and hate it. At this point in my career, I’m a little old. I’m 48, so I don’t know how much longer I’m going to be the ‘not-25-year-old’ guy. I just can’t do it. It’s not worth it to be away from my kids. If I’m going to travel, there had better be something really satisfying that I think they’ll see at some point, hopefully. Although my kids are like, ‘Dad, we don’t want to watch your movies’.”
Of course, this is coming from the guy who’s set to become the first person to ever play Batman in four live-action movies when he suits up for The Flash in a matter of months, but you get what he’s aiming at. Affleck is now in a position to pick and choose what he wants to do, and he’s clearly more focused on the scripts that appeal to him the most on a personal level.