Ben Affleck says he doesn’t want to be a leading man anymore

ben affleck

Having spent almost a quarter of a century in the spotlight after an Academy Award win for Best Original Screenplay rocketed he and Good Will Hunting co-writer Matt Damon to mainstream attention, Ben Affleck’s career has experienced plenty of ups and downs.

He reigned as one of the biggest and most in-demand stars on the planet for a while, before a series of critical and commercial duds saw his standing take a nosedive. He then reinvented himself as an acclaimed filmmaker, nabbing a second Oscar in the process, before suiting up to play Batman in the DCEU.

Having recently admitted at various points that we shouldn’t expect to see him in blockbusters like Armageddon or IP-driven franchise fare, Affleck revealed to The Hollywood Reporter that he’s not even all that interested in playing lead roles anymore.

“When you’re the protagonist, you have to do this and you can’t do that and there’s a certain essential virtuousness that has to be present or people think, ‘Well, the audience will lose their ability to identify with this person, and then we’ll lose $100 million.’ That may be true in the case of $100 million, but I’ve found it more interesting and always have, actually, to play rich characters. The similarity, for me, is playing parts in films where I’m not the protagonist, whether it was Good Will Hunting, Shakespeare in Love, The Last Duel or The Tender Bar where I get to be somebody on the side who is allowed to be more complicated, flawed and interesting.”

Affleck does take top billing in Robert Rodriguez’s sci-fi thriller Hypnotic, upcoming Hulu exclusive Deep Water and that sequel to The Accountant that may or may not end up happening, but beyond that we shouldn’t be expecting him to headline anywhere near as many movies as he used to.

With his 50th birthday on the horizon next summer, perhaps we’re looking at yet another concerted shift from Affleck as an on and offscreen talent, one that sees him willingly move into the background.