Say what you will about Ben Affleck and his hitherto patchy career – I’m a fan, regardless. You cannot help but admire an actor who goes unabashedly and unapologetically full throttle on every role he takes – even when it is the lead in Gigli. I’m also a big fan of David Fincher, and of quality drama, so it’s safe to say my anticipation level for Gone Girl is reaching fever pitch. The film is based on the bestselling book of the same name by Gillian Flynn, and interestingly, Flynn herself adapted the screenplay. Co-starring Rosamund Pike (The World’s End), Neil Patrick Harris (How I Met Your Mother) and Tyler Perry (Star Trek), it tells the story of a man thrust into the centre of an intense media circus after the disappearance of his wife places him under suspicion for her murder.
Though we still have many weeks to wait until its theatrical release, there is a very real sense that this might just be an acting home-run for Affleck, who has recently found greater success as a director in his own right than he has in front of the camera. The snippets of performance in the previews so far released have suggested a turn that is perfectly pitched for a thriller which calls into question the hidden morality of his character. So, has Affleck been putting in extra practice in front of the bathroom mirror, or is there something else at work here?
Director David Fincher recently explained to Entertainment Weekly:
“[He knows] what it’s like to be hunted. We knew we needed somebody who was charming and could be seductive, who could be a ladies’ man, a guy’s guy, a frat boy – but, most important, [someone] who had the wits and experience of knowing that situation. The gift of having Ben Affleck is that this is a guy who knows. He knows what a lose-lose situation is, and understands what’s funny about it, however sad.”
The leading man of Bounce certainly would be familiar with the sensation of a “lose-lose situation,” but that’s not what Fincher is alluding to. Affleck himself expressed it a little more directly:
“I knew what it was like to have the tabloid world paying attention to me and ascribing negative motivations to whatever I might be engaging in. I knew what it was to be cast in a soap opera I had no control over.”
The point here is the correlation between the media circus his character is forced to live in, mirroring that which follows Affleck’s every move in his personal life. It is the disparity between the projection of others’ interpretations, and the honest-to-goodness reality of a situation. This is exactly the conflict that Gone Girl hangs upon and, for that reason, could well be the leading man’s best role to date.
All will be revealed when Gone Girl hits the big screen on October 3 2014.
Source: The Playlist