Ben Affleck Places Family Over Movies: “If I Miss These Years, I’ll Regret It for the Rest of My Life”
Ben Affleck, the renowned actor, director and screenwriter, is making a significant shift in his priorities. In a recent interview, Affleck revealed his decision to put his family above his career in the film industry, emphasizing that these years with his children are too important to miss. Affleck, who has had a successful career spanning several decades, including an Oscar win for best original screenplay for Good Will Hunting, is now focused on creating a work-life balance that allows him to be present for his children's important moments.
In an exclusive interview with Hollywood Reporter, Affleck explained that his decision to prioritize his family comes from a place of recognizing the importance of being present for his children's formative years. As a divorced father who shares custody of his children with ex-wife Jennifer Garner, he doesn't want to miss out on these crucial moments. Affleck has recently taken on a new role as the CEO of Artists Equity, a production company he co-founded with his longtime friend and collaborator, Matt Damon. By taking on a role in Artists Equity and focusing on projects that allow him to be in Los Angeles while being readily available for his children's activities, he aims to strike a balance between his personal and professional life.
Affleck explained, "These years are too important. If I miss them, I'll regret it for the rest of my life. in the modern era of raising children, with three kids, 11, 14, and 17, and three schools with their individual activities, it turns out that is in and of itself a total full-time job." The Argo actor said that his business partners often take him seriously when he prioritizes family over work: "As an actor, people look at you, like, 'He doesn't really mean that.' But [in business] they treat it as sacrosanct. They'll go, 'Yeah, well, we were going to have that meeting with the heads of the Five Families, but you had your kid's basketball game.'"
Affleck also spoke about his new company explaining that it aims to promote profit-sharing not only among directors, producers and actors but also with crew members such as cinematographers, editors and costume designers. Affleck and Damon secured significant financing from investment firm RedBird Capital Partners to start the company and are committed to creating a more equitable and inclusive environment in the film industry.
Their first project under Artists Equity is the film Air, directed by Affleck himself. The movie tells the story of how Michael Jordan's family and a group of executives at Nike revolutionized the business with a historic sneaker deal. The movie involves a star-studded cast, including Viola Davis, Damon, Chris Tucker and Jason Bateman.
During the interview, Affleck reflected on the ups and downs in his career, from the emotional realization that his career was not over in 2007 to the challenging experience of working on Justice League. Affleck shared his feelings about wearing the Batsuit once more for the upcoming film The Flash and his decision to step away from directing Batman movies after the disappointing experience of Justice League. He expressed his desire to find meaningful and fulfilling work rather than participate in projects that no longer excite him creatively
While the film industry is undergoing significant changes, Affleck remains committed to creating authentic work. He acknowledges the shift in audience preferences, citing the popularity of high-quality television shows like Succession, Ozark and Game of Thrones. Affleck believes that movies need to evolve and offer more than repetitive storylines to capture audiences' attention in this era of abundant content.
Affleck's journey in the film industry has had its share of highs and lows, but his decision to prioritize his family and focus on projects that align with his creative interests and values, demonstrates his growth both as an artist and a person. As he embarks on this new chapter with Artists Equity, he is poised to make a positive impact in the film industry by championing profit-sharing and creating a more inclusive and equitable environment for all involved.