Entries in Ben Affleck (19)


Ben Affleck to Live on $1.50 per Day to Raise Awareness for Eastern Congo

Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic(LOS ANGELES) -- He’s a Hollywood actor, producer and director, but Ben Affleck will be living beneath his means in a big way.

The Oscar winner, 40, is joining Josh Groban, Debi Mazar, Sophia Bush and The Avengers star Tom Hiddleston and getting involved with the Live Below the Line campaign, which encourages people to live on $1.50 per day for five days, from April 29 to May 3.

“1.4 billion people live on less than $1.50/day,” Affleck tweeted. “I’m joining Live #BelowTheLine on behalf of @easterncongo. Will you?”

In 2010, Affleck founded the Eastern Congo Initiative, a U.S.-based advocacy and grant-making initiative that provides economic and social development opportunities for the people of Eastern Congo.

And while Affleck has a specific reason for participating in the Live Below the Line challenge -- to call attention to Eastern Congo --  the organization encourages anyone who’s interested to try it.

“We recommend that you spend your entire budget of $7.50 at the start of the week,” reads the Live Below the Line website.  ”We recommend doing research and creating a shopping list, sticking to generic stables such as pasta, lentils, rice, bread, vegetables, potatoes and oats.”

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


On Oscar Sunday, Ben Affleck's Daughter Wins Trophy of Her Own

ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Argo director Ben Affleck has collected many awards this season, including an Oscar statuette for best picture of the year, but his young daughter wasn't to be outdone. She won her own trophy Sunday -- for spelling.

Affleck told ABC News his daughter Violet told him, "You know, I want to do a spelling bee."

The actor-turned-director took his 7-year-old daughter, Violet, to a spelling competition in their Los Angeles neighborhood just hours before the Oscars were to start.

"We found this place at a rec center at a park and we took her down there and she did it and she was into it and really studied and won a trophy," said Affleck in an interview on Good Morning America after the awards.

Affleck's wife, actress Jennifer Garner, told E! that she was getting ready for the Oscars and wasn't able to take her daughter to the competition.

"It was mayhem at our house…I was in hair and makeup so I couldn't take her, so Ben took her in the middle of everything," she told E!, adding that Violet won. "Our family has already had a great day, so congratulations to our sweetie. And then she had a basketball game. Life goes on. No one really cares! It's just all about trying to keep the dogs and kids from getting stuff on the stuff."

In addition to Violet, Garner and Affleck have another daughter, Seraphina, and a son, Samuel.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Ben Affleck Accepts Top Award at Directors Guild Awards 

Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic(NEW YORK) -- Ben Affleck won the top award at the 65th Annual Directors Guild Awards in Los Angeles Saturday night, People Magazine reports.

Affleck accepted the award for outstanding directorial achievement for Argo after being snubbed by the Academy Awards earlier this month despite the film's rave reviews, the magazine reports.

The director was accompanied by wife Jennifer Garner throughout the evening, who he thanked "for being the best person in the world," according to People Magazine.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Jennifer Lopez 'Happy' that Ex Ben Affleck Won Golden Globe

Kevin Winter/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- Jennifer Lopez was happy for her old flame, Ben Affleck, when he won the Golden Globe for best director last weekend for his work on Argo.

Lopez made an appearance Wednesday on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, where the host noted that Lopez stood up for her Gigli and Jersey Girl co-star at the Globes when his name was announced.

Lopez said, “They were really hard on us in the press when we dated back in the day, on movies and things like that, so it was a nice moment.  It was nice to see him have that moment.  I was really happy for him.”

Ellen DeGeneres also mentioned that Lopez ran into another ex, Diddy, at the Globes, but Lopez commented that it wasn’t awkward for her because they run in the same social circles.

When the topic of American Idol came up, the former judge of the Fox competition said she misses working on the show because of the camaraderie she felt with Ryan Seacrest, Randy Jackson and Steven Tyler. 

DeGeneres noted that the dynamic between Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj will be interesting to watch this season, but Lopez didn’t bite, refusing to comment on the tension between the new judges.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Ben Affleck Named "Entertainment Weekly's" 'Entertainer of the Year'

Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic(NEW YORK) -- Ben Affleck has been named Entertainment Weekly's "Entertainer of the Year" for 2012.

Appearing on ABC's Good Morning America on Wednesday, Entertainment Weekly editor Jess Cagle said Affleck was selected because "he really reached the pinnacle of his career this year.  He's going to be right up there as best director with Steven Spielberg and lots of other directors."

Affleck may earn an Oscar nomination for best director for his work on the current thriller Argo.  He tells Entertainment Weekly, "I had very low expectations for Argo's performance.  I just hoped that over time people would find the movie."

He also tells the magazine that he wants to make the kind of movies that his kids will be proud of.  Affleck has three children with wife Jennifer Garner.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Ben Affleck Among Barbara Walter's "10 Most Fascinating People"

Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic(NEW YORK) -- Ben Affleck and Seth MacFarlane both made Barbara Walters' annual Most Fascinating People special, which airs next month on ABC.

In the special, Walters will run down the year's most prominent people in the fields of entertainment, sports, politics and popular culture.

There are 10 people in all, and in addition to Affleck, the director and star of Argo, and McFarlane, the creator of Family Guy and upcoming Oscar host, Walters will also highlight Olympic gold medalist Gabby Douglas, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Fifty Shades of Grey author EL James, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and boy band One Direction.

Barbara Walters Presents: The 10 Most Fascinating People of 2012 will air on Dec. 12 at 9:30 p.m. Eastern time.  The number one most fascinating person of the year won't be revealed until that night.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


“Argo” Review: ‘Fists Will Be Clenched…Hearts Will Palpitate’

Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic(NEW YORK) -- Having just celebrated the 50th anniversary of the James Bond franchise, highlighted by the forthcoming release of the next Bond film, Skyfall, we’re reminded of just how much we love a good spy story.  But a good spy story is so much better when it’s based on actual events, and the movie depicting that story is incredible.

Argo, directed by and starring Ben Affleck, is based on the story of the remarkable and extremely unorthodox rescue of six Americans during the Iranian hostage crisis.  Most Americans of a certain age remember the events -- 52 Americans were taken hostage at the U.S. embassy in Iran in November of 1979 and held for 444 days.  What's not as well known is that when the Iranians stormed the embassy, six Americans managed to escape.  While their story was reported at the time, it became a footnote to the overall hostage crisis and the details regarding their rescue remained classified until 1997.

Ben Affleck plays CIA agent Tony Mendez, who was an exfiltration expert specializing in sneaking into foreign and hostile territories and extracting American citizens.  The six Americans who escaped the embassy were hiding at the home of then-Canadian Ambassador Ken Taylor (played by Victor Garber). Before Mendez’s involvement, the government’s best rescue plan involved sneaking into Iran and furnishing the American escapees with bicycles.  This was one of many ill-conceived ideas but in fairness, the unprecedented situation was uniquely complex and required a solution from outside of the box.

Enter Mendez.  When we meet him, he doesn’t seem like any sort of super spy. Instead, he's the epitome of human: wallowing in self-pity, using alcohol to dull the pain of a separation from his wife and 10-year-old son.  Downtrodden Mendez serves as a metaphor for the times.  In fact, Affleck and writer Chris Terrio do such a wonderful job adding layers to Mendez as a character, we don’t just have empathy for him -- we feel everything this man is feeling.

Tony’s plan comes to him while he and his son are simultaneously talking on the phone and watching a Planet of the Apes film.  As it happens, Mendez had a relationship with makeup artist John Chambers (John Goodman), who won an honorary Oscar in 1969 for his work on Planet of the Apes.  Mendez decides the best way to get the Americans out of Iran is to form a fake production company and ask the Iranian government permission to scout locations for a movie, but not as American citizens -- as Canadians.

Chambers is more than happy to help both Mendez and his country.  However, in order to really make their film company believable, they need a respectable producer, and a script.  The producer is the legendary Lester Siegel, played by Alan Arkin. Siegel is actually a composite of several producers but Arkin inhabits this role so well, he practically wills Siegel into existence.

As for the script, the one on which they settle is titled Argo. It’s a cheesy sci-fi film but it calls for some exotic, Middle-East-looking locales, of the sort one might find in Iran.  Perfect.

Siegel arranges a high-profile script reading at the Beverly Hilton, which is covered by the Hollywood trades.  They put an ad for the movie in Variety.  Legitimacy thus established, now they have to get the green light -- not from a studio, but from the State Department.

Also featured in Argo is Bryan Cranston, who plays CIA assistant deputy director Jack O’Donnell.  After seeing Cranston in a handful of recent movie roles where he's either underutilized (Rock of Ages) or his character is poorly written (Total Recall), it's great to see the Breaking Bad star make an impact here as Mendez’s boss and biggest fan. While Arkin and Goodman get the majority of the showy laughs, Cranston’s humor is understated and effective.

Affleck and company leave no stone unturned in Argo. While they take creative license with real events in order to ratchet up the drama and tension, the attention paid to authenticity is a treat.  From the facial hair, TV sets and furniture to the robotic 2-XL 8-track player in Tony’s son’s room, watching Argo is like peering through a window at 1980.

Ultimately, Argo is a bona fide, suspense-filled thriller with a terrific cast, and wow! It doesn't matter that we know the outcome.  Fists will be clenched, jaws will be locked, breath will be held and hearts will palpitate, all while you sit on the edge of your seat.  If Ben Affleck has committed any cinematic sins in the past, Argo absolves him of them all.

Five out of five stars.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


"Argo" Director Ben Affleck Lobbied Himself for Leading Role

Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic(NEW YORK) -- Ben Affleck's new drama Argo is based on the strange-but-true 1979 CIA operation to rescue from Iran six Americans who'd escaped the U.S. Embassy in Tehran before Islamic radicals took 52 hostages there.

Under the guise of making a sci-fi film called Argo, a CIA extraction specialist played by Affleck eventually smuggles himself into the country to smuggle them out. 

Affleck also directed the project and describes the film by saying, "You have this thriller, and in equal measure this kind of comic Hollywood satire, and this...really intricate CIA spy story."

The actor joked that because he wanted to star in the film as CIA agent Tony Mendez, he had to get on the director's good side.

"[T]he actor part of my brain...asked the director of [this] movie for a job, and the director was sort of in a tough spot, and had to say yes," Affleck said.

Argo, which also stars Alan Arkin, John Goodman, and Stanley Tucci, opens Friday.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Ben Affleck Still Stays in Touch with Jennifer Lopez

Chris Weeks/FilmMagic(LOS ANGELES) -- Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez ended their “Bennifer” relationship nearly 10 years ago, but the actor and filmmaker tells The Hollywood Reporter they still keep in touch.

“We don’t have the kind of relationship where she relies on me for advice, but we do have the kind of relationship where there’ll be an email saying, ‘Oh, your movie looks great,’” Affleck said.

Affleck tells the trade paper, “I remember when she got American Idol.  I said, ‘this was really smart.  Good Luck.’  I touch base.  I respect her.  I like her.  She’s put up with some stuff that was unfair in her life, and I’m really pleased to see her successful."

Their relationship ended in 2004, a year after their box office bomb, Gigli, was released.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Jennifer Garner Praises Husband Ben Affleck's Virility

Christopher Polk/Getty Images for VH1(LOS ANGELES) -- Jennifer Garner revealed during an interview on Ellen DeGeneres' talk show Thursday, that while she has no plans for more children, she can't say for sure because husband Ben Affleck has "wonder sperm."

Us Weekly
quotes Garner as saying, "I am not pregnant right now.  I plan to be done.  But my husband is kind of a wonder sperm kind of guy."

When DeGeneres replied, "Good to know," Garner added, "You never don't know.  You just have a look at him!"

Garner and Affleck have three children: Violet, 6, Seraphina, 3, and Samuel, who is 7-months-old.

Garner most recently starred in The Odd Life of Timothy Green.  She will be seen next playing a butter sculptor in the movie Butter.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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