Actor of the Week: Ben Affleck
With Justice League hitting cinemas this weekend, it seemed an obvious choice to pick the latest actor to play the Caped Crusader as our Actor of the Week; the one and only Ben Affleck. Ben has had ups-and-downs throughout his career, but one thing is clear; he is very talented, making his appearance as Actor of the Week an inevitability.
Some might say that Ben Affleck had one of the most successful starts to a career in Hollywood, with him being a major part in the creation of the brilliant Good Will Hunting starring former Actors of the Week in Matt Damon and Robin Williams. Not only did this film reward Williams with an Academy Award, it also won for Best Screenplay, which Affleck wrote with Damon, with both of them acting in the film itself. Affleck plays the best friend of Will Hunting, a boy genius with a tragic upbringing who manages to reach his potential with the support of Affleck and Robin William’s character, Sean.
With Good Will Hunting being such a huge success, Affleck struggled to maintain the heights of this success, starring in many average-to-poor films such as Armageddon to Pearl Harbour. With these films not being the best, we saw Affleck fall into a bit of a rut, seeing him starring in Rom-Coms such as Forces of Nature alongside another former AotW, Sandra Bullock, and Gigli. Even though Affleck wasn’t having the best of luck with his movies it was only a matter of time before he hit the heights of his early days.
This return to form came, once again, from writing. He penned and directed the brilliant Gone Baby Gone, a film about an investigation of a missing girl which starts to have its effects on the detective's personal life. Even though this film did not star Affleck himself, it did however star his brother, Casey, and also earned actress Amy Ryan an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress.
After the success of Gone Baby Gone it was clear Affleck had talents beyond acting, seeing him write and direct yet another award-worthy film in The Town, and this time he stars, alongside Jeremy Renner. Not only did The Town confirm that Affleck was not a one-hit-wonder when it came to the production of a film, it also propelled Renner’s career, with him earning an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor.
Now that Affleck had earned back the respect he had when he first started working in Hollywood, he decided to take on another acting/director role in Argo, which became, without a doubt, an all time high for Affleck’s career. Argo is an incredible take on a breathtaking true story and it earned itself 3 Academy Awards, with one of those awards being Best Picture. I remember watching Argo for the first time, and it really changed my opinion of Affleck, not only is his acting brilliant in this film, the movie is so well put together.
As I mentioned at the start of this blog, the long awaited Justice League was released this weekend, seeing Affleck put on the batman cowl for the 3rd time, and potentially the last. Sadly all 3 films Affleck has starred in as Batman were not well received, but one thing for sure, it is no fault of his own. When we were first introduced to Affleck’s Dark Knight in Batman v Superman, he blew a lot of people away. His Batman is as if he was pulled directly from the pages of the comics. For many people Affleck saved that film from completely bombing.
Affleck has certainly had a mixed career in terms of success but one thing for sure is that he is extremely talented. There are not many actors who can star in, write and direct films, and certainly not to the level of which Affleck’s films have reached. Love him or hate him, Ben has without a doubt made his mark on Hollywood, and for that I take my hat off to him.