Ben Affleck has been taking another stroll down memory lane, this time discussing the notorious box-office failure of 2003’s Gigli.

With two acclaimed performances behind him in the last couple of months, Ben Affleck has performed another neat career transition, from leading man in big budget flicks like Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice, to supporting roles as a character actor in films like The Tender Bar and The Last Duel, both of which have earned the actor plaudits. Of course, this isn’t the first time Affleck has had to made adjustments to his career path, most notably being his successful shift into directing following the disastrous reception to 2003’s Gigli, in which he starred with his partner, Jennifer Lopez.

Affleck has been giving some pretty open interviews of late, and it’s been interesting to watch as the actor has been reviewing his career with the sort of candour that we don’t always see from media trained movie stars. Having just the other day spoken about the Justice League reshoots being the ‘nadir’ of his career, he’s now opened up about Gigli‘s failure.

He argues that “the truth about that movie and what it taught me was how much everything around a movie sort of dictates the way people see it. But for being a movie that’s such a famous bomb and a disaster, very few people actually saw the movie. It doesn’t work, by the way. It’s a sort of horse’s head in a cow’s body. And the studio at the time, because I had begun having this relationship with Jennifer Lopez, which was selling a lot of magazines and appeared to generate a lot of enthusiasm, they just predictably latched onto they want a romantic comedy. They want the two of them together. More of that! And it was just like that SNL sketch.”

It seems like a fair point, especially now we’re in the age of review-bombing, where legions of online users are happy to deride a film without having seen it.

For Affleck though, he took the experience as something to learn from, adding that “if the reaction to Gigli hadn’t happened, I probably wouldn’t have ultimately decided I don’t really have any other avenue but to direct movies, which has turned out to be the real love of my professional life. So in those ways, it’s a gift. And I did get to meet Jennifer, the relationship with whom has been really meaningful to me in my life”.

It will be interesting to see where Affleck goes next, but his current slate indicates a continued move away from big budget flicks, towards smaller more interesting projects, which fits in line with his recent statement about being done with ‘IP and franchise films’.

Following wide praise for his performances in The Tender Bar and The Last Duel respectively, we’re sure that audiences agree too.

The Hollywood Reporter

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