Ben Affleck swears he had fun at the Grammys despite those "miserable Ben" memes. The actor sat down with The Hollywood Reporter and brushed off how he constantly creates viral moments — "At a certain point," he explained, "I am who I am" — but insisted he "had a good time" celebrating music's biggest night with wife Jennifer Lopez.
"My wife was going, and I thought, 'Well, there’ll be good music. It might be fun.' At movie award shows, it’s speeches and, like, sound-mixing webinars. But I thought this would be fun," he began.
The internet had a field day when Affleck and Lopez were caught on camera seemingly in a tiff. While the actor chalked some of that up to "a husband-and-wife thing" he revealed what he really said to Lopez in that moment.
"I saw [Grammy host Trevor Noah approach] and I was like, 'Oh, God.' They were framing us in this shot, but I didn't know they were rolling. I leaned into her and I was like, 'As soon they start rolling, I'm going to slide away from you and leave you sitting next to Trevor.' She goes, 'You better f***ing not leave.' That's a husband-and-wife thing," he continued.
Affleck copped to some Twitter theories, and said at times, he didn't know who a performer was.
"I mean, some of it is, I'm like, 'All right, who is this act?' Like, I don't keep up. My wife does, obviously. And yeah, it is your wife's work event. And I've gone to events and been pissed off. I've gone and been bored. I've gone to award shows and been drunk, a bunch. Nobody ever once said I'm drunk. [But at the Grammys] they were like, 'He's drunk,'" Affleck, whose been open about his struggle with alcoholism, added. "And I thought, that’s interesting. That raises a whole other thing about whether or not it's wise to acknowledge addiction because there's a lot of compassion, but there is still a tremendous stigma, which is often quite inhibiting. I do think it disincentivizes people from making their lives better."
The Oscar-winner wanted to make one thing clear, though: He does not blame ex-wife, Jennifer Garner, for his alcoholism. Affleck talked about how he's "become very guarded" since his 2021 interview with Howard Stern was taken out of context.
"I had a really painful experience where I did an interview where I was really vulnerable, and the entire pickup was something that was not only not right, it was actually the opposite of what I meant," he declared.
During his interview with Stern, the actor said if he and Garner had stayed together they probably would be "at each other's throats."
"I'd probably still be drinking. It's part of why I started drinking ... because I was trapped," Affleck said at the time. "I was like 'I can't leave 'cause of my kids, but I'm not happy, what do I do.' What I did was drink a bottle of scotch and fall asleep on the couch, which turned out not to be the solution."
After that particular quote made headlines, Affleck spoke out and clarified he did not blame Garner for his drinking. He emphasized that again to THR.
"To be clear, my behavior is my responsibility entirely. The point that I was trying to make was a sad one. Anyone who's been through divorce makes that calculus of, How much do we try? We loved each other. We care about each other. We have respect for each other. I was trying to say, 'Hey, look, I was drinking too much, and the less happy you become, whether it's your job, your marriage, it's just that as your life becomes more difficult, if you’re doing things to fill a hole that aren't healthy, you’re going to start doing more of those things,'" Affleck noted.
"I think I was pretty articulate about that. It was the New York Post who deliberately mischaracterized it in order to make it clickbait, and everyone else then picked it up, and it didn't matter how many times I said, 'I do not feel this way. I'm telling you, I don't blame my ex-wife for my alcoholism.' So, yeah. It's hard," he continued. "But anyway, so [Jennifer Lopez] tells me today, 'Relax, be yourself. Have fun. You're actually a fun guy who is real and genuine and you just seem so serious.' Do I seem serious? But as in many things, she's really right. And she loves me. She's looking out for me. She's trying to help me. So it's like, maybe I ought to f***ing listen to her."
Affleck called out how Lopez "doesn't have a lot of downtime," so he's staying busy, too — but in Los Angeles. The actor, who stars in and directs the upcoming movie Air, said he's being choosy these days on what projects he's picking because of his kids.
"One of the reasons I did it was, I'm divorced. I share custody. I don't want to go to Austin and New Orleans and Georgia anymore and not see my kids. It just doesn't work. These years are too important," Affleck explained. He shares daughters Violet, 17, and Seraphina, 14, and son Samuel, 11, with Garner. "If I miss them, I’ll regret it for the rest of my life. And then I thought, 'OK, well, if I'm in Los Angeles and I'm in an office and I'm doing this work, I can step out for the basketball game or the jazz performance.' So I protect those things."