Celebrity Profiles: Ben Affleck Returns
American actor and filmmaker Ben Affleck is one of Hollywood's most famous contemporary leading man, his breakthrough success was dramatically followed by a period of negative media scrutiny and public derision but the resourceful actor now seems poised to enter a new career phase with a focus on directing.
Ben Affleck’s path to Hollywood stardom came in 1997 when he and his childhood friend, actor Matt Damon, won both the Academy Award and the Golden Glove for Best Original Screenplay for the drama Good Will Hunting. The success catapulted him into the stratosphere of Hollywood's elite and saw him cast as the lead in a host of blockbusters of varying quality including Armageddon (1998), Shakespeare in Love (1998), Pearl Harbor (2001), Changing Lanes (2002) and The Sum of All Fears (2002).
Whilst in a high profile relationship with singer Jennifer Lopez the pair starred in the disastrous romantic comedy Gigli in 2003. The failure of Gigli marked a period of commercial and critical ignominy, with the actor becoming a figure of fun through his contentious public persona and with the ‘Bennifer’ joke dogging him both in the press and the internet. A string of commercial failures tangential to this continued to haunt the actor. A change came in 2007 with his directorial debut––the well received Gone Baby Gone––which he also wrote. Following that success he directed, wrote and starred in The Town, but it was the political thriller Argo which he directed and starred in that cemented his status as a filmmaker of note with Argo winning a Golden Globe Award and BAFTA Award for Best Director, and the Academy Award, Golden Globe Award and BAFTA Award for Best Picture.