KEY POINTS

  • Ben Affleck said he has "sufficient life experience to bring to a role" like his character in "The Way Back"
  • He also shared he is now more drawn to "flawed" characters when choosing projects
  • The "Argo" star played a grieving alcoholic in the 2020 sports drama "The Way Back," which received praise

Ben Affleck has revealed how his experiences in life, including his marriage and divorce from ex-wife Jennifer Garner and battle with alcohol addiction, have helped improve his performances as an actor.

Affleck received praise for his performance in the 2020 sports drama "The Way Back," where he plays a former high school basketball star struggling with alcoholism and mourning the loss of his child who gets a shot at redemption when he becomes the basketball coach for his alma mater.

Aside from having previously battled alcoholism, he has also gone through a separation like his character, Jack Cunningham, something that allowed him to give a more convincing portrayal.

"For me the movie was much more about the fact that -- whether it’s having lived enough years having seen enough ups and downs having had children and divorce having experienced a lot of different things -- I’m at a point now in my life where I have sufficient life experience to bring to a role to make it really interesting for me. I’m not good enough to just invent it from whole cloth, you know?” Affleck told The Hollywood Reporter.

Affleck also joked that as a "recovering alcoholic," he "didn't have to do research for the alcoholism aspect of the movie—that was covered."

"It was the Daniel Day-Lewis approach to that!" he said.

Aside from helping him perform better, Affleck shared that his life experiences have also made acting and playing "flawed" characters more interesting for him.

"Growing older and having had more intense personal experiences has made acting much more interesting, and made me drawn to the kinds of movies about people who are flawed," he explained.

"I have three children I want to spend time with, I have a life that I really enjoy, and I want to really love my work and tell these kinds of stories, with characters that are as rich as the ones that you all portrayed," Affleck added during the discussion, which also featured Sacha Baron Cohen, Delroy Lindo, John David Washington, Steven Yeun and Gary Oldman.

Garner and Affleck have remained friends since announcing their separation in 2015 and finalizing their divorce three years later. The exes continue to co-parent their three children, Violet, 15, Seraphina, 12, and Samuel, 8.

Garner also supported her ex-husband during his journey to sobriety. In 2019, she was seen driving Affleck to rehab.

"Ben’s relationship with Jen is doing amazingly well despite everything that’s happened," a source told Entertainment Tonight at the time. "She’s really supportive of Ben, and when they parent the kids separately, they both share their stories of sweet moments they had with the kids that day. Their friends are always saying what a perfect example they are of dedicated parents who look past their own issues.”

Following their split, Garner dated John Miller, but they split in 2020. Meanwhile, Affleck dated his "Deep Water" co-star Ana de Armas for almost over a year before going their separate ways in January.

Jennifer Garner, Ben Affleck Jennifer Garner and actor-director Ben Affleck arrive at the Oscars at Hollywood & Highland Center on February 24, 2013 in Hollywood, California. Photo: Get