Ben Affleck reflects on the iconic ‘Sad Affleck’ meme and how it’s impacted his children
Ben Affleck has opened up about the now-iconic video of him sadly staring off into space during a press junket interview for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.
In a new interview Affleck admitted that though he thought the memes sparked by the video were funny, he is now more concerned about the affects it had on his children.
The six-year-old video – featuring a melancholy soundtrack – shows Affleck, 49, alongside co-star Henry Cavill as they are told that the movie is getting mixed reviews.
And while Cavill launches into a professional response, Affleck turns his gaze down with a look of utter dismay.
The video – which went viral overnight – was quickly turned into a parody, as YouTuber Sabconth added in a collage of negative headlines from review articles, as well as Simon and Garfunkel’s song The Sound of Silence.
The actor opened up about the meme and his public perception to the Los Angeles Times, saying, ‘I got to a place where [the public perception] was so different from who I am that I just stopped reading and stopped caring.’
Sad: Ben Affleck, 49, has opened up about the now-iconic video of him sadly staring off into space during a press junket interview for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
Contemplating it all: The six-year-old video shows Affleck alongside co-star Henry Cavill as they are told that the movie is getting mixed reviews
He went on to say he was concerned about his kids – Violet, 16, Seraphina, 13, and Samuel, 9 – being affected by it. ‘But then, as my kids got older and started seeing the internet themselves, that’s the difficult part. Even the “Sad Affleck” meme — that was funny to me. I mean, there’s nobody who hasn’t felt that way at a junket,’ he stated.
‘But then my kids see it and I think, “Oh, are they going to think their dad is fundamentally sad or they have to worry about me?” That’s really tough,’ the star added.
The actor also reflected on his early years and how his public image didn’t match his private persona.
‘I think when I was young, people saw me as somebody who had too much or was successful too easily or looked like some kind of cavalier, insincere, callow frat guy,’ he said.
Focused on his kids: The star admitted that though he thought the memes sparked by the video were funny, he is concerned that his kids might worry about him; Pictured with daughter Seraphina and son Samuel in 2019
‘That was nothing like how I felt. I felt like this sort of insecure, anxious, overly verbal kid from Boston who had tried to break into this business and was dealing with his own stuff. But there is an interesting thing about how we come off versus who we are,’ he revealed.
Affleck recently reflected on playing Batman over the span of several superhero films, naming Justice League as by far ‘the worst experience’ of them all.
The 49-year-old actor called the filming process ‘awful’ for a ‘confluence’ of reasons, and said it made him want to retire from the superhero all together before The Flash came along.
‘That became the moment where I said, “I’m not doing this anymore,” he confessed to the Los Angeles Times while speaking about the movie — which he called the ‘nadir’ of his life.
Low point: Ben Affleck, 49, reflected on playing Batman over the span of several superhero films, naming Justice League as by far ‘the worst experience’ of them all for a ‘confluence’ of reasons; Affleck pictured 2021 (left) and in 2017’s Justice League (right)
The Tender Bar actor spoke candidly about his involvement with the 2017 DC Comics film, and how it was the catalyst for now only taking on projects that make him ‘happy.’
‘It was really Justice League that was the nadir for me. That was a bad experience because of a confluence of things: my own life, my divorce, being away too much, the competing agendas and then [director] Zack [Snyder]’s personal tragedy [Snyder’s daughter Autumn died by suicide in 2017] and the reshooting.
‘It just was the worst experience. It was awful,’ he continued to say. ‘It was everything that I didn’t like about this. That became the moment where I said, “I’m not doing this anymore.”
Despite his seemingly harsh words, Affleck said that he likely would have shared the same sentiments about ‘any’ project he took on at that time in his life.
Bad time: ‘That was a bad experience because of a confluence of things: my own life, my divorce, being away too much, the competing agendas and then [director] Zack [Snyder]’s personal tragedy [Snyder’s daughter Autumn died by suicide in 2017] and the reshooting’ he recalled; pictured on set with Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman) and director Zack Snyder
Final straw: ‘It just was the worst experience. It was awful,’ he continued to say of the film, adding that it was the moment he said ‘I’m not doing this anymore’; (left to right) Ezra Miller, Henry Cavill, Ray Fisher, Gal Gadot, Ben Affleck and Jason Momoa in the DC Comics film
‘It’s not even about, like, Justice League was so bad. Because it could have been anything,’ he shared.
On top of his divorce from Jennifer Garner following over a decade of marriage, Affleck was also struggling with alcohol abuse — which he then sought treatment for.
Prior to the film he had dropped out of directing and starring in The Batman: ‘I looked at it and thought, “I’m not going to be happy doing this,” he told the publication.
‘It was the point where I started to realize it’s not worth it,’ he shared, adding that he had then made the poor choice of signing onto Justice League which pushed him over the edge.
Struggling: Affleck had described the period around filming Justice League as the ‘nadir’ (low point) in his life and career on account of his then ongoing divorce from Jennifer Garner and his substance abuse issues which he later sought treatment for; pictured at the 2017 premiere
In comparison, Affleck then praised his reprisal of Batman in the 2022 film The Flash, calling it his ‘favorite’ interpretation of the character thus far, adding that the experience was ‘really fun.’
‘I have never said this — this is hot off the presses — but maybe my favorite scenes in terms of Batman and the interpretation of Batman that I have done were in the Flash movie,’ he told the Herald Sun.
‘I hope they maintain the integrity of what we did because I thought it was great and really interesting — different, but not in a way that is incongruent with the character. Maybe they will decide that it doesn’t work. But when I went and did it, it was really fun and really, really satisfying and encouraging, and I thought, “Wow — I think I have finally figured it out.”‘
Pep in his step! In comparison, Affleck then praised his reprisal of Batman in the 2022 film The Flash, as he said ‘When I went and did it, it was really fun and really, really satisfying and encouraging, and I thought, “Wow — I think I have finally figured it out”‘; pictured December 18
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