Ben Affleck Explains ‘Really Vulnerable’ Jennifer Garner Comments, Says He Was Not Blaming Ex For His ‘Drinking’

Being an A-list celebrity sounds like a dream come true, but it definitely comes with its own set of downsides. Namely the way that one’s personal life becomes a public matter, especially regarding celebrity couples. Oscar winning filmmaker Ben Affleck knows this all too well, as he’s made countless headlines thanks to his marriages to JLo and Jennifer Garner. Affleck recently explained the “really vulnerable” comments he made about Garner, once again clarifying that he was not blaming his ex for his drinking.

Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck had a long relationship, and had three kids together. She also supported his sobriety journey even after their marriage, which shows how much love and respect is shared between the two. That’s why Affleck was so upset when a quote of his was taken out of context, and made it seem like he was placing blame on Garner for his substance issues. During an interview with THR, he spoke about that experience, and how his wife JLo approaches press differently. He shared:

My wife’s a genius at that. I don’t know if there’s anybody who understands Instagram better than her. In fact, she gave me a talk this morning before this interview. She thinks that because of experiences that I’ve had, I’ve become very guarded. And she’s right. I view these things as land mines, where if you say one wrong thing, your career might be over. 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.

Talk about a hurtful situation. While Ben Affleck is no stranger to having his name in the tabloids, seeing his words twisted regarding his ex-wife Jennifer Garner was upsetting. And really, who can blame him? Never mind the fact that speaking openly about recovery is already such a vulnerable and sensitive process.

As Ben Affleck shared in this long feature about his life and career, he’s become more guarded during interviews and press junkets. Aside from the Jennifer Garner issue, we can all remember the sad Affleck meme that came during Batman v Superman press. And most recently he went viral for looking exhausted at the Grammys. Later in that same interview Affleck opened up more about his alcoholism, saying:

The idea that I was blaming my wife for my drinking. 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.’ 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.

Given how personal this situation was to Ben Affleck, I don’t think anyone can blame him for being a bit guarded during interviews. Although he did ultimately open up to THR about this struggle, which shows a great deal of vulnerability. He was also able to use this platform to set the record straight once and for all regarding his relationship with Jennifer Garner.

Jennifer Lopez might be somewhat responsible for Ben Affleck opening up in this way. As he also revealed, JLo encouraged him to let loose and have fun with that interview, and while doing press in general. As he shared:

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 fucking listen to her.

Ben Affleck has a number of exciting projects coming down the line, so smart money says way more interviews are coming. That includes his role in The Flash, as well as his new movie Air which hits theaters on April 5th. In the meantime, check out the 2023 movie release dates to plan your next movie experience. 

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Graduated with degrees theater and literature from Ramapo College of New Jersey. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his favorite actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid. He's particularly proud of covering horror franchises like Scream and Halloween, as well as movie musicals like West Side Story. Favorite interviews include Steven Spielberg, Spike Lee, Jamie Lee Curtis, and more.