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 411mania » Movies » Columns

411 Movies Interviews: Ben Affleck Talks Playing Batman
Posted by Al Norton on 10.25.2013

Ben Affleck is an Oscar winning actor, writer, producer, and director who films have grossed almost $3 billon in worldwide box office.

Al Norton: I have to open with the question everyone's been waiting all summer for you answer...How 'bout those Red Sox?!?!?!?

Ben Affleck: Obviously its very exciting. Its so strange to be in a world where the sox have a chance to win their third world series in ten years when I grew up in a Boston where even one seemed so remote. I will definitely take it though! It's a fantastic thing for the great baseball fans here and a great source of pride for the city. Knock wood they can get it done. This is a very good Cardinals team.

Al Norton: I saw you on Jimmy Fallon and I have to agree with you; your work as Girth Brooks was deserving of recognition from Emmy voters.

Ben Affleck: Robbed for my Girth Brooks. What can I say? You win some and lose some.

Al Norton: Do you remember your first thought when the idea of you playing Batman was originally presented to you and was there a tipping point in your decision making process, a moment where you started to think, "I really want to do this"?

Ben Affleck: Initially I was reluctant as I felt I didn't fit the traditional mold but once Zack showed me the concept, and that it would be both different from the great movies that Chris and Christian made but still in keeping with tradition I was excited. Doing something different and new is always tricky and part of the thrill and the risk is that initially it confounds expectations. The truth is, it's the movie and the execution of it is what all the actors depend on and I believe in Zack's vision.

Al Norton: Warner Brothers CEO Kevin Tsujihara recently said that this version of Batman would be "tired and weary and seasoned and been doing it for awhile"...Is that how you envisioned him as well and what would you add to the description on the Bruce Wayne side of things?

Ben Affleck: Yes, Kevin described it aptly. I don't want to go further because I want to be able to capitalize on what is new about this iteration by having it be a surprise to the audience.

Al Norton: Who was your favorite Batman?

Ben Affleck: It has been done very well many times before.

Al Norton: Were you looking to get into television or was it simply that TV was the best milieu to tell the story of The Middle Man?

Ben Affleck: The Middle Man was an idea pitched by some guys I met while doing The Town. They had an interesting period take on the Winter Hill gang, and fictionalizing it for the sixties seemed really interesting. There is so much story to tell there that television is the only medium I think the story can work in.

Al Norton: I know that there is a lot of talk about how TV is THE medium right now for telling character driven stories - is that part of the appeal for you to jump into the series development arena the way you have the last few months?

Ben Affleck: Television is clearly the best place to see dramas now—probably for the first time ever. Studios don't even bother making them much and both cable and broadcast have made huge investments in drama. Extremely talented people are all over television and its to all our benefits. I cast most of my movies from people on great television shows.

Al Norton: I am sure it must be tough to find time to keep up with series with your schedule but are there any shows you watch? Or perhaps a better question is, do you have a list of shows you really want to watch if you had the time?

Ben Affleck: Game of Thrones is my current obsession (dying for its return). Homeland is terrific. Downton Abbey is great. I read Damon Lindeloff's pilot and know some people on the show. Its going to be amazing. There is an abundance of riches right now.



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