Ben Affleck - 7 facts: Actor talks 'Argo,' kids and taking risks (Video)
Ben Affleck's character in his new film "Argo," a CIA "exfiltration" specialist, faces some terrifying moments but there is one thing in particular that stresses out the actor in real life - being away from his kids.
The 40-year-old actor and director, who shares three children with actress Jennifer Garner, recently sat down with OTRC.com to talk about his new thriller and how he manages to juggle an acting career, family life and his philanthropic commitments.
Check out 7 facts about Ben Affleck and "Argo."
1. Ben Affleck says it's 'stressful' being away from his children.
"Argo" was filmed in Turkey, as well as Virginia, where the CIA Headquarters are located, Washington D.C. and California, where the actor and director lives with his family.
"It's very stressful to not see your children. You know, my wife is quite understanding," the actor added about Garner. "It's nice to have someone who is in the same business and who has the same stuff ... It's not great, you know one has to work at one's marriage and be with one's spouse, but with the children, it's particularly hard because they don't get why you're leaving, and I have movies and I have family life, and I have this philanthropic stuff that I've been doing."
Affleck has been married to actress Jennifer Garner since 2005 and the pair have two daughters, 6-year-old Violet and 3-year-old Seraphina. Garner recently gave birth to the couple's only son in February.
2. He heads his own charity organization, the Eastern Congo Initiative.
"We've been, among other things, in Eastern Congo which is terrible place suffering from all kinds of violence and rape and starvation and disease, and we are trying to help the people there bring something kind of positive to it," Affleck told OTRC.com. ((Find out more about his initiative at facebook.com/EasternCongoInitiative/)
3. He felt "terrified" and "tense" when reading the script for "Argo."
"Argo" is an adaptation of a WIRED magazine article which detailed the true life story of the 1979 hostage crisis at the American embassy in Tehran, which was taken over by Islamic militants during the Iranian revolution. At some point, six American hostages escaped to the Canadian embassy in Iran.
Affleck directs "Argo" and also plays CIA operative Tony Mendez, who leads an operation to try and get the six out of the country by having his team pretend to be a Canadian film crew. "Argo" also stars Bryan Cranston, John Goodman and Alan Arkin.
"When I read that script, even for the first time I was flipping through the pages, like, talk about a page turner, you know I couldn't wait to get to the end," Affleck told OTRC.com.
"I was terrified, I was tense, I was nervous, it was a thriller, and yet it was really funny and it also had this really interesting CIA spy story in it, and I thought these are all of the things I love about movies," he said. "And I feel like it's got kind of something for everyone out there in movie-goer land."
4. He worked hard to analyze his "Argo" character.
"He's quite reserved," Affleck told OTRC.com. "He's very taciturn, he's very serious, he's very much the spy. So, he was hard to kind of penetrate and figure out and understand, and I thought you know what, I'll play that character - I'll play somebody who's really inward and kind of inscrutable and hard to know. And that was a nice hook for me as an actor."
5. Mel Gibson, Clint Eastwood and other actors-turned-directors inspired him to helm films.
"If you look from, say, Eastwood to [Robert] Redford to Warren Beatty to George Clooney to Kevin Costner, Mel Gibson ... There's a fair chunk of people who've been able to do this, and a lot of other directors who have only directed one or two movies and are actors, but nonetheless, did it quite well - Phil Hoffman or Mark Ruffalo - and that model is part of what made me feel like, okay, maybe I can do this too."
6. His favorite part about making movies? The editing process.
"I do very much like arranging puzzles and figuring out logic, and I approach movies that way," Affleck told OTRC.com. "Some people just have an instinct and think, 'Okay, let's do this, let's go over here,' whereas I try to figure out how it's going to work together. I think that's why I like editing the most. There are a lot of different approaches, but that's mine."
7. He considers himself a big risk taker.
"I've always believed in taking risks and I've always been kind of comfortable with risks - maybe too comfortable," Affleck told OTRC.com. "But I felt like, if you're not taking a risk, if you're not taking a big swing, you're never going to do anything really interesting. You can sort of be conservative and get by and try to hit singles, or bunts, or whatever, but I've always wanted to try to like, take a big swing."
"And sometimes I missed but I believe that failure is a function of risk and really fun successes as well, so I try to take a big crack at things," he said.Reporting by Cari Skillman of KABC Television, which produces the entertainment show "On The Red Carpet" (check for local TV listings).