Actor and director Ben Affleck’s movie “Argo’’ won three Academy Awards, including the prize for best picture at this year’s Oscars ceremony. The movie already won numerous awards this season and was nominated for a total of seven Academy Awards.
Will his new flick, ‘Runner Runner,’’starring Affleck alongside Justin Timberlake, find similar success with the critics? Only time will tell.
So you know he’s from Cambridge and has made it big in Hollywood, but h0w much do you really know about him? Here are some fun facts that might surprise you about the guy Bostonians call one of their own. –Matt Juul, Boston.com Correspondent
Pictured: Affleck (left) with former Governor Mitt Romney and his wife, Anne, at the Red Sox Foundation Welcome Home Dinner on April 11, 2005.
Years before directing his first, full-length feature film, 2007’s “Gone Baby Gone,’’ Affleck made his directorial debut in 1993 with the short “I Killed My Lesbian Wife, Hung Her on a Meat Hook, and Now I Have a Three-Picture Deal at Disney.’’
Affleck admitted in a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly that the adsurdly titled film, starring friend Jay Lacopo, is not one of his best works and it still “haunts’’ him to this day. Here, Affleck is pictured years later next to Oscar gold … a foreshadow to Sunday night? Time will tell, but he’s certainly come a long way since the short film with the funny name.
In a case of mistaken identity, Affleck and his crew were nearly arrested on a few occasions while filming in rougher areas of Boston for “Gone Baby Gone.’’
The award winning director said in an interview with Indie London that Boston police thought that they were buying drugs while filming locals at bars in seedier parts of town. Luckily, the situations were quickly resolved once the police realized Affleck’s identity.
Pictured: Affleck toured set locations in south Boston for “Gone Baby Gone’’ on Sept. 25, 2007.
Despite Affleck’s well-documented devotion to the Red Sox, the team hasn’t faired well on the actor’s birthday (Aug. 15, 1972), sporting a paltry 0-13 record since the opening of his 1997 breakthrough hit “Good Will Hunting,’’ according to ESPN. (And, as an aside, did you know he brought Jennifer Lopez to Fenway Park? Yes, that did happen.)
Hopefully the Red Sox can reverse their fortunes this year when they visit the Toronto Blue Jays on Aug. 15.
Pictured: Affleck (right) with ex-fiancé Jennifer Lopez at a game at Fenway Park on Oct. 10, 2003.
Before immersing himself into the world of Midde Eastern politics with 2012’s critically-acclaimed film “Argo,’’ Affleck majored in Middle Eastern studies during his college years.
Pictured: Affleck as FBI agent Tony Mendez opposite Bryan Cranston (left) in a scene from “Argo.’’
An avid poker player, Affleck isn’t too shabby at playing cards, beating out actor Tobey Maguire and nearly 90 other competitors to win a major California state tournament in June of 2004.
Not only did Affleck take home a cool $356,400, but the win also qualified him for a seat at the World Poker Tour Championship the following April.
Pictured: Affleck smiling while playing in the “Ante Up For Africa” charity poker tournament in Las Vegas on July 2, 2008.
Unfortunately for Affleck, Lady Luck isn’t always in his favor. The “Argo’’ star reportedly lost $400,000 on a single hand to Universal Studios president Ron Meyer in an underground card game.
Affleck was reportedly linked to an illegal gambling ring that involved Hollywood A-listers Tobey Maguire, Leonard DiCaprio, and Matt Damon, according to Radar Online.
Pictured: Affleck playing poker at a charity event on May 12, 2012 in Santa Monica, Calif.
An outspoken supporter of the Democratic party, Affleck previously campaigned for both former Vice President Al Gore and current Secretary of State John Kerry during their respective presidential runs.
Pictured: Affleck (right) with rapper Sean “Diddy’’ Combs (center) and actor John Cusack (left) at the Democratic National Convention in Boston on July 29, 2004.
While writing 1997’s “Good Will Hunting,’’ Affleck was inspired by his father, a social worker who was a Harvard custodian at one time, when coming up with Will Hunting’s job as a janitor at MIT.
Through the years, Affleck has used his stardom to fight for better wages for service workers like his father.
Pictured: Affleck with friend Matt Damon (left) at a rally for the Harvard Living Wage Campaign on May 6, 2000.
Affleck got to live out a childhood fantasy when he starred in 2003’s “Daredevil,’’ telling the Rome News-Tribune in 2002 that the red-clad superhero was his favorite comic book character growing up.
Despite his enthusiasm going into the project, the film was not well received by most critics, with even Affleck himself admitting that he had a “negative experience’’ making the movie in a 2012 interview with MTV. But, let’s not forget he’s now married to Jennifer Garner, with whom he starred in the film. The couple now has three children together.
Pictured: Affleck (right) opposite Garner (left) in 2003’s “Daredevil.’’
Affleck had the chance to don another iconic superhero’s outfit in 2006’s “Hollywoodland,’’ playing famed actor George Reeves, the star of the 1950s television series “Adventures of Superman.’’
Pictured: Affleck (left) with costar Diane Lane (right) in Allen Coulter’s 2006 film “Hollywoodland.”
Affleck has an affinity for accents and impressions, at least according to his 2010 appearance on “Ellen.’’
The “Argo’’ star has become notorious through the years for his various impressions of fellow costars, including Morgan Freeman, who once said to Affleck, “You ever do that again, I’ll kill you,’’ after doing an impression of him while working together in 2002’s “The Sum of All Fears.’’
Check out Affleck’s rendition of the Academy-Award winning actor in this 2010 interview with 98FM.
Pictured Freeman (left) and Affleck (right) in a scene from “The Sum of All Fears.”
Younger brother Casey Affleck is also a seasoned actor, having worked alongside Ben on a number of films, including “Chasing Amy,’’ “Good Will Hunting,’’ and “Gone Baby Gone.’’
Pictured Ben Affleck (left) and younger brother Casey (right) exited a restuarant near Dudley Square in Roxbury on June 19, 2006.
Pictured: Affleck (left) and Damon (right) in a scene from “Good Will Hunting.’’
Because of his myriad of philanthropic ventures and history of political activism, speculation arose that Affleck would be tapped to run for the vacant Senate seat in Massachusetts left by now current Secretary of State John Kerry.
However, the Hollywood star quickly quelled the rumors through a post on his Facebook page.
Pictured: Secretary of State John Kerry (left) talked with Affleck (right) during a meeting with members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Dec. 19, 2012, in Washington, DC.