Hollywood icon Ben Affleck will be celebrating his birthday on August 15. In honor of the Academy Award winning actor’s big day, as reported by Thrillist, here are 10 interesting facts about the man behind some of Hollywood’s biggest hits.
1. Without Ben Affleck, Hollywood may have never had Matt Damon
Ben Affleck and Matt Damon are childhood friends, having lived just two blocks away from each other. Affleck was already a child star in the business at the time, ultimately leading to Affleck introducing his New York agent to Matt Damon. Without that introduction, it is hard to speculate precisely how Matt Damon’s career would have evolved.
2. Without Ben Affleck, Vince Vaughn may have earned a spot on Dazed and Confused
Ben Affleck famously beat out Vince Vaughn for the role of the school bully character Fred O’Bannion in Dazed and Confused. However, it has also been reported that director Richard Linklater rejected Vaughn for the role of Benny O’Donnell as well. The director believed that Vaugn and Affleck looked to much alike for them both to be in the film.
3. Affleck’s father was a janitor at Harvard
Matt Damon’s character in Good Will Hunting, Damon and Affleck’s breakout film, is a janitor at an Ivy League institution. Similarly, Ben Affleck’s father was once a janitor at Harvard. Affleck later admitted that his father served as inspiration for Damon’s character.
4. Jennifer Lopez wrote a song about Ben Affleck
Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez dated for some time. The highs and lows of their relationship are well documented. However, it is not as often pointed out that Lopez once sang about the Hollywood icon on her track “Dear Ben”. The lyrics read, “I think God made you for me, a mix of passionate fidelities. I write this song to let you know that you will always be my lust, my love, my man, my child, my friend, and my king.”
5. Gone Girl production was shut down over Affleck having to wear a Yankees hat
Ben Affleck is a die-hard fan of the Boston Red Sox. The actor is such a die-hard fan that a stalemate between Affleck and director David Fincher ultimately halted production on the set of Gone Girl for several days. Fincher wished for Affleck’s character to simply wear a Yankees hat in a scene. Affleck refused to represent his favorite team’s rival.
6. Affleck has been kicked out of a casino for allegedly counting cards
Ben Affleck has been spotted enjoying a little gambling from time to time. However, the actor has also reportedly been banned from the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino after allegedly counting cards back in 2014.
7. Charlie Sheen personally drove Ben Affleck to rehab
Back in 2001, Ben Affleck spent time in rehab. Fellow television star Charlie Sheen reportedly personally drove Affleck to a Malibu rehab center to check the Hollywood icon in. Affleck would later go on to provide moral support to Lindsay Lohan during her rehab stint in 2013.
8. Ben Affleck and Matt Damon were extras in Field of Dreams
As teenagers, Ben Affleck and Matt Damon made made appearances in the Fenway Park scenes of Field of Dreams. On top of that, Red Sox super-fan Ben Affleck managed to work with director Phil Alden Robinson once again on the film The Sum of All Fears.
9. Affleck’s first acting job was at 12-years-old
As previously mentioned, Ben Affleck first broke into acting as a child. While it would still be many years before Affleck became the Hollywood icon he is today, the actor first landed a role on PBS’ The Voyage of the Mimi when he was 12-years-old.
10. Ben Affleck is named after a Holocaust survivor
Ben Affleck is actually not the actor’s full name. Named after a Hungarian Holocaust survivor who was a friend of the family, the actor’s full name is Benjamin Geza Affleck-Boldt.
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