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Ben Affleck, Jennifer Garner

CQ Roll Call via AP Images

Ben Affleck is trying to save the world—not just as Batman, either!

The 42-year-old Academy Award winner testified before the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs Thursday, stressing the importance of the United States providing foreign aid to African countries. Wife Jennifer Garner and daughter Violet proudly watched on as the actor-director spoke alongside fellow philanthropist Bill Gates.

As the star of the upcoming Batman v.s Superman: Dawn of Justice, Affleck began by recognizing Senator Patrick Leahy, an avid fan of the franchise who had a brief cameo role in 2008's The Dark Knight Rises. "I would be remiss not to recognize my co-star in Batman," he joked, acknowledging the Vermont senator's presence. "Your role was marginally smaller than mine, but I understand you were quite good. Good morning, sir."

Jennifer Garner, Violet Affleck

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He also acknowledged Gates, whose Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is instrumental in developing ways to support sustainable African agriculture. "Thanks for having me follow the greatest and most important philanthropist in the history of the world," quipped Affleck, whose own Eastern Congo Initiative is also seeking to rebuild the economy. "I'm sure I'm going to come off great."


Ben Affleck, Bill Gates, Violet Affleck, Jennifer Garner

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Affleck pointed out, though, that Starbucks just made a major purchase of coffee from the region, "a clear testament to what's possible for Congo," he said. "This isn't charity or aid in the traditional sense. It's good business."

Subcommittee Chairman Lindsey Graham appreciated Affleck's testimony, saying (per The Wall), "Jennifer and Violet are very proud. Well done."

Jennifer Garner, Violet Affleck, Ben Affleck

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