Ben Affleck Admits to Counting Cards While Gambling but Slams Jennifer Garner's Disapproval

"Once I became decent, the casinos asked me not to play blackjack," the actor revealed in an interview with Details magazine

By Alyssa Toomey 17 Sep, 2014 10:42 PMTags

Want to know the truth about Ben Affleck's gambling habits? Apparently, you just need to ask Ben Affleck

In a no-holds-barred interview with Details magazine, the 42-year-old actor, along with his Gone Girl director David Fincher, opened up about the highly anticipated flick based on the best-selling book of the same name as well as the web of lies often spun by the media—a central theme in upcoming film to which the Oscar-winning actor can undoubtedly relate.

"I'm accustomed to all kinds of absurdity, so I expect that. No matter what," the Argo star tells the publication when asked if he felt weary taking on the role of Nick Dunne—who finds himself at the center of a media circus after he becomes a suspect in his wife's disappearance—due to the scrutiny that may possibly be placed on Affleck's own marriage to wife Jennifer Garner as he begins to make the press rounds. "So I know some people will react in a ridiculous way. And I'm just at a point now where it could have been about anything, it could have been about the most painful thing in my life—which this doesn't happen to be—but to me it's just all about the director. Who you work with...Are people going to ask me asinine questions, from the press? You just can't get away from that. I can promise you that will happen." 

And while Affleck has years of experience shooting down those absurd press requests, he also knows when to set the record straight, opting to provide a refreshingly honest response when asked about the recent claim that the actor has been caught counting cards in casinos. 

"That is a true story. I mean, that took place," he confessed. "I took some time to learn the game and became a decent blackjack player. And once I became decent, the casinos asked me not to play blackjack. I mean, the fact that being good at the game is against the rules at the casinos should tell you something about casinos."

Asked why he got so good at the game, the father of three replied, "I had always liked blackjack. I don't play any other games of chance. I don't bet on football games, and I don't gamble at all, really, outside of that. But I knew with blackjack that there's a way you can improve your odds. And so I started trying to learn. And then I just got to a point in my life where I'm like, 'If I'm going to do something, I'm going to try and do it really well.' It was sort of presented like I did something illegal. You know what I mean?" 

As for the rumors that he was kicked out of the casinos? Affleck says that, unfortunately, those stories are only tabloid tales.  

"I wish I could say they were afraid of me in every capacity, but they only said, 'No blackjack,'" he shared, adding "That would be awesome [if they threw me out]. 'Get him outta here! He's a magician!' Unfortunately, they just came up and said, 'We can't let you play blackjack. But we have other table games! We have Chinese poker!'"

Clearly, the Batman vs. Superman star isn't hesitant to chat about his supposed hush-hush habit in hopes of clarifying a few misconceived perceptions. "I get to correct the impression that there's something wrong with it or that it demonstrates some, like, compulsive activity. Usually, when you're a compulsive gambler, the casinos don't ask you to leave because you're beating them. You know?" 

The author then cited one report which claimed Affleck look "disheveled and upset," causing the A-lister to mock the incessant media rumors. 

"That's the thing: It's really hard for people to understand—it would be hard for me to understand—that people can freely write that s--t, almost completely fiction, and pass it off and run it. And you're going, like, 'I can't f--kin' believe this! Not only do they invite me over there, then they don't let me play, then they said I was, like, gambling, which also is not true, and then they said my hair was f--ked up. When will the indignities end?'"

However, rumors with regards to his family are an entirely different story as Affleck didn't hold back while slamming the false divorce reports that were supposedly tied to his gambling habits. 

"See, that's tabloid s--t. That's all bulls--t," he said of the notion that his wife "can't take it anymore." "They completely lie. I mean, I can show you 10 articles of Star and OK!—those magazines feel totally comfortable absolutely fictionalizing every single element of the story. And there's nothing you can do about that. My only hope is that people with any common sense recognize that those stories are false. And, I don't know, there're worse stories..." 

Still, Affleck's experience with the media circus has supplied him with the tools to play the charming, yet suspicious Nick Dunne. 

"I did not want to entrust that character to somebody who doesn't understand what that [the tabloid media] is," Fincher told Details. "Nobody signs up for this. If you showed people how absurd this kind of attention is, they would never sign up to be a movie star. They would go, 'Thank you, but no thank you.' What's Nick Dunne's mechanism? His mechanism is, 'I want you to like me, and I will use my charm to disarm any situation that starts to feel uncomfortable for me.' And you had to have an actor who understands what a slippery slope that is."