According to Ben Affleck, honesty is the best policy.
It's no secret that the Hollywood actor has had his fair share of headlines in recent years. From his public divorce with Jennifer Garner to struggle with sobriety, the A-list star has had highs and lows for millions to judge and comment on.
But as the actor gears up for a jam-packed year including the March 6 release of The Way Back, Ben is addressing some of the biggest stories surrounding his life including his battle with alcoholism.
In fact, Ben plays a high school basketball coach in his upcoming film who struggles with drinking. His character's choices ultimately blow up his marriage and force him to land in rehab.
"People with compulsive behavior, and I am one, have this kind of basic discomfort all the time that they're trying to make go away. You're trying to make yourself feel better with eating or drinking or sex or gambling or shopping or whatever. But that ends up making your life worse," Ben explained to the New York Times. "Then you do more of it to make that discomfort go away. Then the real pain starts. It becomes a vicious cycle you can't break. That's at least what happened to me."
Ben continued, "I drank relatively normally for a long time. What happened was that I started drinking more and more when my marriage was falling apart. This was 2015, 2016. My drinking, of course, created more marital problems."
See even more of Ben's most candid remarks from his New York Times interview below.
On His Divorce From Jennifer Garner:
In 2018, Ben and Jennifer's marriage came to an end after a long separation. While the friendly exes continue to co-parent their three children successfully, the actor couldn't help but reflect on the relationship changes. "The biggest regret of my life is this divorce. Shame is really toxic. There is no positive byproduct of shame. It's just stewing in a toxic, hideous feeling of low self-worth and self-loathing. It's not particularly healthy for me to obsess over the failures— the relapses—and beat myself up," he shared. "I have certainly made mistakes. I have certainly done things that I regret. But you've got to pick yourself up, learn from it, learn some more, try to move forward."
On His Struggles With Sobriety:
Back in October 2019, the Oscar winner raised concerns about his sobriety when TMZ posted a video of him in a Halloween costume stumbling to a car. The moment is something Ben is not proud of. "Relapse is embarrassing, obviously. I wish it didn't happen," he told the Times. "I really wish it wasn't on the internet for my kids to see. Jen and I did our best to address it and be honest."
On the Harvey Weinstein Trial:
As a jury deliberates in Harvey Weinstein's trial, Ben shared a brief comment about the Hollywood producer who has found himself in legal trouble. "I don't know that I have anything to really add or say that hasn't been said already and better by people who have been personally victimized or who are survivors of what he did," Ben shared. Previously, the actor announced that he would donate all future residual payments from Weinstein films to anti-sexual assault charities. Harvey has denied all charges and allegations of non-consensual sex.
On His Unforgettable Back Tattoo:
Is it real or is it fake? That was the debate among pop culture fans who spotted the actor's back tattoo. While Ben originally told Extra it was "fake for a movie," it turned out to be authentic. "I resented that somebody got a picture of it by spying on me. It felt invasive. But you're right. I could have said, ‘That's none of your business.' I guess I got a kick out of messing with Extra," he shared. "Is your tattoo real or not real? Of course, it's real! No, I put a fake tattoo on my back and then hid it."
On His Hollywood Support System:
During his interview with the New York Times, Ben cited Bradley Cooper and Robert Downey Jr. as "guys who have been very supportive and to whom I feel a great sense of gratitude."
On His Family History With Alcohol Abuse:
When looking at his extended family, Ben is the first to admit that he's not the first to struggle with alcohol. "My dad didn't really get sober until I was 19. The older I've gotten, the more I recognize that my dad did the best he could. There's a lot of alcoholism and mental illness in my family. The legacy of that is quite powerful and sometimes hard to shake," he confessed. "It took me a long time to fundamentally, deeply, without a hint of doubt, admit to myself that I am an alcoholic. The next drink will not be different."
Read Ben's complete interview with the New York Times online now.