Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez's Director Recalls the Real Story Behind Their "Bennifer" Nickname

After news of Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck's recent reunion emerged, director Kevin Smith recalled starting the "Bennifer" craze on the set of Jersey Girl. Scroll on for his story.

By Jess Cohen May 11, 2021 12:41 PMTags
Watch: Jennifer Lopez & Ben Affleck: New Details on Bennifer Relationship

Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez literally have fans on the floor over their recent getaway.

The internet went wild this week after news broke that the exes, who ended their engagement in 2004, took a trip to Montana together. "They were alone," a source told E! News. "Just the two of them." As word began to spread about the duo's vacation, their "Bennifer" nickname became a top trend online. The moniker, which was coined during Affleck and Lopez's 18-month romance in the early aughts, was actually started by their Jersey Girl director Kevin Smith.

In fact, Smith, who is also Affleck's pal, recalled the story behind the name in a tweet on May 10. "'Bennifer' is trending. It's a name I first gave the kids during 'Jersey Girl' pre-production, before the world found out they were dating," he wrote of the duo, who got engaged in November 2003. "I'd later drop the name in an interview with the @nytimes. Shortly thereafter, it appeared in the article and then entered the vernacular."

Jennifer Lopez & Ben Affleck: Romance Rewind

While Jersey Girl, which was released in 2004, might've been where the "Bennifer" term was born, it was the set of their 2003 film Gigli where they first formed a connection. After meeting on the movie, Affleck, 48, and Lopez, 51, embarked on a whirlwind romance before calling off their Santa Barbara, Calif. wedding in September 2003. They went on to announce their split in January 2004.

After her breakup with Affleck, Lopez went on to have twins with Marc Anthony, while the Argo director shares three kids with Jennifer Garner. However, despite going their separate ways, an insider told E! News that Lopez and Affleck "have been in touch here and there throughout the years." 

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And after the "Let's Get Loud" singer, who called it quits with Alex Rodriguez in April, recently returned from filming her new movie in the Dominican Republic, she and Affleck reunited. "Ben reached out to her to see how she was doing and they had dinner together a few times within this last month," the source explained. "It's natural between them and the chemistry is unreal. They picked up where they last left off and are enjoying each other's company right now."