Ben Affleck says ‘Good Will Hunting’ is ‘tainted’ by Weinstein misconduct
There’s been a lot of ink spilled about the 20th anniversary of “Good Will Hunting,” the film that earned Ben Affleck and Matt Damon an Oscar for best original screenplay and jump-started the dynamic duo’s careers in Hollywood.
But Affleck looks back at the movie with some ambivalence in light of the horrific sexual harassment and assault allegations against Harvey Weinstein, who produced “Good Will Hunting.”
“We just wanted to get this movie made, and it was like a miracle. This guy came along and made it,” Affleck says in a new interview with the Daily Sabah. “And now in retrospect, it’s a tainted memory because it was Harvey Weinstein. . . . I had never met him until he visited Robin [Williams] on the set. But it will forever color that memory for me a little bit and more darkly, because while they were the good old days for me, I know that they were some pretty awful days for people who ran into Harvey Weinstein as well.”
In the wake of the Weinstein exposes in The New York Times and The New Yorker, some questioned what Affleck and Damon knew about the mogul’s behavior. Both actors have said they viewed Weinstein as a scoundrel and a bully, but they didn’t know the extent of his misconduct. Affleck has since said he’s donating residuals from the movies he made for Weinstein’s company — “Chasing Amy,” “Good Will Hunting,” and “Shakespeare in Love” — to charity.
In the same interview, Affleck sounds unsure about his future as Batman — either in front of or behind the camera.
“For me, it’s interesting, and I always evaluate this stuff on the merit of the material,” he said. “I want to direct a ‘Batman’ movie, and I never got a script that I was happy with, so they are starting over and writing another script. Right now, [there are] a lot of different possibilities for the way the DC universe could go, and I will just follow my interest in pursuing that.”
The actor, who spent a portion of 2017 dealing with his addiction to alcohol, said he’s currently in a “good place” and focused on his children.
“I am at a place where I understand that the most important commitment that I have in my life is to my three children and that the most important person in that life is the mother of those kids, who is Jennifer Garner,” Affleck said. “She is an amazing mom and an amazing lady, and to be a mom and go to work and do movies and come home and still do three times as much with the school activities than I do. She shames me in that way and I look up to her and admire her a great deal as a parent.”