The past couple of years have been rough for Ben Affleck. We’ve seen the Academy Award winner at his highest of highs and watched him navigate his way through some of the most troubling times in life — both personally and professionally. You may recall that back in 2018, the seperated father of three took to Instagram to reveal that he was seeking treatment for alcoholism, writing:
“This week I completed a forty-day stay at a treatment center for alcohol addiction and remain in outpatient care. Battling any addiction is a lifelong and difficult struggle. I wish it didn’t happen. I really wish it wasn’t on the internet for my kids to see.”
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Since then, Ben has focused his attention on regaining his health and happiness, but that hasn’t stopped him from creating quality pieces of work; like The Way Back. The Gavin O’Connor directed film tells the story of a widowed, former basketball all-star who lost his family foundation in a struggle with addiction. Jack Cunningham, played by Affleck, attempts to comeback by becoming the coach of a disparate, ethnically mixed high school basketball team at his alma mater.
I got a cast to chat with Ben as well as cast members Charles Lott Jr. and Melvin Gregg as they opened up about everything from life struggles, finding yourself and healing from trauma.
GG: Ben, your character in the film went through so many trials that it was almost impossible to see the other side. Was there ever a time in real life where you were like ‘Ugh, I’ll never get through this!’
Affleck: I’ve had all kinds of frustrations and disappointments. I’ve been blessed, there’s no doubt about it. But you know, quitting drinking when it becomes a habit is hard. And i’ll be honest with you, it’s hard to get in shape for movies. I haven’t faced the level of hardship [my character] faces in the movie, thank God! But what I love about this movie is that it wasn’t just about ‘Oh this is how painful it is’, it’s about ‘this is how you get better.’
As for the advice Ben would give young folks out here trying to find their way back in this crazy time we’re living in? Check out the video above to see what he had to say. And catch The Way Back in theaters everywhere tomorrow.