Ben Affleck Makes First Public Appearance Since Filing for Divorce, Recalls 'Downside' of Being a Child Actor

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Ben Affleck has made his first public appearance since filing for divorce from Jennifer Garner.
The 44-year-old actor attended the inaugural AutFest International Film Festival in Orange, California, on Sunday, 10 days after the couple filed divorce documents.
Affleck accepted an award for his portrayal of an action hero with autism in The Accountant.
Sporting a navy suit pinned with an autism awareness ribbon, the Academy Award winner shared how he hoped his work on the film would make him a more compassionate man.
“Hopefully it's made me more compassionate, empathetic, thoughtful about what really might be under the surface of the next person that I meet, here at the theater, the mall, wherever it may be,” he said. “People are capable of so much more [than] what we initially give them credit for. And, in some cases, really astonishing, inspiring things.”
Affleck also opened up about whether he would want his three children to follow his footsteps into acting.
“I think it’s a hard thing,” he said during a Q&A at the event. “I love being an actor. I got into it as a child and I wouldn’t change that, but I also wouldn’t want to take my kids and push them out there before they were 18. If they are 18 and they want to make those choices and do that kind of thing, that’s fine. But being a child actor, I just know too much of the downside of what that can be like.”
“I had some great rewards and I probably wouldn’t have made it as an adult had I not built up that body of work as a kid, so it’s a strange thing,” he continued. “My kids would be good in the school play. If they can handle that, they’re in good shape.”
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Earlier this month, ET confirmed that Affleck and Garner had filed for divorce, almost two years after announcing their separation. The couple had been married since 2005.
News of the divorce came just weeks after Affleck revealed that he had completed rehab for alcohol addiction.
"Ben is doing great," a source told ET. "As always, he’s enjoying spending time with his children and friends, and working."
Despite their split, Affleck saluted Garner’s support during his struggles in a Facebook post announcing his rehab stint, saying she had “supported me and cared for our kids as I've done the work I set out to do."
See more on how the 45-year-old actress helped Affleck turn his life around below.