Ben Affleck Jokes About Passing On 'Ocean's Eleven' and Calls Out One of Brad Pitt's Acting Techniques

The 49-year-old actor made a joke at George Clooney's expense.

Ben Affleck turned down a part on Ocean's Eleven because -- get this -- he wasn't sure George Clooney was a big enough star.

Affleck was clearly in a joking mood when he, Tye Sheridan and Daniel Ranieri appeared on SiriusXM's The Jess Cagle Show on Monday to promote the Clooney-directed film, The Tender Bar.

The show's co-host, Julia Cunningham, asked Affleck why, from the outside looking in, it seemed like Clooney kept Affleck at arm's distance to the Ocean's franchise, only to later team up with him on Argo as a producer before finally directing him in the adaptation of J.R. Moehringer's 2005 memoir.

It turns out, Affleck didn't think Clooney had star power. "It's funny because it's exactly the opposite," Affleck riffed. "He came to me on Ocean's and I was like, 'I don't know, George. I don't know if you're a star. I don't know if you're doing good. I'm gonna see. How do these franchises work? Who are these other actors you assembled? Is this gonna be any good? Who is this [Steven] Soderbergh? I'm not ready for this. And I don't believe in you yet. I'm gonna keep you at an arm’s length.'"

"And then I thought, I'm gonna give him a crack with Argo," Affleck continued. "Oh, you can produce it. But you know what I mean? Let's see if your ideas are any good or not. He had some decent ideas and finally I thought, 'You know what? Okay, I'm ready to trust the guy.' And I think he panned out nicely."

For what it's worth, Clooney back in October told ET's Kevin Frazier why he wouldn't team up on-screen with Affleck. Yes, it's also a zinger.

The conversation then turned to eating while filming scenes. Suffice it to say, Affleck isn't a fan. The 49-year-old actor says that in every movie he films, if there's a dinner scene, the filming begins before or after they've finished eating.

The subject, however, conjured up another actor that immediately came Affleck's mind -- one Brad Pitt.

"The only guy who doesn't do that is [Brad] Pitt," Affleck joked. "Pitt has to eat in the scene. I don't know how he does it."

When asked what that was all about, a perplexed Affleck said, "I don't know. He's compulsively eating. If there's food, anywhere in the room, Brad is eating it during the scene." It's true. When Pitt played Rusty in Ocean's Eleven he's eating or drinking in almost every scene. 

As for what drove him to put a stop to eating while filming scenes, Affleck says it goes all the way back to when he was 13 in an after school special.

"I didn't know continuity [or] any of this stuff," he explained. "And in retrospect, I'm not sure that the director totally understood continuity either, because there was no way that I had to have 42 bowls of cereal. Like there's not, that's an irresponsible way to make that scene with a 13 year old kid. And maybe she hated me. I don't know."

"She's actually a really lovely woman and great director and really believed in me," he continued, "but God, she was very method and she was like, 'No, well you're off camera, but what would your character be doing?' Are you kidding me? I'm eating because I'm in character. So I learned that method acting technique the hard way. And then subsequently I was like, 'Well, see, since my character wasn't eating on camera. So now he doesn't have to eat off camera. Right.' I live in fear of food scenes."

Affleck's been in a revealing mood while promoting his new film. He also opened up to Howard Stern about what was "50 percent" responsible for his 2004 split with Jennifer Lopez and feeling "trapped" while being married to Jennifer Garner.