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Ben Affleck is reflecting on his time on Armageddon. The actor chatted with his best friend, Matt Damon, about his career, sharing how it felt to be part of the hit 1998 film, including how they told him he should "be sexy" and fix his teeth.
"I was a little naive about the opinions people would form about me. Or [director] Michael [Bay] and Jerry [Bruckheimer]‘s focus on aesthetics, like, ‘You guys gotta go to the tanning bed!’ They made me fix my teeth and work out and be sexy. Be sexy, how do I do that?" he cracked in the Entertainment Weekly interview. "‘Go to the gym!’ Running in the gym and putting oil on my body and stuff, and it just turned out to be a long-form version of one of those male topless calendars, in a garage, carrying a tire, kind of greased up."
He added that Bay "had a vision of a glistening male torso in the oil, and he was like, ‘That’s going to go in the trailer and sell tickets!’ And you know, what can you say? We could have made, I think, 400 Chasing Amys for what we made Armageddon for."
Affleck laughs now, but the film is one he'll cherish forever. He also revealed that the space flick is one of his movies that his children, whom he shares with ex-wife Jennifer Garner, "have watched and they’ll kind of all admit to liking, even though they relentlessly mock it and me. ‘What are you, driving a tank on the moon?’ But they had fun, you know what I mean? They won’t even watch The Town. So there you have it."
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Ben Affleck Shares the Secret to a Great Performance as He Ages (Exclusive)
During their chat, Affleck also admitted that the premise for the movie "Was totally absurd."
"They dug out two stages of Disney for huge asteroid craters, and I didn’t even think about the fact that the basic premise of the movie was totally absurd,” he recalled. "Why are they training oil drillers to be astronauts rather than astronauts to be oil drillers? You would think the learning curve would be somewhat more steep on the oil-drillers-to-astronauts route."
"But it was fun and the right time. It’s funny, Bruce [Willis] dropped out of a movie, and as the deal for dropping out of this movie that wasn’t working is that we get to put you in two movies, and they put him in Armageddon and The Sixth Sense," he added, while Damon mentioned that they were both "desperate to get another job" after their Good Will Hunting success.
"And the studio at the time, because I had begun having this relationship with Jennifer Lopez, which was selling a lot of magazines and appeared to generate a lot of enthusiasm, they just predictably latched onto, 'They want a romantic comedy. They want the two of them together. More of that!' And it was just like that SNL sketch: 'Bad Idea,'" he explained, adding that his and Lopez's relationship was overexposed.
However, because of the film's bad reviews, he said he discovered his two loves; directing and Lopez.