Ben Affleck Shares the Ways 'Brilliant' Jennifer Lopez Helped Him With 'Air' Movie

'Air' is set to close out South by Southwest's film festival Saturday night in Austin, Texas.

Ben Affleck worked with some of Hollywood's heavyweights to produce Air, the biopic about Nike's groundbreaking collaboration with NBA legend Michael Jordan -- from Matt Damon and Viola Davis to Chris Tucker and, yes, even his wife, Jennifer Lopez.

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Affleck opened up about the lengths he went to cast Davis as Jordan's mother, Deloris Jordan, which included him re-writing the script to give Davis more than just the one line she had in the original script. Affleck said he begged Davis to be part of his new production company's first project and told her, "When you're ready, let me know. We'll be here." Then he went to work on the script.

"I started writing and working with Matt, and Jen [Lopez] gave me some great lines too -- it just started getting better," he said. 

When asked what was his wife's input on the script, Affleck couldn't help but gush about her show business acumen across various facets of the industry.

"Oh my God, she’s brilliant. She is incredibly knowledgeable about the way fashion evolves through the culture as a confluence of music, sports, entertainment and dance," Affleck said. "She helped me in talking about the way in which a part of the reason why Jordans [the shoes] were so meaningful is because culture and style in America is 90 percent driven by Black culture.

"Black culture has historically pioneered music, dance, fashion, and it’s then been stolen, appropriated, remarketed as Elvis or whatever," he continued. "And in this case, [Nike], a white-run corporate entity, was starting to do business with African American athletes in an identity affiliation sales thing. They were really taking value from what Michael Jordan represents and who he is. I don’t think the meaning can be overstated. They’re going to switch from 'Hey, guys, we are a nice shoe,' to 'If Mike has it, you want it.'"

Back in February, Lopez killed two birds with one stone when she poked fun at Affleck's viral moment that produced endless memes thanks to his less-than-thrilled facial expressions at the 2023 GRAMMY Awards and also promoted Air. In her Instagram post, Lopez chose Affleck in character looking somber, and she overlayed the thumbnail of the video to the Air trailer with the text, "My husband's happy face."

Air, which will close out the South by Southwest Film Festival on Saturday night when it premieres at the Paramount Theater in Austin, Texas, chronicles "the unbelievable game-changing partnership between a then rookie Michael Jordan and Nike's fledgling basketball division which revolutionized the world of sports and contemporary culture with the Air Jordan brand."

Affleck will portray Nike co-founder Phil Knight and Damon the driven Nike executive Sonny Vaccaro, who was the subject of an ESPN 30 for 30 documentary dubbed Sole Man.

Air hits theaters April 5 before being made available exclusively on Prime Video.