The Great Sadness of [Movie Actor] Ben Affleck
By Naomi Fry
March 24, 2018
...Since the split, Affleck has been photographed more than once by the paparazzi, looking despondent.
...As his younger co-stars, the actors Garrett Hedlund and Charlie Hunnam, wrestled in the surf like purebred puppies, Affleck, who is forty-five, was photographed wading into the ocean carrying a small red life preserver, running in the shallow waters, and towelling off on the beach. The tattoo—so gargantuan that the bird’s tail found itself dipping below the waistband of Affleck’s blue swim trunks—was plainly visible.
In one image, the actor stands alone, looking off into the middle distance.
His gut is pooching outward in a way that, in a more enlightened country like, say, France, would perhaps be considered virile, not unlike the lusty Gérard Depardieu in his prime but, in fitness-fascist America, tends to read as Homer Simpsonesque.
A blue-gray towel is wrapped protectively around his midsection—recalling a shy teen at the local pool.
Staring at the water before him, his gaze obscure and empty, Affleck is a defeated Roman senator, or, perhaps, the most anti-Romantic version imaginable of Caspar David Friedrich’s 1818 “Wanderer in the Sea of Fog.”
The image suggests not just the fall of Affleck but the coming fall of man. There is something about this exhausted father that reflexively induces panic. We’ve been living in a world run by Afflecks for so long, will we even know ourselves when they’re gone?
photo of Ben Affleck referenced in the article: