Ben Affleck Reveals Who the 'Principle Influence' of His Career Was After 'Justice League'

Ben Affleck reveals his major career funk after starring in the 2017 Justice League film led him to seek solace with a close friend to bring him out of his sour patch –– and that friend turns out to be his longtime colleague and work partner Matt Damon. The two sat down in conversation for Entertainment Weekly where Affleck credited Damon as the "principle influence" that inspired him to change his career path.

"I want to do the things that would bring me joy," Affleck said of his career decisions now. 

The Academy Award winner and his friend described having that same feeling while collaborating on Ridley Scott's 2019 film The Last Duel. "I had fun every day on this movie," Affleck said. "I wasn't the star, I wasn't likable. I was a villain. I wasn't all the things I thought I was supposed to be when I started out and yet it was a wonderful experience. And it was all just stuff that came along that I wasn't chasing."

Affleck previously opened up about his experience working on Justice League in a recent interview for the Los Angeles Times, admitting that he had an "awful" time. He expanded on his previous statements for Entertainment Weekly, saying that his "worst experience" wasn't any specific person's fault. "Really what it was is that I wasn't happy. I didn't like being there. I didn't think it was interesting," Affleck explained. "And then some really s––– things, awful things happened. But, that's when I was like, I'm not going to do that anymore."

The friendship between the two actors runs deep, far deeper than what's seen on camera or written in their films. Affleck opened up about their close ties in Damon's 2021 GQ profile. "My own kind of sanity and mental health really benefited from having someone who I grew up with and knew as a child who was also going through something similar — this 20-year-plus journey of being in the public eye — who I could reflect on it with honestly, talk things over with, be myself with, who I knew why we were friends, why he was interested and loved me, why I loved him," he said at the time. 

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"I often think of people who just become successful and then get thrust into this, and I think, 'How do they do it without having somebody that they can talk to? Who they can trust? Who knew them before?' " he continued. "It's just been such an asset to me — and, I think, I hope, to Matt — this relationship that we've had."