Ben Affleck took on his first steady acting role at the age of eight. Despite his early start, years of small roles in small films followed. His big break came in the shape of Academy Award-winning "Good Will Hunting", which he co-wrote with Matt Damon. This shot Affleck into the big-time and earned him roles in "Armageddon", "Shakespeare in Love", and "Pearl Harbor". He talks here about his latest role as blind super-hero "Daredevil".
What attracted to you to the role of Daredevil?
I was always interested in the comic book. Certainly there were flashier superheroes out there who zipped around and fly into exploding suns. But for me, this character was what was so compelling. There was something more real about him than other comic book superheroes.
When I met [writer/director] Mark Johnson, I could immediately see he was interested in preserving the integrity of the comic book and character. One of the reasons I'd always liked Daredevil, and his alter ego Matt Murdock, was because they were flawed and vulnerable. He has no superhero powers besides his radar sense.
How did you prepare to play a blind man?
I wanted to learn what it was like to live with no sight. I worked with this amazing guy named Tom Sullivan. He's blind and climbs Mount Everest, which really puts your own life in perspective. I also wore these special contact lenses that made my eyes looked scarred and opaque from the radiation accident that had originally blinded Daredevil.
Why do they call Daredevil "The Man Without Fear"?
I think that has to do with the fact that he's blind and he would dive from buildings without fear because he couldn't see how far the drop was. If you don't know how scary something is, you're more likely to try it.
How is Daredevil different from other superheroes?
A lot. The vigilante element in his character puts him at the far end of these guys; not to mention his religion and belief in Catholicism. Overall, he's more human and he battles with the same things the rest of us do on an everyday basis. Also, the heart of the movie is a love story with Jennifer Garner [who plays Elektra]. That's also what made the movie different and more interesting than a lot of other comic book movies.
So is the movie targeted at both kids and adults?
That's the idea. The characters are more multi-layered than I think you typically see in more youth-oriented comic book movies. But once you reach the ages of ten or 11, I think anyone can appreciate it on the fundamental drama, adventure, and excitement level. Older audiences might appreciate it as a story about character, darkness, right and wrong, revenge, and bigger, more traditional themes.
So what's your take on a "Daredevil" sequel?
I think it's a little premature to talk about that. There's a couple of storylines that I like, but people are going to have to respond to this one first. I would decide if I wanted to do a sequel based on what the story was like.