Today is Ben Affleck’s 50th birthday. Can you believe it? To celebrate this momentous occasion, I have finally put all of my knowledge of Affleck to good use and compiled the definitive list of his top 50 moments of all time.
50. Winning an Oscar for Argo
Remember how he wasn’t even nominated for Best Director? He had to win as a producer… sad. And none of us even care about that movie anymore… double sad.
49. Being Casey Affleck’s Brother
48. Being Very Drunk on Bill Simmons’s Short-Lived HBO Show
A real low point for Benny Boy, not only is he slurring his words, but he is vehemently defending Tom Brady. It’s embarrassing for everyone involved. I promise these will get better soon.
47. Jennifer Garner Taking Him to Jack in the Box Before Rehab
It’s great to acknowledge that you need help, and that you are kind of hungry. Also, you rarely see photos of a famous person looking this bad anymore.
46. Live By Night
What the heck was that?
45. This Being His First Directing Credit (No Offense, Gone Baby Gone)
44. Mindy Kaling Getting Her Start in Showbiz By Playing Him in a Two-Person Play She Wrote
Kind of fun, no?
43. His Middle Name Being “Géza”
It’s Hungarian, and was the name of a family friend who was a Holocaust survivor. I guess that isn’t really a “moment” but I do think about it often. (Another fun fact is that his last name is technically hyphenated — Affleck-Boldt — but that doesn’t really play in Hollywood.)
How does he have the time?
41. Looking Like This in Dazed and Confused
40. Asking Blake Lively to Do Accent Work in The Town
There’s some horseshoe theory at work with this accent, which is so bad that it loops around to being kind of good. If you think this is the last time The Town is coming up on this list, you are sorely mistaken.
39. His Kid Driving a Lamborghini Into Another Car
Letting your 10-year-old behind the wheel is not a great dad moment, but he did a good job of consoling the boy in the aftermath of a situation he could have prevented.
38. His Performance in The Way Back
No one remembers that this movie exists because it came out March 6, 2020, but I promise you it’s really good. Affleck in particular is really good in it, and had the world not been falling apart I think we all would have talked about it.
37. Letting Matt Damon Announce That Kenneth Lonergan Won the Oscar for Manchester By the Sea
Look how happy Matt is that he gets to tell his friend he won an Oscar! Do you think Ben saw Margaret?
36. Taking His Blended Family to See Hamilton
I bet he loved it.
35. “Sad Affleck”
What was he thinking about?
34. Being Part of Molly Bloom’s Iconic Poker Games
I would have loved a little cameo in Molly’s Game.
33. Crying in Paris With Jennifer Lopez
Paris is most commonly known as the City of Love, but what no one will tell you is that it’s actually an incredible city in which to have a breakdown.
32. Casting Jeremy Renner As A Freaky Little Guy in The Town
This is the sort of thing Renner should have been doing post-Hurt Locker, but instead he was relegated to B-tier Marvel status and having both the Mission:Impossible and the Jason Bourne franchises yanked away from him. Ben is one of the only people who has used Renner properly.
29. Of Him
27. While Looking
25. “Why Did You Unmatch Me?”
Ben being on Raya was not shocking. What was shocking was him finding a girl from Raya on Instagram, sending her a video asking her why she unmatched him, and then expecting her to not post it.
24. The Ana de Armas Era
These two kept every celebrity news outlet afloat during the early period of the pandemic, and for that we can only salute them.
22. “[Marriage] Is Work”
Yes, his actual Argo win is No. 50 on this list, but the speech itself deserves to be higher. It is insane. This is the celebrity equivalent of when someone posts an anniversary Instagram caption that’s like, “We’ve had so many highs and lows, but I’m glad you’re by my side” and you can just tell that they just fight all the time. Look at Jen holding it together like the class act that she is. I would be pissed.
21. Dropping Out of College
If you can make this work for you, it’s one of the coolest things you can do.
20. Him Being Fluent in Spanish
For whatever reason this is much more charming than the fact that Bradley Cooper is fluent in French.
19. Calling Nicole Holofcener “The Best Writer We Knew”
18. Dating Jennifer Lopez (The First Time)
Bennifer 1.0 was almost too sexy to handle. They were young, they were hot, he bought her that enormous pink engagement ring. They were magic, but they weren’t built to last.
17.This God-Awful Streak in His Filmography
Nothing like spending years pumping out dreck to make you realize that maybe you would actually be kind of a good director.
16. When It Was Revealed That He Had A Finsta
The handle was @positiveattitudehunting.
15. Thanking His Mom in His Acceptance Speech for Good Will Hunting
This would be ranked higher if the first person he thanked wasn’t Harvey Weinstein. Actually, Matt is kind of the star of this speech, but Ben does a good job. “And Cuba Gooding for showing us how to give our acceptance speech!” That’s cute.
14. Marrying Jennifer Garner
What a great choice. It’s hard to imagine someone being a better wife than Jennifer Garner. And the wedding was officiated by Victor Garber? Perfection!
13. The Way He Sings the Word “Retainer” in Good Will Hunting
A less studied Affleck scholar would point to his big, plot-moving monologue as his best work in Good Will Hunting. They’d be wrong. It’s this clip, which has Ben doing what Ben does best: being a likable, funny asshole.
12. His DVD Commentary for Armageddon
You can’t always tell that Ben is funny, but Ben is really funny.
11. Picking Up All Those Amazon Packages While Also Balancing a Dunkin Iced Coffee
This era of the pandemic feels like it was 23 years ago.
10. Dating Jennifer Lopez (The Second Time)
I’ll be the first to admit that I thought this was a fake relationship. I thought he needed some good press after ending things with Ana de Armas, and she needed some good press after Alex Rodriguez cheated on her. Lo and behold, they are real, and they are beautiful.
9. Showing A Little Dong in Gone Girl
Not only is this probably his best performance of all time, but we see a peek of ween? What more could a girl ask for?
8. Getting a Giant Back Tattoo of a Phoenix
I assume you’ve seen the picture.
7. Lying About Getting a Giant Back Tattoo of a Phoenix
And I assume you remember the lie.
6. Explaining Why He Lied About Getting a Giant Back Tattoo of a Phoenix
And then he told the New York Times that he lied because he “resented that somebody got a picture of it by spying on me.” Honestly, fair.
5. Jennifer Garner Saying, “I Refuse To Be The Ashes,” With Regard to His Giant Back Tattoo of a Phoenix
Props to her for getting the last laugh.
4. Smoking a Cigarette While Wearing a Mask
There is something that is so Ben Affleck about actively harming your lungs while wearing the thing that is supposed to protect them. He’s always gonna do what he’s told, but if he wants to harm himself in the process that’s what’s going to happen.
3. Having a Cardboard Cutout of Ana de Armas
2. Marrying Jennifer Lopez (The Only Time)
If you are two of the most famous people in the world, eloping in Vegas around a bunch of other random couples is the epitome of romance. There’s no glamor, no paparazzi, and your famous friends aren’t there. It’s just you and your partner getting hitched. Something about this was very beautiful to me, and convinced me that these two are built to last.
1. TIE: Going Blonde for The Last Duel and Having a Hideous Goatee in Shakespeare in Love
These are the two most important choices he’s ever made, how was I to choose?