Over the years, Academy Award-winning actor Ben Affleck has played a variety of characters. From the thief Doug MacRay in The Town to the DCEU‘s Bruce Wayne in Batman v Superman, the star has portrayed his fair share of villains and heroes on the big screen. But recently, Affleck seems to be avoiding a certain type of part in his career – the leading role. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Affleck explained why he feels done with playing the protagonists or relatable ‘nice guys’ in movies.
Affleck’s recent work on the big screen has seen the star take on more supporting roles. In Ridley’s Scott’s historical drama movie The Last Duel, he was a secondary character opposite Adam Driver and Matt Damon. Similarly, his next upcoming performance will be as Uncle Charlie in The Tender Bar – who is a father figure to the flick’s protagonist JR (Tye Sheridan). This shift in his career is intentional, as Affleck has explained that for him being the main character in films just isn’t all that fun anymore.
“When you’re the protagonist, you have to do this, and you can’t do that, and there’s a certain essential virtuousness that has to be present or people think, ‘Well, the audience will lose their ability to identify with this person, and then we’ll lose $100 million,'” Affleck explained. “That may be true in the case of $100 million, but I’ve found it more interesting and always have, actually, to play rich characters.”
The actor clarified what makes these “rich characters” stand out and why he prefers them to your standard protagonist. “The similarity, for me, is playing parts in films where I’m not the protagonist, whether it was Good Will Hunting, Shakespeare in Love, The Last Duel or [The Tender Bar],” Affleck said. “Where I get to be somebody on the side who is allowed to be more complicated, flawed and interesting.”
However, Ben Affleck’s leading man-days aren’t entirely behind him. The star is set to appear as the central character alongside Ana de Armas in the erotic thriller movie Deep Water – which is set to hit the streaming service Hulu in the US, and Amazon in the UK on a currently undisclosed date. We are curious to see what non-protagonist roles Affleck will attach his name to in the future.