For the most part, being married to one of the world’s most revered music icons is probably as cool as it sounds.
But there are some drawbacks too — like having to attend the Grammys at 50 years old and pay attention the entire time, as though this isn’t the first time you’ve heard of most of these performers.
That was the position Ben Affleck found himself in last month.
Affleck’s behavior at the Grammys made him an instant meme and sparked endless discussion, which is sort of stranger because Ben didn’t really do much of anything.
He sat next to his wife, Jennifer Lopez, with a sort of blank expression on his face, seemingly unaware that he was on camera.
Some suggested that Ben was bored or otherwise uncomfortable at the event, while others jumped to a more scandalous conclusion.
On Twitter and elsewhere, commenters recklessly alleged that Affleck was drunk.
In many cases there’s no real harm in suggesting that a celebrity seems a little tipsy at an award show.
But Affleck has struggled with alcoholism throughout his adult life, and he’s been admirably open about the difficulty of getting sober and the impact that his addiction has had on his career and family.
So casually accusing Ben of falling off the wagon after all the work he’s put into getting sober is decidedly not cool.
In a new, wide-ranging interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Affleck addressed the allegations that he was intoxicated at the Grammys.
“No. I had a good time at the Grammys. My wife was going, and I thought, ‘Well, there’ll be good music. It might be fun,’” the Oscar-winner recalled.
“At movie award shows, it’s speeches and, like, sound-mixing webinars. But I thought this would be fun. I saw [Grammy host Trevor Noah approach] and I was like, ‘Oh, God,’” Affleck continued.
Affleck concedes that he did not know he and Lopez were being broadcast live, but he says there’s no truth to the rumor that they were fighting.
“They were framing us in this shot, but I didn’t know they were rolling,” he said.
“I leaned into her and I was like, ‘As soon they start rolling, I’m going to slide away from you and leave you sitting next to Trevor.’ She goes, ‘You better f—ing not leave,’” Ben continued.
“That’s a husband-and-wife thing. I mean, some of it is, I’m like, ‘All right, who is this act?’ Like, I don’t keep up. My wife does, obviously.”
Affleck explained that he has gone to events “and been pissed off,” “bored” and “drunk,” but he added that those days are long behind him, as he’s been sober for several years.
“I thought, that’s interesting,” Ben said of the allegations that he was drunk.
“That raises a whole other thing about whether or not it’s wise to acknowledge addiction because there’s a lot of compassion, but there is still a tremendous stigma, which is often quite inhibiting,” he added.
“I do think it disincentivizes people from making their lives better.”
Ben went added that he’s assisted others who are struggling with addiction because “it makes me feel so good to do that.”
He added that he sometimes advises them to keep their struggles under wraps in order to avoid situations like the one he just endured.
“Often what I’ll say to people is, I would avoid [your addiction] coming out if I were you. You don’t need to be anybody’s poster child,” he said.
“You don’t need to f—ing tell anybody. That’s why there’s two words on the front of the book. They’re just as important, both of them: Alcoholics Anonymous. It’s always anonymous.”
We congratulate Ben on his sobriety and wish him well in his continued recovery.