Ben Affleck praises ex Jennifer Lopez as the 'hardest-working person' in Hollywood
Affleck also lauded Lopez's youthfulness: "Why do you look the same as you did in 2003 and it kind of looks like I'm in my 40s… at best?"
In a wide-ranging InStyle cover story on Lopez's pop cultural impact, the Oscar-winning Argo filmmaker paid a sweet tribute to his former fiancée's dedication to her craft as an entertainer — particularly around the time they appeared together in the 2003 movie Gigli.
"I thought I had a good work ethic, but I was completely humbled and blown away by what [Lopez] was committed to doing day in and day out, the seriousness in which she took her work, the quiet and dedicated way she went about accomplishing her goals, and then how she would go back and redouble her efforts," Affleck said. "She remains, to this day, the hardest-working person I've come across in this business. She has great talent, but she has also worked very hard for her success, and I'm so happy for her that she seems, at long last, to be getting the credit she deserves."
Affleck also jokingly questioned where Lopez, 51, keeps her "fountain of youth," asking: "Why do you look the same as you did in 2003 and it kind of looks like I'm in my 40s… at best?"
Affleck, 48, and Lopez (who is currently engaged to former Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez) were together for around two years in the early 2000s. In addition to Gigli, the pair appeared opposite each other in the 2004 comedy Jersey Girl and the music video for Lopez's self-referential 2002 single "Jenny From the Block."
Affleck's InStyle quotes appear alongside those from other personal and professional figures from Lopez's life, including her longtime friend (and Second Act costar) Leah Remini, Charlize Theron, and Michelle Obama, who was in the audience as Lopez performed at President Joe Biden's inauguration in January.
"The world knows that Jennifer is blessed with many gifts — talent, beauty, and an unparalleled work ethic," Obama said. "But what impresses me the most about her is her unwavering commitment to leverage those gifts and use her platform to give voice to the voiceless. Whether it's working to improve health care for mothers and children, encouraging more people to vote, or singing her heart out at a presidential inauguration, Jennifer has always known that life is best when it's shared with others."
Lopez, who recently launched her J.Lo Beauty line of skincare products, will next be seen in the rom-com Marry Me. She's currently filming the action-comedy Shotgun Wedding and recently signed on to star as an assassin in the Netflix thriller The Mother.
"My life and career are about not letting people put me in their box, but being limitless in that I can do many things, and you don't get to tell me what those are," Lopez previously told EW about her approach to work. "I am the only person who dictates that. What I seek at this point in my career are movies that work on many levels. The best movies work as a story [and] say something about life and humanity."
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