In EW's new cover story, the former Batman explains how the experience of making the DC superhero film changed his professional and personal trajectory.

Justice League

By essentially all accounts, making 2017's Justice League was not a pleasant experience for those involved, including (but by no means limited to) Ben Affleck.

Reflecting on his career with Matt Damon for EW's February cover story, Affleck — who has since happily moved on to acclaimed roles in this year's The Tender Bar and The Last Duel — admits that his turn as Batman was a "nadir experience" that changed his personal and professional trajectory.

"One of the nice things about getting older, if you're lucky, is you stop bulls---ting yourself and you start going, 'You know, I actually know where my feelings are,'" the actor tells Damon. "And I got to a point where I thought, 'Hell, I really like directing. Good life. I'd be very happy doing this.'"

Certain acting commitments, though, weren't serving him the same way: "I had a really nadir experience around Justice League for a lot of different reasons. Not blaming anybody, there's a lot of things that happened. But really what it was is that I wasn't happy. I didn't like being there. I didn't think it was interesting. And then some really s---ty things, awful things happened. But, that's when I was like, I'm not going to do that anymore."

Ben Affleck as Batman in 'Justice League'
| Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

Those "awful things" included a tragic personal loss for director Zack Snyder, whose daughter Autumn died by suicide during post-production, causing the filmmaker to leave the project. Warner Bros. then mandated extensive reshoots, with Joss Whedon taking the reins as director. Since Justice League's release, star Ray Fisher has accused Whedon of "gross, abusive, unprofessional, and completely unacceptable" behavior on set, and his costar Gal Gadot has alleged that Whedon threatened her career. (Whedon has remained publicly mum about the accusations.)

Affleck elaborated on some of those factors, as well as his own personal issues during the film's production, in a recent interview with the Los Angeles Times.

"That was a bad experience because of a confluence of things: my own life, my divorce, being away too much, the competing agendas and then Zack's personal tragedy and the reshooting," said Affleck, who was in the process of divorcing his now ex-wife Jennifer Garner while filming Justice League, and entered rehab for alcohol addiction both before and after the reshoots. "It's not even about, like, Justice League was so bad. Because it could have been anything."

Additional reporting by Leah Greenblatt.

A version of this story appears in the February issue of Entertainment Weekly, on newsstands Jan. 21 and available to order here. Don't forget to subscribe for more exclusive interviews and photos, only in EW.

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