Ben Affleck says alcohol battle brought with it the 'biggest regret' of his life

Ben Affleck has spoken candidly about his battle with alcohol, coming in the wake of his relationship with wife Jennifer Garner breaking down.

In a wide-ranging interview with the New York Times, he also said that he was advised not to take on The Batman, following the fraught making of DC movie Justice League.

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“I showed somebody The Batman script,” he told the paper. “They said, 'I think the script is good. I also think you’ll drink yourself to death if you go through what you just went though again.'”

MADRID, SPAIN-March 06: Ben Affleck at the 'Triple Frontier' Premiere at at Callao Cinema on March 6, 2019 in Madrid, Spain. Credit: Jimmy Olsen/Media Punch ***NO SPAIN*** /IPX
Ben Affleck (Credit: Jimmy Olsen/Media Punch/IPX)

Affleck had played Batman in Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice, and then Justice League (plus a cameo in Suicide Squad), which lost its director in Zack Snyder before being partially re-shot by Joss Whedon.

Both movies were not welcomed by critics, and after Justice League, Affleck abandoned the role.

Speaking about the breakdown of his marriage, he said: “The biggest regret of my life is this divorce. Shame is really toxic. There is no positive byproduct of shame. It’s just stewing in a toxic, hideous feeling of low self-worth and self-loathing.”

Affleck as Batman (Credit: Warner Bros/DC)
Affleck as Batman (Credit: Warner Bros/DC)

He goes on to say that his drinking was part of his 'compulsive behaviour', and that 'you’re trying to make yourself feel better with eating or drinking or sex or gambling or shopping or whatever. But that ends up making your life worse'.

“Then you do more of it to make that discomfort go away. Then the real pain starts. It becomes a vicious cycle you can’t break. That’s at least what happened to me,” he added.

Jennifer Garner & Ben Affleck File For Divorce 4/14/17 File Photo by: Patricia Schlein/STAR MAX/IPx 2014 11/19/14 Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner at the 2nd Annual Save The Children Illumination Gala. (NYC)
Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck (Credit: Patricia Schlein/STAR MAX/IPx)

Affleck began dating Garner after starring with her in the movie Daredevil in 2003, marrying in 2005, and having three children together, Violet, 14, Seraphina, 11, and Samuel, 7.

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They announced their separation in 2015, finalising their divorce in 2018, with Affleck entering rehab in 2017 and 2018.

He told People: “One is never really in or out of treatment. It is a full-time commitment.”

Affleck’s forthcoming movie is The Way Back, in which he plays a former student basketball star struggling with alcoholism, who’s given the lifeline of coaching his old college team.