Ben Affleck: There are men who look at a changing society and feel challenged

By Laura Harding, Press Association Senior Entertainment Correspondent

Ben Affleck has said there are men who feel what they have to offer is no longer meaningful in a changing world.

The actor, who left rehab in November after being treated for alcohol addiction, will soon be seen in the Netflix film Triple Frontier, about a group of soldiers who plan a heist at the home of a powerful drug lord.

Asked what the film says about modern day masculinity, he told the Press Association: “If you’re inclined to look and draw parallels in a meta way I suppose you could say this movie asks questions about that, in the way these soldiers feel that their skills are somewhat obviated, they feel less relevant.

“There are probably men who look at a changing society and feel challenged in similar if not exactly the same ways and go ‘Is the world passing me by? Is what I have to offer no longer meaningful? Is my sense of community dissolving?’

“And I think those are all questions that challenge one’s sense of self and there are no easy answers for that.”

In the film, Affleck plays a military veteran who has returned to civilian life and is attempting to forge a career selling property.

He said: “One of the things this movie is about is how difficult that transition is, particularly when you talk about the very narrow band of people who are doing the lions’ share of the fighting and the sacrifice and the deploying and seeing most of the combat.

“You are asking them to bear a very, very, heavy burden and then I think it’s a significant challenge to segue from that abruptly into civilian life, and that’s a transition we have heard about going back to World War I or World War II or the Vietnam era.

“Here you have this group of soldiers who have become a professional soldiering class, they are not seeing a little bit of combat and getting long breaks, they are in combat over and over and over again.”

He added: “Imagine going from a world where you’re the best of the best of the best, where you’ve continued to excel and be part of more and more segments of your profession and then to say ‘OK, at 40 start over, find something new to do, develop new skills or try to jerry-rig the skills that you do have and see how they are applicable to civilian life’.

“One can imagine that might be quite difficult and that being excellent in this particular field might not necessarily translate to another and what does that do to a person who is used to being elite?”

Triple Frontier is released on Netflix on March 13.