Ben Affleck Talks the Pressure of Playing Superman

In a new Details interview, actor/director Ben Affleck discussed that period in his career where nothing seemed to work, and in particular his feelings toward the critically-lambasted Daredevil. He also told the magazine that appearing in that film had colored the way he approached playing George Reeves in Hollywoodland.

"In our culture, we get very much into shorthanding people," Affleck told the magazine of that period in time about a decade ago when his whole life seemed to become a punchline. "And I got shorthanded as That Guy: Jennifer Lopez, movies bombed, therefore he must be a sort of thoughtless dilettante, solipsistic consumer blahblahblah. It's hard to shake those sort of narratives."

He followed up, "I made a bunch of movies that didn't work. I was ending up in the tabloids. I don't know what the lesson is, except that you just have to find your compass.

"I liked Sum of All Fears. Daredevil I didn't at all. Some movies should have worked and didn't. At a certain point, it's just up to the movie gods. Anyway, this image becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. And I just said, 'I don't want to do it anymore. This is horrible. I don't want to be in this spotlight, this glare, in this way. It's tawdry, it's ugly, it's oppressive, and it's inane. So I'm going to try to get away'."

He told the magazine that he used all of that--the pressure of playing an iconic character and the self-doubt when you know it's not working, or that it's beneath you--to play George Reeves in Hollywoodland. "You know, putting on the uncomfortable, cheesy suit—I understood that," Affleck said. "And I understood what it was like to feel limited by perceptions and having ambitions to do things that were more interesting."

Affleck's next film, Argo, opens October 12 and features the story of American citizens rescued from a war zone by an elaborate plan that involved spies, the Canadian ambassador and Jack Kirby.