Former Batman Ben Affleck Says Iron Man Star Robert Downey Jr. Has Been Really Helpful In Supporting His Sobriety

Ben Affleck has been on a rough path for the last few years, struggling in both his career as an actor and filmmaker, as well as in his personal life. Affleck had a very public split from actress Jennifer Garner in 2015 after being married for ten years, and the couple formally divorced in 2017. That failed marriage exposed Ben Affleck's struggles with alcohol, depression, and alleged infidelity and/or harassment. Affleck has since been fighting to get back on the road to sobriety and stability in his life, and in a new interview the former Batman actor cites Marvel's Iron Man, Robert Downey Jr., as being one of his major supporters!

In full disclosure, Affleck actually cites Marvel Cinematic Universe stars Robert Downey Jr. and Bradley Cooper as the two big celebrity influences on his sobriety, while speaking to Diane Swayer on GMA:

"...You know, guys I found like Bradley [Cooper] and Robert [Downey Jr.] have been really helpful to me and really supportive, and they're wonderful men."

Before they were worldwide stars of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, both Robert Downey Jr. and Bradley Cooper went their own respective "trial by fire" battles with sobriety. Cooper earned a troubling reputation for substance abuse in the early 2000s, starting the sobriety process in 2004. At that same time Downey had all but washed out of Hollywood as a failed whiz kid actor; in fact, when Marvel cast him as Tony Stark / Iron Man for the flagship 2008 movie that launched the MCU, it was seen as a massive risk to bring Downey onboard. Needless to say, Iron Man helped Downey stage one of the biggest comebacks in Hollywood, and between him and Cooper there few better examples of how Hollywood stars can turn their darkest times into their brightest days.


Affleck is currently promoting his new film The Way Back, which is a sports drama story in which he plays a coach struggling with alcoholism and depression while inspiring an unlikely team of basketball players. It's the sort of cathartic meta performance that has brought much recent acclaim to actors like Shia LaBeouf (Honey Boy), Scarlett Johansson (A Marriage Story), and even Cooper himself (A Star Is Born).

As for Batman? While the franchise has moved on without Affleck, DC fans would welcome him back whenever, wherever, he could fit in.