Ben Affleck covers everything from sobriety to Good Will Hunting

Ben Affleck
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - MARCH 03: Ben Affleck visits the Jess Cagle Show at the SiriusXM Hollywood Studios on March 03, 2020 in Los Angeles, California.

Ben Affleck has made countless headlines over the course of his years-long career — and he made even more memorable commentary while promoting his new movie, The Way Back (hitting theatres this Friday, March 6th), during a chat with Jess Cagle and Julia Cunningham.

The candid conversation among the Jess Cagle Show hosts and two-time Oscar winner covered topics including relapse and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The comparisons between Affleck and his The Way Back character, functioning alcoholic high school basketball coach Jack Cunningham, are certainly not lost on the actor. Affleck, who’s been open about his struggles with anxiety, depression, and alcohol (and completed a third stint in rehab in 2018), is hopeful that his honesty can help others see that they, too, can rise above their own respective addictions rather than feeling defined by them (including a paraphrased quote from none other than Kanye West).

This isn’t the first time he’s played a basketball player in a film, however. In the 1992 Buffy the Vampire Slayer movie, Affleck played the appropriately named “Basketball Player 10.” Despite what he thought was a fine performance of his only line, “Take it, man,” he later learned that his part was actually dubbed over in the final cut of the film.

As Cunningham, Affleck plays a construction worker who is recruited to become head coach of his former high school’s basketball team. The film balances the bravado of a sports drama with the care and nuance of a portrait of a man struggling with his demons.