Ben Affleck Once Called the ‘Fascination’ With His Jennifer Lopez Relationship ‘Strange’

Bennifer 2.0 arrived in full force in mid-2021. The celebrity couple faced a different kind of media landscape 19 years after they got together the first time. But people still have a fascination with the pair. Discover what Ben Affleck once said about how “strange” he finds that perspective.

Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez got back together after 15 years apart

Affleck and Lopez first dated in the early ’00s. They fell for one another while filming their movie Gigli but didn’t go public with their relationship until mid-2002. The couple got engaged quickly but called it off in early 2004. Then, more than 15 years later, they reunited, setting off a media storm akin to their original courtship.

With nostalgia for the ’00s is at an all-time high, Bennifer 2.0 couldn’t have arrived at a better time. Their first few 2021 encounters were written off as friendly exes just hanging out, but soon it became undeniable that there was more to it. Things heated up in July 2021, and Lopez dropped a steamy social media photo confirming what everyone already knew.

Affleck deemed the ‘fascination’ with their relationship ‘strange’

Jennifer Lopez & Ben Affleck during the 'Daredevil' premiere in 2003
Jennifer Lopez & Ben Affleck during the ‘Daredevil’ premiere in 2003 | Chris Weeks/FilmMagic

The heyday of Bennifer 1.0 may have been pre-social media, but the tabloid exposure the two received was on another level compared with today’s celebrity culture fixation. “I don’t know what’s the fascination,” Affleck told Access Hollywood in 2003, during the couples’ first joint interview. “It seems strange to me.”

“I think we deliberately kind of don’t deal with it or look for every little thing that gets written,” he continued. The actor noted that while doing press in Canada, things were a bit different for them, and they were “left alone” more by the people and paparazzi there than in the U.S.

Affleck and Lopez both agreed that as actors, it’s about the work for them. And the star noted that he doesn’t obsess over rumors. “I think you really make yourself crazy if you start thinking about ‘Who’s paying attention to me? Who’s interested in me?'” he explained. “I hate people like that.”

The couple knew their wedding would be a huge event

Leading up to their planned September 2003 wedding, Affleck and Lopez opted to keep some things under wraps. But they didn’t obsess about privacy. “It’s not going to be a thing where we’re trying to hide,” Lopez explained. “We don’t feel the need to let people in on every step of the way because it’s boring.”

“I think a smart thing to do would not be to make it like the biggest secret in the world,” she continued. “If people want to be outside and they want to take our picture, OK.” She added, “We just want to have a nice wedding. We want to have a beautiful day about what it’s about.”

Affleck added that both continued to do things how they ordinarily would, despite the media attention. “Stuff gets out there, and you can’t control it,” he explained. “So some people think ‘Oh, they’re peddling their personal life,” or some people think “Oh, how invasive this is.’

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