Ben Affleck Says He Fell in Love With Jennifer Lopez Because She Was ‘the Kind of Girl I Went to High School With.’

From 2002 – 2004, Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez were the most public Hollywood couple. Reporters called them “Bennifer” and they were even engaged. The coverage wasn’t always pretty, and it got worse after they broke up. With 17 years of distance from it, Affleck can look back fondly about the better times. 

Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck
Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez | Arnaldo Magnani/Getty Images

Affleck was a guest on The Hollywood Reporter’s Awards Chatter podcast on Jan. 14 to discuss his role in The Way Back. Affleck did reflect on the publicity surrounding his relationship with Lopez, something he experienced again with Jennifer Garner and Ana de Armas.

Ben Affleck was impressed by Jennifer Lopez’s work ethic

Affleck is glad the press and public have turned around on Lopez now. Her hard work was one of the things that appealed to him when they dated. 

Now it’s like she’s lionized and respected for the work she did, where she came from, what she accomplished as well she f*cking should be. I see her accomplishments. I would say you have a better chance from the Bronx of ending up like a Sotomayor on the Supreme Court than you do having Jennifer Lopez’s career and being who she is at 50 years old today. Not that one has more value, but that just on a pure odds level, on a pure hard work, I don’t think I’ve met anybody who worked any harder than Jennifer Lopez.

Ben Affleck, THR’s Awards Chatter podcast, 1/14/2020

Jennifer Lopez reminded Ben Affleck of the girls back home 

Affleck said dating Lopez felt very natural to him. The press made a big deal about their relationship, but it was familiar to him.

“She was very much like the kind of girl I went to high school with,” Affleck said. “It was a very socioeconomically mixed, ethically mixed place. Those differences that seemed to shock America were meaningless to me.”

Jennifer Lopez moved on but the press didn’t 

Paparazzi still camp out to take pictures of Affleck. Here’s a recent one. 

Ben Affleck
Ben Affleck | BG004/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images

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Affleck got used to that when he was dating Lopez.

“I think there was a natural reaction to wait a minute, why am I hearing about you every day and seeing you on every newsstand?” Affleck said. “That would engender enormous amount of resentment anyway. When you think about it, the answer is so obvious. Why in the world would I have wanted that? Why would I have sought that out?”

Since Affleck’s divorce from Garner and new relationship with de Armas, photographers still scramble to get any shot of the couple, or Affleck solo.

Ben Affleck and Ana de Armas
Ben Affleck and Ana de Armas | BG004/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images

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“To this day they’ll go, ‘I see you out there in the paparazzi and the pictures,’” Affleck said. “Yes, I left the house and took out the trash. As if when you leave your house, you’re only doing so in the hopes that you can be so lucky that you could end up as the sixth item in the Daily Mail. It’s absurd.”