‘Black Widow’ Star Olga Kurylenko Once Found Working With Ben Affleck ‘Awful’: ‘I Went Nuts’

Some actors are willing to immerse themselves into their roles, even if that means applying some method acting. For Terrence Malick’s 2012 drama, To the Wonder, Ben Affleck went so method that he wouldn’t even break character on set.

But doing this was a bit too much for one of his co-stars, who was driven crazy by Affleck’s antics.

Ben Affleck found working on Terrence Malick’s ‘To the Wonder’ a ‘half-crazy’ experience

Ben Affleck posing and looking sideways.
Ben Affleck | Amy Sussman/Getty Images

Working on Malick’s 2012 drama To the Wonder was a unique time for the Oscar-winner. The film follows Ben Affleck’s Neil as his relationship with Marina, played by Olga Kurylenko, faces trouble. Because of this, he begins to reconnect with an old childhood friend in Rachel McAdams’ Jane.

While filming the intimate story, Affleck noticed that Malick took a very interesting approach to the film’s narrative.

“The experience of it seemed half-crazy in that we didn’t really have dialogue, so I didn’t really know what was happening,” Affleck told GQ. “Then I realized that he was accumulating colors that he would use to paint with later in the editing room.”

Affleck also discussed how his character in the movie does very little, and how that informed his performance.

“It was kind of a wash for me in terms of learning something as an actor, because Terry uses actors in a different way—he’ll [have the camera] on you and then tilt up and go up to a tree, so you think, ’Who’s more important in this—me or the tree?’ But you don’t ask him, because you don’t want to know the answer,” he continued.

Ben Affleck drove Olga Kurylenko ‘crazy’ by staying in character

Black Widow actor and former Bond girl Olga Kurylenko found working with critically acclaimed director Terrence Malick a dream come true.

“It’s so amazing to be a part of his work. I think we had a connection, and his writing is so simple and beautiful,” Kurylenko confided to Black Mag.

However, she revealed that working with Affleck was the opposite experience. This was mostly due to the star’s commitment to his role, which Kurylenko didn’t appreciate.

“It was awful,” Kurylenko said. “He had to be Neil, this cold person, and I assume he was instructed to stay in character on the set. I don’t know, but I assume because I just realized that’s what he did to all of us.”

But she also asserted that she was able to tap into this discomfort Affleck might have caused for her performance.

“I went nuts. There are moments that, as Marina, I went completely crazy, but Terry didn’t put that in the movie,” she said. “Apparently it was too terrifying. People saw it and they freaked out, so it was cut. He drove me to that state though.”

But all in all, Kurylenko held no ill will and no regrets starring in the Malick feature or working with Affleck.

“It’s because of experiences like working with Terry that I feel like my life has been worth living and that my life makes sense,” she said.

Ben Affleck does a lot to prepare for his characters

As is the case with most actors, the Batman V Superman star doesn’t just slip into his characters without studying them beforehand. No matter who he’s playing, Affleck once explained he goes about learning about his character first before embodying them. This may offer some insight into Affleck’s process behind portraying Neil in To the Wonder.

“I do a lot of research. I’m very research-dependent. I like to find true details that help me and flourishes the character,” Affleck said in an interview with Collider. “I do biographic work on the character, backstory, that kind of thing. It’s a similar approach every time, but it’s really rooted in reality. That’s what’s most interesting to me about acting, finding real behavior and making artificial behavior seem real so that it resonates with an audience.”

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