‘Gigli’: Ben Affleck Admits What He Really Thinks About the Box Office Disaster With Jennifer Lopez

Gigli has the legacy of one of the worst movies ever made. The 2003 romantic comedy is regularly made fun of in pop culture. Gigli was a serious box office disaster starring big names Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez in the lead roles. Affleck recently opened up about his real feelings regarding the movie that also featured Al Pacino and Christopher Walken in supporting roles.

Is ‘Gigli’ that bad?

'Gigli' actors Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck wearing a suit
L-R: Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck | Chris Weeks/FilmMagic

Gigli tells the story of Larry Gigli (Affleck). A mob boss commands him to kidnap the brother of an important district attorney. Ricki (Lopez) is a mysterious woman who is sent to ensure that everything goes according to plan. However, things aren’t quite as expected for the pair.

Gigli was an absolute disaster at the box office. It earned $7.2 million against a pricey $75.6 million budget. It currently sits at 6% on Rotten Tomatoes and won multiple Razzie awards.

Entertainment Weekly featured an interview with Affleck discussing how Gigli came together.

“And the studio at the time, because I had begun having this relationship with Jennifer Lopez, which was selling a lot of magazines and appeared to generate a lot of enthusiasm, they just predictably latched onto,” Affleck said. “They want a romantic comedy. They want the two of them together. More of that!”

Ben Affleck opens up regarding his feelings about ‘Gigli’ with Jennifer Lopez

Affleck opened up to Entertainment Weekly in the same interview about his true feelings regarding Gigli. He recognizes that the project failed, but it didn’t come without several benefits that he remains very thankful for.

“[Gigli] didn’t work and we did five weeks of reshoots, which we knew were not gonna work, “Affleck said. “It was a movie that didn’t work … Interestingly, I learned more about directing on that movie than anything else because Marty [Brest] is a brilliant director, really gifted. It’s not like it’s worse than all … there’s a bunch of horrible movies and in terms of losing money, I’ve had five movies — at least! — that have lost more money than Gigli has.”

Affleck continued: “It’s just that it became a story in and of itself. The funny name, the Jennifer Lopez romance and overexposure of that, it was kind of a perfect storm. And I remember talking to Marty the Friday it came out and I was like it’s just spectacular, it’s a tsunami, it couldn’t be worse. This is as bad as it gets.”

“But if the reaction to Gigli hadn’t happened, I probably wouldn’t have ultimately decided, ‘I don’t really have any other avenue but to direct movies,’ which has turned out to be the real love of my professional life,” Affleck said. “So in those ways, it’s a gift. And I did get to meet Jennifer, the relationship with whom has been really meaningful to me in my life.”

Ben Affleck won a Best Picture Oscar for ‘Argo’

Affleck would end up sitting in the director’s chair for future movie projects. It started with 2007’s Oscar-nominated Gone Baby Gone. Next, he moved on to The Town, which also garnered some awards attention. However, Affleck truly stepped into the spotlight with 2012’s Argo. The film won Best Picture at the Oscars.

Affleck didn’t earn an Oscar nomination for the directing category, which social media immediately called out. The Academy’s choice to not nominate Affleck for his directing role was especially odd since it ultimately won the biggest prize of the night.

Regardless, it appears that Affleck didn’t waste his time on the Gigli set. Rather, he learned how to move his career forward in other projects. Many audiences regard the film as one of the worst ever made, but at least some good came out of it.

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