Kevin Smith and Ben Affleck used to be good friends. In a little over a decade, Affleck appeared in six of Smith’s films, including 4/5ths of the original Jersey Trilogy. Smith and Affleck were tight way back when Smith was arguably a bigger deal than Affleck. Then one of them made the unfairly maligned Jersey Girl dated Jennifer Lopez and made a movie that won Best Picture at the Oscars. Since then the relationship has cooled, but it wasn’t clear how much until recently. Smith commented on the status of their relationship on Twitter this week.
This is a fairly recent development. In 2016, while Affleck was promoting Live By Night, he had nothing but positive things to say about Smith.
“It doesn’t take talent at all to work in the movie business,” he continues. “Do you think it takes f*cking talent to stand on a movie set and be like, ‘I’m Batman’? Ben Affleck does it, so I know it don’t take f*cking talent.”
Knowing nothing about the pair’s history, that sounds pretty bad, but since Smith previously thought Affleck was good enough for every role — even the shark Jaws 5 — that was probably just a joke.
Smith discussed the line (and which Mallrats actors had contacted him following his heart attack) earlier this year. Via The Daily Beast:
I think he probably plays a more prominent role in my mythology than I play in his mythology anymore. He was in some of my biggest movies, so in my world he’s still a figure. In his world, I haven’t factored in in god knows how f*cking long. And he’s gone on to do tremendous, big f*cking things. He’s become a massive movie star and a director in his own right. So I don’t think I pop up on his radar nearly as much he pops up on my radar. But I try honestly to — and it probably doesn’t seem that way because I literally make a joke about him in the special — to limit the amount that I do talk about him for that reason. Because I know it always brings him grief or heartache in some way.
Smith had previously told a story about things Affleck said about having to kiss Jason Lee during the shooting of Chasing Amy that were taken out of context. Unsurprisingly, more outlets jumped on those comments in 2017 than ran with Affleck in Jaws 5 back in 2002 (during An Evening With Kevin Smith).
Happier times. Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back showed Affleck extremely willing to poke fun at himself, between Good Will Hunting 2 and Affleck playing a douchey, frosted-tips’d, hooker-loving version of himself. Not to mention while reprising his role from Chasing Amy, he got to deliver the seminal description of the Internet.
Say what you want about Kevin Smith, that holds up. And if nothing else, hopefully Smith and Affleck can rekindle their friendship over the one undeniable fact — that Affleck was the bomb in Phantoms.