It's been almost two years since Ben Affleck has starred on the big screen, but he's making a statement in his return. He won best actor honors at the Venice Film festival for playing George Reeves — the original Superman — in the new film "Hollywoodland."
His sabbatical followed the media frenzy that was his relationship with Jennifer Lopez. Affleck said he was burned out and decided that he had to take some time out to change the course of his life.
"I've got to a point where just being out there in magazines — and it got very frantic and unpleasant — and I thought this isn't really how I want to live my life, and I wanted to redirect what I was doing," Affleck told The Early Show co-anchor Hannah Storm. "I went and did this movie and redirected and, other than that, I took a breather in the hopes that my life has slowed down, which it has."
Part of the problem, Affleck said, is that the market for tabloid magazines and paparazzi photos has greatly expanded, causing the atmosphere surrounding celebrities to become increasingly oppressive.
After taking a break from the spotlight, although he is still frequently photographed, Affleck married "Alias" star Jennifer Garner, who soon gave birth to their daughter, Violet. Being a father has signaled an important shift in his life, he said.
"It's like the chicken and the egg. Definitely being a father and being a husband has changed me, or else maybe I was kind of ready for that to happen," Affleck said. "But it's wonderful. It's kind of orienting and grounding. It's great. It's the best ever."
Affleck has said that he wants to do movies that make his daughter proud and he thinks he has found that in "Hollywoodland."
"The guy was interesting in the sense that he wanted to be a star and be famous but be a serious actor, and those ambitions were thwarted," said Affleck, who gained 25 pounds for the role. "But he had a lot of pain in his life and one thing I found noble. Even though he had a lot of difficulty and pain, he maintained his bearing and dignity in a way I found admirable and heart-breaking all at once."