Ben On 'Gigli,' J.Lo And Wedding

"Gigli" might always be known as the film that brought together Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez.

That may be one of the film's fringe benefits for the engaged couple, but Affleck says it was the script that drew him to the film. The script, he explains, resonated for him in a way that scripts normally don't.

Affleck tells The Early Show co-anchor Julie Chen that the comedy in the film was not set up as a punch line. "It was more about character comedy, which is my favorite thing. And furthermore, I got to play someone really different from myself -- a guy who was kind of this pathetic guy who wanted to be tough but wasn't really tough," he says.

The scenes may remind viewers of a young Tony Soprano. Affleck says that is exactly who he is.

"Here's a guy who is kind of acting like a New York type of wise guy, grew up in L.A., never left L.A. But ultimately as he has fashioned his own identity and try and make himself tough and build himself up, he's basically drawing from media images," Affleck says. "Tony Soprano would be one of those. He would see that show and see how tough guys act and go out and try and act that way."

In the film, Affleck plays Larry Gigli, a low-level mobster who must kidnap a prosecutor's mentally challenged brother, played by newcomer Justin Bartha. Gigli's boss loses trust in him and sends in an enforcer, played by Jennifer Lopez, to keep him in line. Eventually, the trio forms an unlikely bond.

Affleck says, "That was the cool thing. It was sort of like a family relationship, you know what I mean? Me and this woman and I'm not sure who is supposed to be the husband and who is supposed to be the wife. But we know we're supposed to be taking care of this kid. It was really interesting."

An interesting line he says in the film is "whatever your biggest fear in life, step up to it and good things will happen." That's a philosophy Affleck also has tried to apply in real life.

He tells Chen his biggest fear was to go to "Los Angeles and trying to be an actor in my late teens and early 20s, you know, feeling discouraged all the time, and people said this was never going to work, and the odds are so long, and facing rejection and humiliation, and feeling that if I didn't believe in myself, nobody else would, and that's what I can mostly identify with. The sort of day in and day out need to challenge the world, when the world is telling you, 'No you can't do this' to say, 'I believe I can' and to continue to sort of go after it."

Lopez's character was originally supposed to be played by Halle Berry, but when a scheduling conflict forced her to drop out, Affleck wasn't thinking he had found a real life love interest, but a highly talented, yet misunderstood leading lady.

Affleck says, "I was excited because she brings, again, a presence and a strength."

Asked if he called pal Matt Damon to share the news J.Lo was co-starring, Affleck says, "No, I didn't call. I knew some people that had kind of worked with her, so I knew a little bit about her. Mostly what I knew about her was a media image, and it was interesting to find that she was very different from that.

"The media image has to do with a lot of surface stuff, you know what I mean? And it has to do with like, you know, demands, or whatever that diva thing is. I don't even know what diva means, really, but I know people say it a lot," Affleck says, "I don't know what people tend to think it means. But, actually, she is a woman that is really focused on her work, was really invested in it, not only that, but really down to earth and accessible and sweet. So it made it, really, a pleasurable surprise."

That surprise has led to wedding planning. "I pay attention to the things that really matter and other stuff..." Affleck says and jokingly says he hopes Adam Sandler will accept his proposal to be the "wedding singer."

Affleck says, "I haven't asked him, but it would be funny, wouldn't it?"

Speaking about wedding planning, he says, "I think I just pay attention. I think it's a good lesson in life, just don't sweat the little things. Something comes up that I really care about, I'll say, how about this or that.

"I had a friend who was telling me that, with his marriage, he said, totally unsolicited, he said 'I don't know if you're going through this, but let me tell you how I dealt with it. OK? On the wedding, every fifth issue, no matter what it is, dive in. Get involved, act like you really care about it, just say 'No, I'm sorry, this china pattern is not going to work, and then get out. Then let four more things go by, say yes, yes, yes and on the fifth issue, dive back in," Affleck says.

As for the best man, Matt Damon is not going to be it. Affleck says, "I think actually my brother will probably be my best man."

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