Interviews

Ben Affleck leaves superhero cape for militia mission

Writer: Naseem Randhawa



Ben Affleck poses with some lucky fans at the Singapore fan event for "Triple Frontier".

Having spent a couple of tumultuous years from deflecting on and off criticism for playing Batman in the last DC slate of movies, now, Batfleck is no more.

Fourty-seven-year-old A-lister Ben Affleck may have finally hung his cape and exited the vigilante life, but that doesn't mean that he's one to shy away from the depths of a different kind of deep, dark action.

In Netflix's latest star-studded movie - now streaming on the platform - Affleck plays a military veteran who is also a divorced parent trying to make ends meet as a real estate agent.

It is not long until he is approached by his former Special Ops buddies; Oscar Isaac ("Star Wars: The Last Jedi"), Charlie Hunnam ("King Arthur"), Garret Hedlund ("Mudbound") and Pedro Pascal ("Narcos").

The film follows the highly skilled group who are lured to the dark side once again by Isaac's character for a lucrative mission that will solve all their financial woes.

That mission in question is a multi-border and multi-million dollar heist that involves robbing a dangerous drug lord in the deepest underbelly of South America.

While the story might initially feel like a "The Hurt Locker" and "Zero Dark Thirty" prequel (considering the screenwriter is the same, Mark Boal), the J.C. Chandor directed "Triple Frontier" immediately takes an unexpected turn and more than one thing spirals out of control, making it a harrowing survival quest.

Recently, we flew down to Singapore for an exclusive interview with Ben Affleck himself, and he had much to say about leading the pack in "Triple Frontier" ...


Come one come all for autographs!


Ben Affleck along with Charlie Hunnam, Garret Hedlund and producer Chuck Roven.
Look at that turnout!

Cinema Online: Which was more fun to work on? Putting on a cape for "Justice League" or bringing out the big guns in "Triple Frontier"?

Ben Affleck: You know what. Actually, they were both very different and very fun. I had a great time on set. Gal Gadot was in "Justice League" so that helped to balance out the testosterone.

But for "Triple Frontier", despite it being a mostly male cast, I find that it reflects not so much a male story, but one rooted in factual truth. The vast majority of the Special Forces are in fact men.

But it is a movie that relies heavily on the male perspective and masculinity, so how do you think this can appeal to the masses and not just the men folk?

The film shows both sides to masculinity. The upside – like the way the men are loyal to one another, love and support each other through difficult times.

There's also the worst side of masculinity which is solving problems through violence. Majority of perpetrators and victims of lethal violence are men, and that's a societal issue we're still dealing with. J.C. Chandor had to grapple with both sides of that coin.

How did you approach your character in "Triple Frontier", as it seems very familiar to your previous roles and somehow rather different as well. What was your process?

We all did training and worked together at most times. We tried to learn as much as we could with those who thought us. We heard a lot about how people don't die for a flag; they die for the guy next to them so we had to understand that level of brotherhood and commitment was going to be the key to drive the story. We put in our time and genuinely, really, like each other.


Things get pretty heavy in "Triple Frontier".


If you want to find out what the guys are up to... then watch the film.

So... with all the training that you had to undertake, to handle the guns and all the military moves, do you think you will be able to survive with that knowledge in real life?

[Laughs] I really am not sure! I don't know. I wished I have served in the military when I was a bit younger. It is unfortunately one of the few regrets I have.

Can you tell audiences what kind of film they're getting themselves into and why they should watch "Triple Frontier"?

It's a multi-genre film that's action, drama, camaraderie and adventure all packed into a solid package of a story, and I think J.C. Chandor did a great job with it, as did the rest of the guys. It starts of feeling like "The Hurt Locker" and later turns out to be "The Treasure of Sierra Madre". The best part, you can watch it again, and again. [Laughs]

Cinema Online, 14 March 2019


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