By: Donna Freydkin
Imagine, for a moment, being a father of three and getting the superhero role of a lifetime. The caped crusader. The dark knight. Yes, Batman himself, the protector of Gotham.
You'd think maybe you'd get a little respect from your offspring, right? Not so much, says Ben Affleck, who plays the DC Comics crime fighter in "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice." In the movie, as the title indicates, he has a beef with Superman (Henry Cavill), who in turn is targeted by billionaire maniac Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg, see the video above).
Starring in the film has its perks.
"It's gotten me some cool points with my kids. My daughter wishes I'd done Harry Potter. I tried to tell her that was all done," says Affleck, the dad of Violet, Seraphina and Sam. "It's a pretty cool thing. It hasn't quite hit me yet. We shot the movie almost three years ago. I sort of forgot about it. I'm really proud of it. It hasn't quite hit me that I'm going to be Batman."
Affleck's last film, "Argo," about American hostages in Iran, won the Oscar for best picture. And Affleck just finished directing "Live by Night," which he's now editing; the crime drama is based on Dennis Lehane's book.
But, says Affleck, the suit stays on. "I've signed my life away. We're going to do 'Justice League' and pick up where this leaves off. It starts in April."
Not that he's complaining, despite his personal life recently making headlines after his split from wife Jennifer Garner. "I'm in a great place. I'm very grateful. I feel very good about where I am," he says.
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Of course, he can say little about Batman's trajectory. "There's some interesting evolutions in the next movie. He has to go from being an isolationist and learn to work with a team and to cooperate. He's a hermit with a cave," says Affleck.
Fingers crossed, says Affleck, his character won't be lifting weights on camera, showing off a crazy-buff physique. "Hopefully there won't be any workout scenes in 'Justice League.' Gaining muscle and changing my body helped my performance. I felt like a bigger, stronger more capable version of myself," he says.
When he signed on to play the beloved, tortured antihero, he was very "mindful" of the actors who had played him before, most notably Christian Bale in Christopher Nolan's movies. "We didn't want to repeat that or do another chapter from their stories. We had Batman at the end of his journey, a guy who'd been through the mill and was becoming disillusioned," says Affleck.
Come what may, Affleck will embrace it -- especially the intense response from fans. "I guess I'm ready for it. I've been doing this for a while. I have been in front of the public eye. Maybe I'm not prepared for attention of this scope and range of this character's appeal globally," he says.