While there was much ado about Ben Affleck’s casting as the Caped Crusader in “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice,” not nearly as many people took issue with the star playing the somewhat smarmy male lead in David Fincher’s adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s novel “Gone Girl.” To promote the latter film, which opens Friday, Affleck participated in a Facebook chat where he answered questions about both projects.
We’ve included some of the best questions and answers here and organized them by project. Warning: There are minor “Gone Girl” spoilers for those who have not read the book.
What, if anything, did you like about your character Nick?
I didn’t judge my character. I went into to it finding access points. He is designed as an everyman. He tries to be a good person: sometimes he succeeds, sometimes he fails, and sometimes people think he murders his wife.
Was it hard playing such an unlikable character?
It’s funny that women ask me what it is like to play such a jerk and men don’t ask me that. That is one of the best parts of this movie. You will see that this movie will divide people by gender in many instances because it is about relationships and people lying about relationships. We do not like to think that is us. What is interesting, and what this movie shows, is that showing people our best side gets to be too much work and we get to have people to see who someone really is and the mask comes off. And what then?
Do you read the book to work in this movie?
Yes, I read the book before David asked me to be in the movie. The first thing I thought was that this would IMPOSSIBLE to make into a movie.
How many takes did you do for the “killer smile” scene?
Every one of these scenes was a lot of takes. The most we did was 60. Toward the end, David and I were very much in sync and it would take seven or eight takes. We had gotten into the grove. There is a scene walking along the beach with me and my mother-in-law. Everything was supposed to be in concert. We shot it 45 times one day, 36 the next. There were some of those. This was a good lesson in learning to not shoot that many takes or people will ask.
Were there any real-life criminal cases that you drew from for inspiration with this role? And on a separate note, I think you’re a much better singer than Jimmy Fallon.
Thank you very much. I agree. I just don’t sound good on TV. The closest is the Scott Peterson story. There as a shift in how he was viewed. The grieving husband … to a potential suspect … I’m guilty of watching that coverage myself. The movie satires how we, as a culture, get obsessed with these crimes.
BATMAN V SUPERMAN
What’s a bigger challenge: making sure a film lives up to a best-selling book like “Gone Girl” or making sure a film lives up to the greatest comicbook franchise ever?
Probably the comicbook franchise, if only because Batman has been around since the 1930s and a fixed part of American culture. But, anytime you build a character when the audience has a firm belief on how it should be, like “Fifty Shades” or “Star Wars” … It can be an asset and a challenge. Anyone who did it would face that challenge. The truth is, it all melts away once people see the movie.
How is moving around in the bat suit? Is it as constricting as the older suits have been?
Well, I don’t know how the others have been. Anytime you have a costume that is restricting, the challenge is that it’s got to look good but not look restricting.