Ben Affleck Is the Only Relatable Celebrity

Finlay Renwick
·3-min read
Photo credit: MEGA
Photo credit: MEGA

From Esquire

Celebrities aren't like you or me. Brad Pitt might have gotten divorced and then taken up pottery, but he's also nearly 60 with an eight pack. Keanu is Keanu. Leo spends too much time on yachts and in Davos and frolicking in St Barts with 23-year-olds. He's too carefree. Drake earnestly shaves tramlines into his eyebrows. He is 34 years old. Harry Styles looks good in flares. They're just a different breed, you see; their past selves have been washed away by money, access, privilege, expensive dentistry, new shoes and Nobu reservations.

Except, that is, for Ben Affleck.

During the summer, autumn and winter of Our Covid Year, a modern Beckett play has unfurled beneath the hot sun of Los Angeles. A man (Ben Affleck off of Goodwill Hunting and the memes), fell in love with a woman (Ana De Armas off of Knives Out and the new Blade Runner). They walked the dog, he grew a beard, she laughed uncontrollably at all of his jokes. They got iced coffee. Everything was beautiful and nothing hurt. The Sad Ben Affleck from a couple of years ago, the one knackered and lost in thought, staring out towards a grey horizon with a giant phoenix tattoo on his back, was an old memory. He was a new man with a new beard. What could go wrong?

Photo credit: BG004/Bauer-Griffin
Photo credit: BG004/Bauer-Griffin

Then it was announced that Ben and Ana had broken up, the reasons unspecified. Soon, a life-size cut out of her was being dumped in the bin outside of his house. There were no more trips to Whole Foods, the iced coffee order was for one, not two. Who gets to keep the dogs? Over the weekend, Ben was photographed wrestling with approximately 103 Amazon parcels, a Dunkin' Donuts cup placed precariously atop the pile's peak, a grimace spread across his stubbled face. Breakups are always rubbish, but especially so when everyone wants to see yours play out in real-time on Just Jared and TMZ.

Ben Affleck is the only relatable celebrity because, despite having an Oscar and being worth $150 million (I googled it), he wears dodgy jeans and smokes actual cigarettes and has bad tattoos. With no red carpets, premieres or glossy paparazzi opportunities, he has become a sort of street style anti-hero; the king of the Whole Foods car park and the suburban pavement, in a pair of old Sambas and a pained expression. The gloss of money and fame melt into the Calabasas concrete. As things have gone from bad to is-it-over-yet? over the last 12 months, the only thing to do is to forget how to get dressed, buy too many things from Amazon and go on silly little walks for a silly little coffee. Ben Affleck is the king of that. King of the melancholy, Sisyphean stroll. See you again tomorrow, yeah? What's your coffee order? Who cares.

So send me a message, Ben. Let's go for a walk and talk about our exes and drink bad coffee. We could listen to The Smiths. I don't smoke, but it's totally cool if you want to. Let me know. No pressure... haha. Text me?

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