10 actors and actresses back from the brink
A look at bottomed-out A-listers who successfully re-ignited their careers
Early Success: From "School Ties" to "Dazed and Confused" to "Mallrats" and "Chasing Amy," Affleck was putting the pieces together for a career. Then, he co-wrote and co-starred in "Good Will Hunting" and his career exploded.
The Brink: Well, after his career exploded, it imploded. It isn't that Affleck was without success following "Good Will Hunting," it's just that the bad movies were far more numerous than the good ones. Fine, they're not all his fault, but the list of disappointments isn't short ("Gigli," "Jersey Girl," "Daredevil," and "Pearl Harbor" to name a few). Plus, there was the massive public backlash against his relationship with Jennifer Lopez. In short, for a number of years, things weren't good.
The Comeback: Affleck proved his acting chops with "Hollywoodland" but also moved into directing (and back to writing). He put together a solid directorial debut with "Gone Baby Gone." He then upped the ante with "The Town" (he starred there, too). Finally, last year, "Argo." How many times last awards season did you see Ben Affleck standing at a podium accepting another honor for "Argo?" Don't try to count, you'll lose track.
Did it take? If you had asked us two weeks ago we would have laughed – yes it took, read the above paragraph – the man is an incredible success story. True redemption. And then, Batfleck. When it was announced that Affleck would be playing Batman in the "Man of Steel" sequel, the internet lit up with such intense hatred it was astounding. It is going to take until 2015 to answer the "did it take" question – if Ben Affleck turns in a strong performance all will be forgiven. If not, he may just wind up being an incredibly talented and long-lived director.