Ben Affleck
By Page 2 staff

He has won an Oscar. He has been named the "Sexiest Man Alive." And apparently, we hear that he's also dating a famous actress/singer.

Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez
Ben is apparently dating this woman -- but Page 2 was unable to ascertain her identity.
But Ben Affleck reached the pinnacle of his career last week when he sat down to answer Page 2's 10 Burning Questions. We discussed Boston sports, Bill Buckner, Matt Damon and his new movie, "Paycheck," among other things.

If you want to know how Ben's life has changed since he started dating Jennifer Lopez and moved into a permanent fishbowl ... well, here's what he told E! Online this week: "I can't say I didn't know what I was getting into. And I do think we made a mistake, in a sense, of just being happy in the beginning throes of the relationship and being available. We said, we aren't going to change our lives. We're gonna go somewhere if we want to. We're gonna do this if we want to. I'll do your video, that'll be fun. I mean, I'd been with Gwyneth. I thought I knew what it was like. I thought, How bad can it get? I guess I underestimated the legs of the story."

Here's the rest of the Affleck story from Page 2:

1. Better offseason moves and why: Yankees or Red Sox?

The Red Sox, thus far, I think hands down are making better offseason moves. I'm really starting to like Theo and what he's doing. I think he has proven to be smart. We got Schilling. We got Foulke. The Yankees lost Pettitte, which is a disaster. Roger retired. The Sheffield thing was a debacle. Steinbrenner is great. He spends money, but he's also kind of the curse of that team. They did get Kevin Brown; and I have to say, Kevin Brown is good, but he's 39. I think the Sox are still active in a way that makes me think they're doing better.

Did you know that this hotel, the Regency (in Manhattan), is the midtown headquarters for the Yankees? In fact, George Steinbrenner just left a few minutes ago.

Is it really? If I saw him, I would put a cross to his naked flesh to see if it would burn. I would have nothing to say. When you see Beelzebub, what are you supposed to do? When you encounter Satan, you run. We'll see what happens with George with his team. The thing about George is, he's the only guy who didn't want revenue sharing. After a while, it gets a little tired trying to buy yourself a ring every year. I think that's why karma smacked the Yankees again this year -- although I have to say the Yankees, the guys on the team, seem like pretty good guys. You're taught to hate the Yankees, personally, too much. But in terms of the way they put together a franchise? It's loathsome.

If you could be the Red Sox GM for one day this week, what's the one move that you make?

Curt Schilling
One contract and one Thanksgiving dinner later, Theo got his man.
It's hard to second-guess what they're doing. I would love to have kept Todd Walker. I think he's a stud. Maybe that's the one thing I would do -- try to hang on to Todd Walker. I don't understand why they let him go. I guess he wanted a lot of money. He deserves it; he was instrumental this year.

If you had to choose one of these for the rest of your life, which would it be: the Red Sox win a World Series, or you win another Academy Award?

Sox win the World Series, definitely.

2. Where were you when Bill Buckner happened? Take us back ...

In my house in Boston, crying. Weeping, crying like a girl.

Larry Bird
If you grew up in Massachusetts in the '80s -- chances are Larry Legend is your hero.
3. Which was more gratifying and why: Pats' Super Bowl or any Bird-era Celtics title?

Gotta be '84. In '84, the Celtics beat the Lakers. That was the year. There was greatness in that year. '86 was pretty great, too, but we had to play the Rockets because the Lakers lost. It would have been great to beat L.A. again that year. There is something deep in my childhood that I identify with the Celtics and that team. They were blue-collar. They were hard-working. They weren't flashy; they played team basketball.

The Pats' Super Bowl was great, I have to say; but the '80s Celtics era was kind of magical. It was ongoing. Although I love the Patriots getting introduced as a team. When they did that, you knew they were going to win. After the Rams came out one-by-one -- showboating and sliding and pimp-walking around -- they introduce the team. The New England Patriots. I thought that was pretty classy.

4. What's the real Ben Affleck highlight on the athletic field?

I can remember Matt Damon dribbling the ball behind his back and through his legs, coming over half-court and trying to lay the ball in left-handed. And all I remember is myself leaping what seemed like six feet off the ground, arm outstretched; and the thunderous, booming sound of me pitching him. It's just a very pleasant memory.

When did this happen?

I'm not sure that actually took place. I think it might have been an implanted memory.

5. Coolest thing about being in a John Woo flick?

The coolest thing about being in a John Woo movie is being in a John Woo movie. There's nothing not-cool about it. I've been a fan of his going back to the days of "Hard Boiled," "The Killer" and "Mission: Impossible 2." He's a genius. The coolest thing about it is he makes you as good as you can possibly be -- and much, much tougher than you really are.

6. In "Paycheck," your memory is erased. If you could erase parts of your 2003 memory, what would they be?

I would erase the memory of the Red Sox losing Game 7. Obviously, it's the only thing worth erasing. It's too much pain for me. But I think it's character-building to continue to endure pain and agony, yet return with boundless optimism the next year. I think this demonstrates the true character of the people of Boston and New England. That's why we're the greatest sports fans in the world.

Ben Affleck
Ben sneaks back onto the set of "Paycheck" to have Game 7 of the ALCS erased from his memory.
What if you could change one thing from 2003? What would it be?

If I could change one thing, I would have started Trot Nixon and Todd Walker in Game 2 against Andy Pettitte. It's not the Pedro thing. I didn't mind that. Pedro is great. I'd rather have Pedro on the hill than anyone else. We had a lot of bullpen problems that year. And I know I'm in the minority on this: What if we bring in Alan Embree and he gives up the hit? You feel better because at least you got Pedro off the mound? No. Then you'd say, "Why didn't we keep Pedro in?" Come on, he's Pedro.

But Pettitte is notorious for his difficulties against lefties. They hit .318 off him or something like that -- higher than righties hit off him. Walker and Nixon were on fire. They're two of the biggest sticks in the game. I mean, Game 2 is pivotal. We win Game 2, there is no Game 7. That's the series to me, and that's the difference to me -- not Boone getting his one base hit of the year, or Karim Garcia acting like a thug with Jeff Nelson.

My hope is that we will incarcerate Jeff Nelson in Boston.

Wasn't it a Boston groundskeeper who started the whole thing?

No, it wasn't. It was a Boston groundskeeper who teaches mentally disabled children, who's out there simply expressing his enthusiasm and supporting his home team. And he was assaulted -- viciously -- by Jeff Nelson and Karim Garcia and a number of men in the Yankees' bullpen, who kicked and stomped him. This is a man who gives his life for children who are in need. He's not some selfish, marginal ballplayer like Jeff Nelson or Karim Garcia. Garcia wants to talk about his career; it's a joke. If he's so worried about his career, why would he be getting in a fracas in the bullpen? Why would he be hitting .230, for that matter?

I thought it was just abominable. They attacked him. I know in that game, tempers were getting out of control and everything; but I just thought it was a shame. You can't attack somebody for rooting for a team. The man teaches retarded children. I would like to emphasize that.

Let's suppose Jeff Nelson becomes a Red Sox and he's on the mound in Game 7 of the World Series?

We could also bring 'The Steamer' back and put him on the hill, if we wanted to. I don't think Jeff Nelson would be on the hill in a Game 7 of anything. I would rather have Jeff Weaver on the mound than Jeff Nelson.

ALCS, Game 3
After taking on the groundskeeper, Nelson and Garcia set their sights on some nuns in the bleachers.
But suppose it does happen, and he wins the World Series for the Red Sox. How would you feel about Jeff Nelson then?

I would have to turn around and forgive Jeff Nelson, and then I would embrace Jeff Nelson as a great hero, a champion among men. I would then probably tell you that Jeff Nelson is one of the great pitchers of the game. He'd probably apologize first, I'm sure.

7. Who's your all-time favorite Boston athlete, and why?

Larry Bird. Larry Joe Bird, because he's the greatest man to ever play the game of basketball; and in some ways, my personal hero.

If you could have one superpower, which would you choose and why?

I think I'd just like to be Larry. I think that would be enough. Then I could have the arrogance, the wonderful arrogance of a man who needs two to tie, three to win, and says, "Let's roll the dice." That's from the Larry Bird Legend documentary narrated by Daniel Stern, by the way.

You ever meet Larry Bird?

No, never met Larry. We were driving cross-country -- me, Matt Damon and a friend of mine named Aaron -- and we took a detour to French Lick and went by his house and sort of stopped. But he wasn't there.

8. Best baseball movie ever made?

"The Natural." Why? Because of that one line: "All I ever wanted people to say was there goes Roy Hobbs -- the best there ever was."

9. The character name you had in "School Ties" was Chesty Smith. Please tell us you got paid extra for that.

Ben Affleck
Ladies, and Matt Damon, for your viewing pleasure -- Mr. Chesty Smith.
You would think. First of all, Chesty Smith? It sounds like a '50s stripper's name. And here comes Chesty LaToots! It was embarrassing. Everything about that was embarrassing for me, from the role I played, to the performance I turned in, to the amount of screen time that I had, to the finished product.

10. You recently applied for a gun permit in Georgia. Are you a hunter?

What I hunt are pigeons, but they're the clay variety. And let me tell you something: Those clay ones are tricky. A lot of clay ones have gotten away. I don't hunt live animals, but I do some target practice -- and mostly skeet shooting, clay pigeon shooting. Which is a lot of fun.

You don't see yourself on the next season of ESPN Outdoors?

No. You have to get up real early and hide out in the blind, and it's cold. You're up there forever; and eventually, some deer comes along and you shoot it? I'd rather be playing basketball or shooting the clay pigeons. See, you can plan when the clay pigeons come by. You can organize them. But don't think they aren't tricky, because they are.

Maybe the gun will scare off some of the paparazzi?

I like that. I feel that the framers of the Constitution envisioned the Second Amendment as a remedy to the excesses of the first.


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