Ben Affleck

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Person.png Ben Affleck  Rdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
(movie star)
Ben Affleck.jpg
BornBenjamin Géza Affleck-Boldt
August 15, 1972
Berkeley, California
SiblingsCasey Affleck
SpouseJennifer Garner
PartyDemocratic Party (United States)
American actor and filmmaker shilling for the CIA.
Affleck admitted that “probably Hollywood is full of CIA agents…we just don’t know it.”

Benjamin Géza Affleck-Boldt is an American actor and filmmaker.


He began his career as a child when he starred in the PBS educational series The Voyage of the Mimi (1984, 1988). He later appeared in the independent coming-of-age comedy Dazed and Confused (1993) and various Kevin Smith films, including Mallrats (1995), Chasing Amy (1997) and Dogma (1999). Affleck gained wider recognition when he and childhood friend Matt Damon won the Golden Globe and Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for writing Good Will Hunting (1997), which they also starred in. He then established himself as a leading man in studio films, including the disaster film Armageddon (1998), the war drama Pearl Harbor (2001), and the thrillers The Sum of All Fears and Changing Lanes (both 2002).

After a career downturn, during which he appeared in Daredevil (2003) and Gigli (2003), Affleck received a Golden Globe nomination for portraying George Reeves in the noir biopic Hollywoodland (2006). His directorial debut, Gone Baby Gone (2007), which he also co-wrote, was well received. He then directed, co-wrote and starred in the crime drama The Town (2010) and directed and starred in the political thriller Argo (2012); both were critical and commercial successes. For the latter, Affleck won the Golden Globe and BAFTA Award for Best Director, and the Golden Globe, BAFTA, and Academy Award for Best Picture. He has since starred in the psychological thriller Gone Girl (2014), the thriller The Accountant (2016), the action-adventure Triple Frontier (2019), and the sports drama The Way Back (2020). In 2016, he began portraying Batman in superhero films set in the DC Extended Universe.

Affleck is the co-founder of the Eastern Congo Initiative, a grantmaking and advocacy-based nonprofit organization. He is also a stalwart supporter of the Democratic Party. Affleck and Damon are co-owners of the production company Pearl Street Films.

The Sum of All Fears

In 2002, Affleck had starred in The Sum of All Fears, a film adaptation of a Tom Clancy novel. The script was written largely by the CIA’s entertainment liaison. In the movie, the main protagonist, Deputy CIA Director Jack Ryan, stops nuclear war from breaking out.[1]

According to production notes for the thriller, then CIA-Hollywood liaison Chase Brandon arranged for Affleck to make multiple visits to CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia. The liaison observed that:

One of the things, I think, that benefited Ben as he walked around the agency was to simply feel the atmosphere of the place. There’s a very palpable sense of mission and importance to what goes on there, and I think Ben picked up on that simply by being in the building.[2]


Affleck played the main character in the 2012 movie Argo, a playing CIA agent named Tony Mendez who poses as a Hollywood producer scouting locations in Iran. The story is about how Mendez helps to rescue six Americans who slipped away from the U.S. embassy during the 1979 Iranian hostage crisis, when Islamic revolutionaries stormed the U.S. embassy and took 66 Americans hostage.

The CIA had long wanted someone to make a movie about the Argo operation.[3] The film makers worked closely with the CIA, where the Agency reviewed the script. Argo "took many liberties with the truth," according to The Atlantic magazine, "all geared to make Langley more heroic."[4] Though George Clooney and Grant Heslov had the movie in development for several years, it wasn’t until Warner Brothers invited Affleck to join that the project really took off.[5]

In March 2011 Affleck and former CIA officer Tony Mendez (the real life one, advising on the movie) visited the CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia and the CIA museum, and asked for copies of historical photographs in their archives, which were released after a lengthy clearance process. In an email he thanked the Agency for their help, saying "I am extremely grateful and hope very much to tell a story that does Tony and the Agency justice." Affleck’s email finished, "I look forward to returning to headquarters again soon."[5]

On ''Argo, Affleck, production designer Sharon Seymour and executive producer Chris Brigham kept following up, trying to get permission to film inside the Langley campus and the Old Headquarters Building. It was only after several script reviews that permission was granted, leading the Deputy Director for Public Affairs to write an email effusively thanking the bosses for their decision. He described Argo as "A good news CIA story, with real life CIA good guys." The official then wrote to Affleck to tell him the “good news” and Affleck wrote back "This is great!!! Thank you so much!! I am thrilled. Please let me know whatever I can do. This is a thrill. We will do the agency proud I promise you."[5]

In 2012, Argo won the Academy Award for Best Picture, and it was a box office hit[6].

Jennifer Garner

Affleck’s ex-wife, Jennifer Garner, played CIA Agent Sydney Bristow in the CIA-supported hit TV series Alias (2001-2006), and filmed a recruitment video for the CIA, after having been recruited for the role by Brandon.[7][8]


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