Making his first feature film appearance in 1981’s The Dark End of the Street, Ben Affleck’s worked with a long list of acclaimed directors. Gus Van Sant, David Fincher, David Ayer, Ridley Scott, Zack Snyder, Kevin Smith, and Michael Bay have all directed Affleck at one time or another. But in a recent interview, it wasn’t a career director that Affleck named as his favorite, but a fellow actor. Of all the directors he’s worked with, Affleck says George Clooney is the best of the bunch.
Ben Affleck’s remarks come from the red carpet for the world premiere of The Tender Bar, starring Affleck and directed by George Clooney. The film is a coming-of-age drama in which Affleck plays the young J.R. Moehringer’s (Tye Sheridan) Uncle Charlie. Speaking to Entertainment Tonight, Affleck gave his The Tender Bar director nothing but top marks, calling Clooney, “the best, most precise director” he’d ever worked with. Considering not only all of the other directors Affleck has collaborated with, but the fact that Affleck himself directed the tense 2012 historical thriller Argo — which took home three Oscars including Best Picture — the praise he heaped upon Clooney shouldn’t be ignored.
Clooney actually worked on Argo as a producer, and speaking of that experience, Ben Affleck said he valued Clooney’s experience and his ability to get right to the heart of things. He said Clooney has a filmmaking “gift” that allows him to cut “through all the noise” and get “right to the x, y, z. Bing, bang, boom.”
Kevin Frasier from ET pointed out to Ben Affleck that he and Clooney had never actually starred in a film together. Affleck said he’d love to star with Clooney, adding that in order for it to happen, Clooney would need to first cast himself in a film and then hire Affleck. Clooney, on the other hand, joked that having both of them in the same movie would be “too much sexy” for one film. We’re not sure how Clooney’s Ocean’s co-stars Brad Pitt and Matt Damon would feel about hearing that.
Of course, there’s a rather obvious way to include Ben Affleck and George Clooney in the same film. For quite a while now it’s been reported that both Affleck and Michael Keaton will appear in the upcoming The Flash film as two different versions of Batman. Of course, Clooney also played the Dark Knight in the almost universally reviled Batman & Robin. Considering Clooney has said he “always” apologizes for Batman & Robin, no one should start holding their breath for him to reprise the role, but in these days of nostalgia-fed multiverses, you never know.
The Tender Bar — starring Ben Affleck and directed by George Clooney — will receive a limited theatrical release in Los Angeles and New York City on Friday, December 17 and a worldwide release on Wednesday, December 22. It will begin streaming on Amazon Prime on Friday, January 7, 2022. Affleck will be joined by Lily Rabe (Fractured), Christopher Lloyd, Tye Sheridan (Ready Player One), and Max Casella (The Sopranos).