Ben Affleck is the guy, after all, who told off both Clark Kent and his alter-ego Superman to their faces, so why would he have a problem with The Last Duel director Ridley Scott cursing out a journalist? Affleck defended Scott this week. Clearly the director’s recent string of expletives during an interview hasn’t caused Affleck to lose any respect for the man.
The Hollywood Reporter asked Ben Affleck about some of Scott’s more recent controversies at the Sunday night premiere of The Tender Bar. While he gave a longer answer to the question of Scott blaming millennials for The Last Duel‘s box office failure, Affleck also addressed the issue of the director recently cursing out a journalist. Clearly not having a big problem with it, Affleck said, “I mean, let’s be honest, who hasn’t wanted to say that in a press junket? Ridley is at the stage in his career where, obviously, he’s completely unencumbered by concerns about what people think.”
In case you haven’t seen the video clip Ben Affleck is talking about, let’s remedy that. Earlier this month, a 13 second clip made its way around social media from a video conferenced interview with Ridley Scott. The journalist delivers what one might refer to as a backhanded compliment. He praises the realistic look of The Last Duel, saying that it looks much more realistic than previous period pieces Scott directed — 2005’s Kingdom of Heaven and 2010’s Robin Hood.
Sensitive content warning. The clip below plays audio where Ridley Scott can be heard saying the same swear word several times.
Scott responds to the journalist’s comments with “Sir, fuck you. Fuck you. Thank you very much. Fuck you. Go fuck yourself, sir. Go on.” One might argue that Ben Affleck is wrong about Scott being “unencumbered” with caring about what others think. After all, while Scott delivers a potentially offensive string of expletives, he delivers them beautifully.
After his defense of Scott’s f-bomb raid, Ben Affleck goes on what he jokingly calls a five minute “filibuster” on why The Last Duel failed. Without actually referencing what Scott said about millennials, Affleck seems to lay the blame more at the doorstep of the rise of streaming services. He doesn’t, however, see that as a bad thing, but a new environment necessitating entertainment professionals to evolve. “I think you have to adapt with the times or you risk becoming a dinosaur, as my children tell me,” Affleck said. Among other things he names series like HBO’s Succession and Netflix’s Ozark as “spectacular” stories that wouldn’t have been made without streaming.
Right now, Ben Affleck is probably fielding a few dozen f-bombs himself, and without delivering any passive aggressive insults to Ridley Scott. Speaking to Howard Stern, the actor recently put part of the blame for his alcoholism on his marriage to Jennifer Garner. There was a lot of backlash — including from Garner’s close friends — which proved to only be a surprise to Affleck himself.