Since “Gigli” Mr. Affleck actually tied the knot with a different Jennifer, surname of Garner. They’ve been married more than seven years and had their third child in February. And two days before the interview for this article, he turned 40.
How did he mark it? “I wept and gnashed my teeth,” he said, kidding. “We had dinner at the house.” It was a quiet evening, with just a few couples, including Matt Damon and his wife, joining him and Ms. Garner for a meal of — he couldn’t remember.
The kiss [with Jason Lee] was on his mind, he said, because Mr. Damon was working on an HBO movie about the pianist Liberace — he plays Liberace’s boyfriend, while Michael Douglas plays Liberace — and had recently talked to Mr. Affleck about it.
“Matt’s like, ‘Yeah, I’m going to make out with Michael Douglas tomorrow,’ and it triggered that memory,” Mr. Affleck said, adding that he later watched the moment of Mr. Damon’s big lip lock. “Not that it would be hard to be better than my kiss, but it was much better than my kiss. Maybe Michael Douglas is sexier than Jason Lee.”
...A headline in The Onion from that period summed up his slump: "Ben Affleck Hoping Jason Bourne Has Sidekick in Next Movie."
"He was just getting kicked in the teeth," Mr. Damon said in a recent phone interview.
Mr. Damon said that Mr. Affleck had been directing, at least in his head, since their teenage years, when he would emerge from a movie they had just seen and instantly tick off ways it could have been improved.
"He’s really, really good at doing that," Mr. Damon said. "'The Town,’ for instance, was a script that was around. I read it. It got sent to me. And I dismissed it out of hand." When he later learned that Mr. Affleck had taken on the project, "I called him and said: ‘Are you out of your mind? The script isn’t good.’ And he said, ‘No, no, here are the six things I’m going to do.’" Mr. Affleck worked on the screenplay, ultimately receiving partial credit for it, as well as directing the movie.