An emotional Ben Affleck appeared in a Good Morning America interview on Thursday to continue his public redemption tour after opening up in a rare interview earlier this week about his battles with alcoholism and his divorce.
The star sat down with Diane Sawyer for a two-part interview, the first of which was aired on Thursday.
He talked candidly about how ‘painful’ his alcoholism was and how he wanted to avoid making the same mistakes his alcoholic father made.
‘I really don’t want my children to pay for my sins or to be afraid for me which is one of the hard parts of being the child of an alcoholic,’ he said.
He did not mention his ex-wife Jennifer Garner by name, but reflected on their divorce saying: ‘It’s very painful… divorce is very painful and alcoholism is very painful. They just are.
‘If your child is suffering something that’s a level of pain that is just not easily gotten past, not easily forgotten, not easily forgiven. It’s hard. You’re not going to avoid causing your kids pain – all pain – pain is part of life.
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An emotional Ben Affleck reflected on his ‘painful’ divorce and battle with alcoholism on Good Morning America on Thursday
The actor and his ex-wife Jennifer Garner split in 2015 after 10 years of marriage. They have three kids together; Violet, Seraphina and Samuel
‘I take some comfort in that I’m doing my very, very best and I hope that that is, you know, has to be good enough.
‘It has to be. I don’t really have a choice. I have to be the man I want to be at this point, I don’t have any more room for failure of that kind.’
Affleck, 47, spoke openly earlier this week in an interview published by The New York Times about his divorce from Garner.
The pair married in 2005 and separated in 2015 amid speculation he had been having an affair with their nanny. They divorced three years later.
They have three children together; Violet, 14, Seraphina, 11 and Samuel, seven.
Affleck calls the divorce the ‘biggest regret’ of his life.
Affleck said he ‘never’ wanted to be ‘a divorced person’ or have his family be divided
He said he started drinking more as his marriage to Garner fell apart. They are shown in 2011
In his Good Morning America interview, he said it was also the hardest thing for him to accept about himself.
‘I’d never thought I was going to get divorced. I never wanted to get divorced, I never thought I was going to be a divorced person.
‘I REALLY didn’t want to be a split family with my children.
‘It upset me because it meant I wasn’t who I thought I was and that was so painful and so disappointing. In myself,’ he said.
He started drinking more to ease the pain of it and soon was drinking every night and ‘falling asleep on the couch’.
‘I started to drink every day. I’d come home from work and drink until I passed out on the couch.
‘For me, seeing my dad – he was drunk every day and that was just life. Then as that got worse, that was really, really painful.
‘And I always said, that will never be me. I’m never going to do that. I wish he had been sober during those formative years but what he’s taught me is how important it is for me to be sober now during these formative years for my kids. ‘
Affleck’s new movie, The Way Back, is about an alcoholic high school basketball coach
He says he enjoyed the role because it shows the importance of ‘consequences’
He said he does not wan them growing up thinking ‘what if dads gets drunk… what if he ends up on TMZ.’
The TMZ video he was referring to was a video taken in October last year where he was seen stumbling out of a party, drunk, wearing a mask.
Affleck said he watched ‘a little bit of it’ but that he did not need to see the whole thing.
‘I know what it looks like to be drunk. I don’t need to watch it,’ he said.
To restore himself, he stopped working for ‘the last half of the year’ and devoted his time to being a parent, he said.
‘I took the last half of the year off and just got to be dad. Take them to school, go to the swim meet.
‘That’s where the parenting is. It’s in the cracks. In the moments when you’re just taking them back from soccer and they say something profound or they talk about how they’re really feeling about something and it’s like, that’s where you get to be the parent.
‘That’s the joy of it. And that’s what I don’t want to miss,’ he said.
Now, he is rebooting his career.
The actor has four movies coming out this year including The Way Back, in which he plays an alcoholic high school basketball coach.
‘My favorite scene in this movie is where my character loses his job because it’s really about consequences and you understand how desperate he is to not have to suffer those consequences and how painful that can be,’ he said.
The second part of his interview with Sawyer airs on Friday.