Ben Affleck underwent a physical transformation before starring in the 1998 blockbuster “Armageddon.”
The actor, who is on the cover of Entertainment Weekly’s February issue, reflected on the requirements he had to meet before playing an oil driller who trains to be an astronaut.
“I was a little naïve about the opinions people would form about me,” said the 49-year-old. “Or [director] Michael [Bay] and [producer] Jerry [Bruckheimer]’s focus on aesthetics, like, ‘You guys gotta go to the tanning bed!’”
“They made me fix my teeth and work out and be sexy,” the star continued. “Be sexy, how do I do that? ‘Go to the gym!’ Running in the gym and putting oil on my body and stuff, and it just turned out to be a long-form version of one of those male topless calendars, in a garage, carrying a tire, kind of greased up.”
According to Affleck, Bay “had a vision of a glistening male torso into the oil, and he was like, ‘That’s going to go in the trailer and sell tickets!’”
“And you know, what can you say?” Affleck shared. “We could have made, I think, 400 ‘Chasing Amys’ for what we made ‘Armageddon’ for.”
And despite his decades-long career, Affleck said it’s “Armageddon” that his children prefer watching. He shares daughters Violet and Seraphina, as well as son Samuel, with ex-wife Jennifer Garner.
“It’s funny because that’s the one movie of mine that my kids have watched and they’ll kind of all admit to liking, even though they relentlessly mock it and me,” said the Oscar winner. “’What are you, driving a tank on the moon?’ But they had fun, you know what I mean?’ They won’t even watch ‘The Town.’ So there you have it.”
“Armageddon” explores how a group of oil drillers train for a space mission when an asteroid threatens to hit the Earth. The drillers are assigned to drill on the surface of the asteroid, detonating a bomb within it.
The action/drama, which also starred Bruce Willis, Billy Bob Thornton and Liv Tyler, among others, was a commercial success. It grossed $553 million worldwide, becoming the highest-grossing film of 1998.
Affleck has a new film titled “The Tender Bar,” which is now streaming on Prime Video.