Being turned into a meme isn’t all fun and games! Ben Affleck has expressed some serious concerns about his viral Sad Affleck meme.
This meme originated from the Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice press junket which Affleck participated in with his movie costar Henry Cavil. During an interview, the stars were asked if they have seen the “mixed reaction” to their movie — which was phrasing it in a friendly manner, given it sits on Rotten Tomatoes with a 29%.
Cavil jumps to answer the interviewer’s follow-up question while Affleck stares off into the distance, looking seemingly upset. A meme edit of the video was created and uploaded on March 25, 2016. At the time of reporting, it currently has over 2.2 million views. The original footage is edited with overlapping headlines roasting the superhero flick and the audio of “Hello Darkness” by Simon & Garfunkel.
The comment section links to another meme video that has currently been taken down for copyright infringement but shows 22 million views.
What did Affleck have to say?
In a candid interview with the Los Angeles Times, Affleck shared that he’s done giving attention to the public’s perception of him. He shared, “I think when I was young, people saw me as somebody who had too much or was successful too easily or looked like some kind of cavalier, insincere, callow frat guy. That was nothing like how I felt.”
The 49-year-old actor continued, “I felt like this sort of insecure, anxious, overly verbal kid from Boston who had tried to break into this business and was dealing with his own stuff. But there is an interesting thing about how we come off versus who we are.”
Since Affleck’s rise to fame, he has struggled publicly with his alcoholism and relationships. The actor went on to address a time when he was “really struggling”. He said, “I had a therapist once who gave me really good advice. This was 2003 or 2004 and I was really struggling. People were just writing vicious, awful, hateful stuff about me all the time and it really started to affect me.”
Sharing the therapist’s advice, he added, “The therapist said, ‘What I find about criticism is that if you can look at it honestly and take in what resonates with you, then the rest of it you can let go.’ And that was a process that got me into directing and gave me the confidence to start doing that.”
Affleck on the Sad Affleck meme
The Gone Girl actor then addressed the aforementioned Sad Affleck meme. While he is a good sport when it comes to these lighthearted jabs, the father-of-three has expressed that he’s concerned about his children’s perception of them.
“I got to a place where [the public perception] was so different from who I am that I just stopped reading and stopped caring. But then, as my kids got older and started seeing the internet themselves, that’s the difficult part,” Affleck began.
“Even the ‘Sad Affleck’ meme — that was funny to me. I mean, there’s nobody who hasn’t felt that way at a junket. But then my kids see it and I think, ‘Oh, are they going to think their dad is fundamentally sad or they have to worry about me?’ That’s really tough,” he added.
Unfortunately, internet humor didn’t stop there, Affleck has also become a meme on a few other occasions. Over the last year, images of the actor juggling Dunkin’ Donuts coffees in his hand and throwing out a large, cardboard cut-out of his now-ex girlfriend have been readily recycled through social media.