We can always count on Ben Affleck to keep us guessing. This week, the actor and director appeared on “La Cadena SER,” a radio show based in Spain, to promote his new film AIR. To everyone’s surprise, he conducted the entire interview in near-perfect Spanish.
While on the radio show, Affleck described the creative direction behind AIR, which tracks the historic Nike deal that nabbed Michael Jordan as a client. “What’s important to understand is this isn’t about Michael Jordan’s story, he doesn’t even appear in the movie,” Affleck said in Spanish. “There’s not an actor in the world who could be cast to play him whom the audience would believe,” he said. “They would immediately think, ‘This is bullshit. This movie is bullshit. I don’t believe any of this,’ And that would destroy it completely.”
After the interview, “La Cadena SER” posted a clip of their conversation on TikTok, which immediately went viral. One commenter joked that he switched from “Ben to Benito,” while another thanked him for immersing himself in the language. Many others assumed Affleck learned Spanish from his wife, Jennifer Lopez, but as it turns out, he began speaking it as a child.
When he was 13, Affleck was cast in a television show that spent a year filming in Mexico. He learned the basics over time, then he continued practicing as an adult. In an interview with Kelly Clarkson, Affleck explained that he was inspired to study harder when his daughter Violet began learning Spanish. According to the actor, she had become so fluent that it pushed him to keep up. “I don’t mind that I can’t do your math homework,” he joked, “but you are not gonna be better at Spanish than me.”
I think it’s safe to say all that practicing served him well! Check out his skills in the interview below.
Associate Staff Writer
Bria McNeal is a Manhattan based journalist who is patiently awaiting B5’s revival. When she’s not writing about all things entertainment, she can be found watching TV or trying to DIY something (likely, at the same time). Her work has appeared in NYLON, Refinery29, InStyle, and her personal newsletter, StirCrazy.