LONDON â€” Ben Affleck is an optimist. The Hollywood star thinks the next four years will at least be interesting after watching President-elect Donald Trump’s first press conference.
“I didn’t get to watch the entire news conference although what I did see of it, I was quite entertained by. I think it will be an entertaining four years,” he said at the London premiere of his latest directorial effort “Live by Night” Wednesday.
Actor Chris Messina, who joined Affleck and co-star Sienna Miller on the red carpet, didn’t seem as upbeat as Affleck.
“I think we’re all a little scared and we’re going to take deep breaths. Meryl Streep said it best the other night at the Golden Globes. I don’t think anyone can be any more eloquent as her. Yeah, I was sad today. Obama said goodbye. We’re going to miss him,” Messina said.
Affleck was also somewhat miffed at Trump’s Twitter reaction to Streep’s Golden Globes speech. The actress made the Republican a big topic of her speech without naming him directly and Trump fired back calling her “one of the most over-rated actresses in Hollywood.”
Affleck disagreed with the sentiment.
“If you think Meryl Streep is an overrated actress, you’re probably the least qualified person to comment on acting. She’s, if nothing else the world’s greatest actor,” he said.
“Live by Night” is Affleck’s fourth feature as a director. He produced the film and also wrote the screenplay, based on a Dennis Lehane novel by the same name about a group of gangsters in Prohibition-era Boston. Affleck took on the lead role of Joe Coughlin, the son of a police captain, who forges his way into the world of crime.
Affleck said there was one difficult aspect to directing himself: Steamy bedroom scenes didn’t quite work out as well as he’d hoped.
“I just try to make myself look as good as possible. I just think ‘What’s the most flattering sexual aspect of myself?’ and I try to put that in the movie,” he joked.
“And you know what? I had to cut it out, it was that depressing. I looked like a sick polar bear.”
The film also stars Zoe Saldana, Elle Fanning, Chris Cooper and Brendan Gleeson.
Sian Watson, The Associated Press