Oscar winning actor Ben Affleck started to consider himself a “serious actor” after a gay kiss scene, according to one of his directors.
Kevin Smith, who worked with the Batman and Curb Your Enthusiasm star on Chasing Amy, said Affleck made the remarks after an embrace with his co-star Jason Lee.
Speaking at 20th anniversary screening of the film, the filmmaker reports Affleck told him it was “the greatest acting challenge”.
“A man kissing another man is the greatest acting challenge an actor can ever face,” the star is said to have remarked.
After the scene, Smith claims the actor then added: “Now, I’m a serious actor.”
Speaking on the record about the kiss at the time and aged just 25, Affleck also told Entertainment Tonight he had found the scene hard.
In an on-screen interview he explained: “No, I’m not homophobic. I guess I am more than I thought, it was just difficult for me, and I didn’t think it would be.
“I used to joke about it and it was fine, then I had to grab this guy, who was a friend of mine and kiss him and the thing was that I really backed down from it in a way.
“I really could have done a more committed job. Next time.”
Ben Affleck kissed his co-star Jason Lee (Image: Brenda Chase / Stringer / Getty)
The 1997 film follows the story of a comic book artist (Ben Affleck) who falls in love with a lesbian, much to the annoyance of his best friend, played by Jason Lee.
Since the movie the actor has vocally backed gay marriage several times, including when the American Supreme Court struck down a block to same sex marriages in California in 2013.
Big news from the Supreme Court. Goodbye #DOMA #Prop8. Hello #equality.
— Ben Affleck (@BenAffleck) June 26, 2013
The star has also dabbled with other gay scenes in films, including writing in a gay sex scene in Good Will Hunting.
Along with Matt Damon he authored an oral sex scene in the original script – just to check that Hollywood producers had actually read the document cover to cover.
Several studios at the time had been bidding for the script, however only one producer raised a question over the scene between the two otherwise straight characters.
Harvey Weinstein, the producer in questions, explained: “I said, ‘Guys, there’s just one thing on the script … I just have one really big note. About page 60, this whole big sex scene. What the hell is that? Because the guys are straight, and there’s no hint of anything like that … I don’t get that scene.’
“They said ‘No one brought that scene up, or maybe people thought it was a mistake or maybe nobody read it themselves.’ They said, ‘You’re the only guy that brought it up. You get the movie.’”
The film went on to make £130 million worldwide.