Then: Ben Affleck took his first acting role at the age of 7, but he didn't really consider himself an actor until he left high school, and he never thought of himself as a child actor. Whatever he himself thought, he acted regularly from that first role all the way through his teens, despite moving with his family often and living with an alcoholic father. When the Affleck clan finally settled down in Massachusetts, 8-year-old Ben Affleck became friends with an older boy who lived two blocks away in the same neighborhood: Matt Damon, who was 10 when they met and was also interested in acting. They became good friends, and Ben Affleck still credits Matt Damon and their childhood friendship as the reason he decided to become a "real" actor. After all, his mom always wanted him to do something less "frivolous."
Now: From Good Will Hunting to Armageddon to Dogma, Ben Affleck's career slowly climbed into stardom. He transitioned from acting to directing with Gone Baby Gone, and is now slated to direct The Batman, the next standalone film starring himself as the Caped Crusader. It's been a big turnaround for the guy whose career was looking more and more like it was going to be bludgeoned to death by the paparazzi in 2002 and 2003. But Ben bounced back from Bennifer and, more impressively, Gigli, and is still rocking Hollywood with the silver screen's finest. After everything, he still claims that Daredevil is the only movie he regrets. Hmm. Maybe he's never actually watched Reindeer Games.