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The Burger King Commercial Ben Affleck Was Almost Fired From

Ben Affleck is among the most well-known actors of his generation, but he had to work his way up in the industry to get there. That's how he found himself acting in a rather strange commercial for fast food chain Burger King in 1989. While the ad is charming in a hapless sort of way, it's not Affleck's best work. In fact, he nearly got fired from the job.

In an interview with Ben Affleck on The Drew Barrymore Show, the host unearthed the decades-old Burger King ad featuring the "Air" director. Affleck sheepishly recounted his memories of the experience, noting that he thinks he came close to losing the job. As Barrymore's audience cheered following the ad replay, Affleck said, "If I had known that commercial would get this kind of response, I would have been much more optimistic about my career. I don't remember the similar enthusiasm at the time. That director almost fired me, and now I can see why."

The ad, which has been uploaded to YouTube, featured a teenage Affleck driving alone at night when he gets a call on his car phone. Plot twist, it's a wrong number, and the young woman on the line thinks she's calling Burger King. Another plot twist, young Affleck happens to be driving right past one, so he delivers her order. However, another call from his father prevents this meet cute from coming to fruition. 

Ben Affleck doesn't think his Burger King commercial is very good (and he's not the only one)

As Ben Affleck recounted to Drew Barrymore, once the cameras were rolling, the limitations of his experience began to show. The director's dissatisfaction with his performance tipped him off to the precarity of his employment. According to Affleck, he was asked to repeat scenes multiple times. On a major theatrical production, that might not be cause for alarm, but on a commercial with a limited budget, it's usually not good news. As Affleck put it, "I also remember being like, 'I don't know why this director keeps making me do it over and over again.' And now, looking at the performance, I have a better idea."

Unfortunately for Affleck, it appears that the poor reception didn't stop on set. While speaking about the same commercial during an appearance on Good Morning America, he noted, "That was my first experience with fame at all, because The Economist did a big story about how Burger King's current campaign is failing, and they used a picture of me from that commercial."

Of course, that inexperienced teenager would go on to be an Oscar-winning writer, actor, and director. His Burger King ad lives on as proof that, to make it in Hollywood, you've got to cut your teeth somewhere.