Ben Affleck Calls the Gigli Flop a Gift: “I Did Get to Meet Jennifer”

Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez in Gigli
Sony Pictures Releasing

Almost twenty years later, and Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez’s flop 2003 romantic comedy, Gigli, is still remembered for many reasons—like for earning only $7 million in the box office, despite costing $75 million to make. Or winning a load of Razzie awards, including Worst Comedy of Our First 25 Years during the Golden Rasberry Award’s 25th annual ceremony in 2004. But mostly, it’s remembered as the movie that brought us Bennifer, and according to Affleck, that’s how he likes to think of it as well. The actor just sat down with Entertainment Weekly recently to discuss the infamous film and reflect on how it impacted his career and life.

Affleck admitted that, in general, Gigli just “doesn’t work” as a movie, even after the five weeks of reshoots. “It's a sort of horse's head in a cow's body.” Affleck said the studio really “latched” onto the film because of the public’s reaction to his relationship with Lopez. They assumed that the tabloid coverage and interest would transfer over to a romantic comedy starring the pair. But as Affleck said, it was a “bad idea.”

“It became a story in and of itself,” he said. “The funny name, the Jennifer Lopez romance and overexposure of that, it was kind of a perfect storm.” Affleck recalled talking with the film’s director, Martin Brest, the day it came out. “I was like it's just spectacular, it's a tsunami, it couldn't be worse. This is as bad as it gets.”

Still, Affleck did gain some knowledge from the whole experience. “I learned more about directing on that movie than anything else,” he said. “If the reaction to Gigli hadn't happened, I probably wouldn't have ultimately decided, ‘I don't really have any other avenue but to direct movies,’ which has turned out to be the real love of my professional life.” Because of that, Affleck called Gigli “a gift,” and, of course, that isn’t the only thing he gained. “I did get to meet Jennifer, the relationship with whom has been really meaningful to me in my life,” he said. And almost two decades later, despite a hiatus, it seems like that meeting was definitely worth it.